Title Knowledge Management
Project Number LLP-LdV-ToI-2011/DK-1101
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
The project will promote management and ICT competencies for school leaders, as it will qualify them to evaluate ICT integration in schools, and to participate in the process of design, implement and monitor a knowledge management system for ICT integration and development
This project doesn't address the issue of ICT as something to learn about (included as a goal in the curricula in a formal framework) but, as something to learn with (used as a teaching and learning tool). These non-formal and informal learnings mean, nevertheless, an important development of ICT competencies in teachers, students, trainers and tutors from enterprises.
The knowledge management system for ICT development will create the necessary conditions for all educational agents to participate actively in the selection, adaptation, creation and sharing of ICT information and knowledge. Enterprises and their tutors will be active contributors and beneficiaries of this knowledge sharing.
Research shows that although teachers have been benefiting from training programs on ICT development for educational purposes, they are primarily using ICT to supplement their standard teaching and to motivate students and not for subject-specific didactic purposes and support specific learning goals. One of the reasons is the fact that organizational factors have not been taken into account. If a school underestimates communication and sharing of information and knowledge, and fails to understand that the effectiveness of training lies not only in the individual learning and performance but also (mainly) on organizational factors (learning organizations), then teachers fail to transfer what they learn to their daily performance. In order to have schools operating as learning organizations, efficient knowledge management system (KMS) must be implemented. Although ICT usage has been facilitating and speeding up information sharing and communication, KMS are, however, ineffectively used in educational institutions schools as means of locating, creating and sharing information and knowledge. It is left to each individual teacher do decide how and to what extent his knowledge and experience should be shared, thus limiting its impact, creating confusion and undermining attempts of efficient KMS. Much could be gained by rooting ICT qualification and development in the school structure and by implementing KMS for the purposes of locating, creating and sharing of knowledge (e.g. exchange of information about course planning and learning resources, promote communication and cooperation) involving all educational partners (teachers, students, enterprises, parents, etc) and enhancing integration of ICT. Information and knowledge will be accessed just-in-time, more reliable and easy to find and, learning could occur 24/7 in informal and non-formal ways, teachers would merge learning with work (learning by doing) and students and enterprise tutors could be actively involved in collaborative learning, sharing good practice, solving problems, carrying out tasks and being coached. A KMS relies on school leaders as the main players. They must prioritize ICT in school development, assume responsibility for developing a framework for ICT implementation and actively follow up the quality of its usage. However, many are unsure of what concrete measures must be taken in order to promote and root ICT qualification within the school and how to develop KMS.
This project is designed to help school leaders design and implement KMS for ICT integration and as a tool for strengthening organizational development. Although the partners will also benefit from the project (their organizations will improve their learning architectures and performance environments, in order to allow all educational agents to learn about ICT while learning with it), they all have a solid experience in teacher training as well as in school management (namely in what concerns ICT competencies).
The project will improve ICT integration in schools, by:
-Identifying major strengths and possibilities in UE VET schools;
-promoting school leaders competencies in knowledge management systems on ICT usage
adapting a self-evaluation tool for ICT use in schools, to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of ICT use and plan new types of approach;
-helping school leaders to understand the process and background for facilitating the design process and implementing new learning and performance environments for ICT usage that involve all learning agents (students, teachers, trainers, enterprises, etc);
-creating a monitoring system for school leaders to follow up the integration of ICT;
-implementing and rooting ICT development in the organization structural framework;
-ensuring that training needs analysis, delivery and evaluation are oriented towards the organization strategic goals;
-promoting a more user-oriented approach in teacher training;
-promoting more non-formal and informal ways of educational agents to learn and develop their ICT competences;
-implementing more effective and efficient communication systems in schools;
-enhancing the creation and sharing of ICT knowledge;
-promoting a quality frame of mind in educational agents;
-disseminating this knowledge throughout school leaders in Europe;
-guaranteeing equal opportunities for men and women.
Methodology of the project
The project will start by analyzing the most recent theoretical outputs on knowledge management systems (as well as in communication and information systems), so that a state of the art report and a framework (with a self-evaluation tool) can be produced.
These outputs will include and summarize the most important and recent scientific contributions on the issue, so that a scientific article can be published in scientific magazines and presented at national seminars.
A virtual network will be created (steered by ESHA and UNI-C) so that European school leaders can actively participate in the project as contributors with information and knowledge.
The framework and self-evaluation tool will include the quality criteria for a ICT knowledge management system in VET schools and school leaders will be using it on the project´s webpage to answer questions and obtain a organizational evaluation with visual data analysis (an embedded application in the webpage will provide that result).
The information thus collected by the partnership will allow the partners to produce a european swot analysis on ICT usage in VET schools that will provide important information for the development of a ICT knowledge management model and tool box (including the phases, procedures, guidelines and tools for school leaders to design, implement and monitor ICT knowledge management systems in schools).
As knowledge management systems include digital repositories (so that educational agents can easily search and find interesting materials and resources), the partners will locate and collect ICT products, services, training plans, good practices and information that will be part of the digital repository (to be fulfilled by the educational agents of the schools as the sharing and creation of knowledge evolves).
The KMS model and tool box will be delivered through ESHA to thousands of school leaders across Europe. It will be available in 3 languages (English, Portuguese, and Turkish).
All this material will also be used to design a training module for school leaders, based on a work based learning approach (learn by doing). The training will be delivered to a group of at least 12 school leaders selected from the more active participants of the virtual network/community of practice. These participants will learn while applying in their own schools the concepts, methods and tools. The training will take place during 6 moths and will be delivered through the LMS designed for the project through which training contents, support services and tutoring are provided. Videoconferences and virtual meetings will be scheduled and tutors/coachs will be appointed so that progress can be monitored en each participant´s organisation. In order to motivate and guarantee full participation from these 12 European school leaders, the last training sessions (2 days) will be F2F, in Spain, having someone representing KNOWMAKER from Fundecyt.
The training will be delivered and evaluated in order to guarantee the quality of all deliverables:
1) online toolbox
2) KMS model and tool box;
3) training module for school leaders.
The partnership will also organize national seminars (in the countries represented in the partnership) as well as an European virtual conference at the end of the project, in order to guarantee an adequate promotion
Fundecyt (from KNOWMAKER) and EVA will be working as critical friends, commenting on the quality of outputs, tools, materials and deliverables.