Digital media is firmly part of the modern classroom. Computers, tablets and smartphones are now just as much a part of everyday learning as they are in students’ lives outside school. Teachers in Vocational Education and Training (VET) need to develop the digital and media skills to keep up, or they will be overtaken by their students in the digital world.
Beyond learning, computers form an integral part of school administration, from recording morning registration to scheduling exam dates and storing grades from tests and assignments. Teachers need, at least, a minimum level of digital skills.
Vocational Education and Training for Teachers and Students
The University of Teacher Education (PH) Vorarlberg, in Austria, offers Applied Informatics as a subject to student VET teachers. In the course, future teachers enhance their digital skills using the ECDL Base profile, which consists of Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Online Essentials and Computer Essentials modules.
The initiative is supported by the Federal Province of Vorarlberg, which covers half of the exam fees for successful teachers.
ECDL continues to play a role in Vocational Education and Training in Austria, with the programme being offered to students at vocational education schools. Teachers have the chance to pass on their newly acquired knowledge to students, as they help them to prepare for the ECDL exams. The students, who undertake apprenticeships in businesses, have 80% of their exam fees covered by the business.
Digital Skills Boost Education and Administration
Thanks to the new digital skills that the teachers have developed, the daily work of preparing and teaching classes is made easier, and the workload of administrative tasks is lessened.
Digital technology can make life easier for teachers, but only if they have the necessary skills. ECDL gives them these skills.
On top of helping teachers deal with increasingly digital ways of working, the core digital skills that are built using ECDL help boost teachers’ self-confidence in dealing with apparently digitally savvy students.
For the students themselves, the essential workplace computer skills that they learn with ECDL give them a better chance to find a job, and the internationally recognised certificate that they gain makes it easier for prospective employers to understand exactly what skills the candidate has.