PROJECTS INVOLVING ICT IN VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS
Konferencia

Éva Tóth

Ceglédi SZC Nagykátai Ipari Szakközépiskolája és Szakiskolája, Nagykáta
evitoth84@gmail.com

ETO: 316.736:371.3: 681.3.004.14     CONFERENCE PAPER

My students in vocational school have problems with socialization. My number one goal is to make them convince that they are valuable people and they are worthy of success too. My students are demotivated due to the negative learning experiences of failure in their previous studies. Our projects deal with topics that appeal to both their everyday lives and their future jobs. The works include going to companies and interviewing experts so that students can see the links between their learning and the real world and use their communication skills both in their mother tongue and in English. There are many 21stcentury learning skills involved in my projects, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and collaboration, ICT and real-life skills. It is important to acknowledge how your background defines a project but it shouldn’t stop you from experimenting. Key words: ICT, vocational, projekt, skills,, gap, socialization  

■■

  Any project involving vocational students can be defined as innovative: they are the students who perform the lowest in primary school, they have behavioral problems, and they are very demotivated due to all the negative learning experiences of failure in their previous studies. In our international projects we try our best to combine practical and theoretical subjects to make students use their skills in practice. They work in pairs, groups, they have to divide the roles between them and take the responsibility for their creation. Being in a project is something really new to them as vocational students are seldom part of such work and they often have negative experiences about learning. Besides, we want them to use the English language, to collaborate, to get to know applications that can develop their digital competencies, to make them creative thinkers, to help them discover their own values, both personal and professional.   Our projects deal with topics that appeal to both their everyday lives and their future jobs, such as beauty, technology or creating one’s own business. The works often include going to companies and interviewing experts (visiting Microsoft Hungary in Budapest or the local beauty center) so that students can see the links between their learning and the real world and use their communication skills both in their mother tongue and in English. Through our projects, we intended to develop our student`s entrepreneurial skills and to prepare them for their future jobs, for life.   Here are our projects for the school year 2014/15:   „Beautylicious” Partners:  

  • ISIS "G. Curcio", ITALY
  • Nagykátai Ipari Szakközépiskola és Szakiskola, HUNGARY
  • „Petru Rareș” National College, Beclean, ROMANIA

  Our project was about beauty - exploring cosmetics, beauty ideals, components of cosmetics, music about beauty, illnesses related to beauty ideals maybe. Interviewing specialists and setting up some guidelines and finding misbeliefs about beauty. The project’s main aim was to combine theory and practice: it not only involved subjects such as English, Chemistry, Anatomy but vocational way, they could see how theory can be used in practice, to work with what they have been learning so far. Students clearly identified goals for the project, worked and then compared the result of their work. This way, they managed to broaden their horizons, since they had a multicultural and intercultural approach. We shared our responsibilities and made the research on the same topic more valuable. The fact that some of the partners have been working on projects before and are willing to continue collaboration is a proof of the great communication and learning environment we managed to create and maintain. We took advantage of various online tools, like polls, quizzes, collaborative documents, to fulfill the needs of our project. The biggest outcome were definitely the two visits outside the school (going to sing Christmas carols and going for an interview at a local medical center - they were made by our Hungarian partner, but we all benefited from their research). Our Italian partners went to other schools to present our project and in particular a power point presentation about tooth care. We visited hair beauty salons and created presentations about and for our project. But the most important part is the common newspaper we were able to realize and all the collaborative work we have done, because it was the result of the whole team`s work.   Links to project`s sites: https://www.pinterest.com/evatoth547727/beautylicious/ http://twinspace.etwinning.net/2265/home https://www.pinterest.com/emesecimpean1/beautylicious/ 

LET’S GET DOWN TO E-BUSINESS

 

Partners:

  • „Petru Rareș” National College Beclean, Romania
  • Nagykátai Ipari Szakközépiskola és Szakiskola, Nagykáta, Hungary
  • Obchodní akademie a VOŠE Tábor, Tábor, Czech Republic
  • Pentapolis Upper Highschool, Pentapolis Serres, Greece
  • Cihangir Ortaokulu, İstanbul

