A step forward into digital transformation is needed
For all the education and training providers, the current context of the pandemic outbreak emphasized the already existent need to adapt their provision to a digital environment. But the VET sector has been disproportionally affected, since its strong practical orientation requires innovative solutions for online provision. Hence, partners as well as other sea schools need to make a step forward into digital transformation of their education and training. Partners already made some minor steps into this direction, some of them more and some of them less, but this steps were not carefully planned and the digital transformation stopped primarily due to lack of time and knowledge. Therefore, their implementation of education and training in the online environment needs significant improvements.
Project’s first objective is to develop a high-performing digital education ecosystem in partner organisations, by building capacity and critical understanding on how to exploit the opportunities offered by digital technologies for teaching and learning and by developing a digital transformation plan. Development and implementation of digital transformation plan in partner organisations will affect primarily:
- their organisation: skilled employees are needed to plan and perform the transformation;
- their teaching: teachers should be trained on how to incorporate technology in the classroom in an innovative and effective way; and ;
- learning: the transformation should fulfil student’s needs and expectations, so all these should be equally addressed and they will bring innovation into sea schools.
Project’s second objective is to support the provision of flexible and high quality education and training in sea schools, adapted to correspond to the requirements of the digital era and the COVID-19 impact, by sharing all knowledge, experience and good practices acquired by performing the digital transformation in partner organisations with other sea schools and other VET organisations as well. The European Commission, realising the emerging need for educational and training reform in the digital era, initiated the development of the Digital Education Action Plan (2021- 2027). The results of the public consultation process (OPC) which took place from June to September 2020 highlighted the impact of COVID-19 in education and training; almost 60% of respondents mentioned that they had never used distance/online learning tools before COVID-19, while more than half of respondents admitted that they wish to improve their digital skills following their recent experience. The most important finding from OPC is that 95% of the respondents consider that the COVID-19 crisis marks a point of no return on how technology is used in education and training. This means that all sea schools as well other VET organisations should continue with digital transformation of their education and training to fulfil students needs and also expectations.
Project partners will develop a high-performing digital education ecosystem to be able to fulfil their student’s needs and also to increase the competetivness of their organisation. They will achieve that by performing the digital transformation of their education and training within different project activities. During these activities the partner organisations will track their digital transformation including its planning and develop an open resource online platform which will become one of the main resources of knowledge for digital transformation of education and training in sea schools.
Each EU member country has unique framework for examination and certification of individuals who want to obtain any of available boating licences, professional or recreational. And there is also a diversity in curricula. Therefore, most of schools in a certain country teaches the students based on the same curricula and with very similar teaching approaches. Unfortunately, sea schools cannot join any specific national or transnational association as it doesn’t exist. Cooperation between at least some of them, in particular bigger ones, is often on the national level, while it is almost absent on the transnational level. So there is almost no transnational transfer of knowledge, experience and good practices between sea schools. The project partners will bring their experience, different teaching techniques and approaches and also good practice achieved by teaching students to obtain a range of German, Slovene, Romanian, Spanish and also British boating licences and consequencing differences in curricula. Hence, the project partners will benefit from sharing between themselves all this diversity in knowledge and experience.