In the project, students had to found their own companies based on their interests or studies. Once the companies were all up, students divided te roles within the business among themselves and also decided what vacancies they had. Then they had to write their cvs and apply for positions at other companies. Our aim was to make vocational students realise they can use the internet for meaningful learning purposes. Besides we wanted them to use English language, to collaborate, to get to know applications that can develop their digital competencies, to make them creative thinkers, to help them discover their own values, both personal and professional. The project involved many innovative tools: brainstorming (padlet, linoit), creating videos (Windows Movie Maker), presentations (MS Powerpoint), photo editing softwares (Notegraphy, MS Autocollage, recitethis), cooperation (Google Docs, Symbaloo, thinglink, titanpad), Augmented reality (QR codes), videoconference (Skype), mindmap (coggle), evaluation (OneDrive survey), social media (Facebook and Twitter)   The culmination of our project was in a visit to Microsoft Hungary in Budapest to see how a real company works and what they are doing in the field of education. This outing meant a lot to my students and they enjoyed being at a world-famous company where they would have never got to without eTwinning.   The most successful result of the project was giving once again a lot of self-esteem and worth to our students who were able to see themselves what they are capable of if they believe in themselves.   Links to project`s sites: https://www.pinterest.com/evatoth547727/lets-get-down-to-e-business/ https://www.pinterest.com/emesecimpean1/lets-get-down-to-e-bussiness/ http://twinspace.etwinning.net/959/home   

ADDICTED TO TECHNOLOGY

 

Partners:

  • Nagykátai Ipari Szakközépiskola és Szakiskola, Nagykáta, HUNGARY
  • Sipkay Barna Kereskedelmi, Vendéglátóipari, Idegenforgalmi Középiskola, Szakiskola és Kollégium, Nyíregyháza HUNGARY
  • ISIS "G. Curcio", Ispica (RG), ITALY
  • Heinrich-Hertz Berufskolleg, Düsseldorf GERMANY

Links to project`s sites: https://www.pinterest.com/evatoth547727/addicted-to-technology/ http://twinspace.etwinning.net/6844/home  In the project we tried to see how much technology affects our everyday lives. We saw not only its bright side, but also the dark side and students were to question their own uses of devices. We also discovered what devices used to exist before modern technology. Students, being specialized in commerce, also compared prices of devices of different shop lines and countries. They make a wish list of the devices they would like to have, also collect devices used in the past. We also discovered the modern technology slang and music about technology. We closed the project by setting up some guidelines for using technology and a virtual online quest in the world of Augmented reality.   The project involved many innovative tools: brainstorming (padlet, linoit, designing newspapers (Sway), creating videos (Windows Movie Maker, photopeach), presentations (MS Powerpoint), photo editing softwares (Notegraphy, MS Autocollage, recitethis). , cooperation (Google Docs, Symbaloo, thinglink, titanpad), Augmented reality (QR codes, Aurasma), videoconference (Skype), mindmap (coggle), evaluation (OneDrive survey), creating powerpoint games to test each other’s knowledge, presentations using Sway, infographic.   We managed to integrate many subjects, like English, English for Special Purposes (selling electronic devices), IT and Training Practice. The project developed many 21st century competencies: life and career skills (using your professional knowledge for specific purposes), innovation (being in a project), IT skills (using IT for specific purposes not just facebook, doing independent research), social  awareness (how does technology affect our everyday lives? does it also have dark sides? Discussing very important topics such as cyber bullying and identity theft), responsible decision-making (work in a group and divide the roles, present your findings and teach the others), collaboration (group work, pair work).  

CONCLUSION

 

It is important to acknowledge how your background defines a project but it shouldn’t stop you from experimenting. In conclusion, eTwinning projects are a great chance for many students all over Europe, and the use of technology facilitates the communication between their schools, helps teachers and students to learn and grow each day - together.  

FOOTNOTES

  [1] Eva Toth: teacher of English in a vocational and technical school in Nagykáta, Hungary for 6 years. Dealing with ICT in education to lower the digital and social gap, winner of the prizes Sulinetwork 2014 Award and Digital Teacher Award 2014. Author of many articles and translations about practical examples of ICT use, also a teacher trainer of ICT. http://www.pinterest.com/evatoth547727/     Key words: ICT, vocational, project, skills, gap, socialization