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Mieux maîtriser les TIC pour améliorer nos pratiques pédagogiques et notre dynamique européenne.
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Our school is an agricultural vocational school and for us internationalization is a very important focus. To give pupils the opportunity to do a practical training period abroad has always been among our priorities. The objectives of those periods abroad are to improve pupils’ professional practices, adaptability, autonomy and cultural openness in order to enhance their employability. Since 2011, our school has been willing to get involved in multilateral partnerships (Comenius) in order to go even further in the European dynamic with the expressed wish to involve more staff in those European projects. These projects have turned out to be very enriching experiences but they have also brought to light our shortcomings in some fields. Indeed, for many staff members the first obstacle to the involvement in European partnerships has been their lack of confidence in their ability to communicate in English. The second difficulty we met was the lack of digital skills . Indeed, the parnerships we got involved in, required the use of online learning and collaborative tools, the sharing of files or folders via Drop Box, the creation maintenance and development of websites, skills in shooting and editing videos… Unfortunately only 1 or 2 people involved in the project had real competencies in those fields. At that time, there has been a growing awareness within the staff members and the managing board that our school was lagging far behind as far as the knowledge and use of the new communications tools were concerned. It became more than clear that it was urgent to modernize our teaching practices and be innovative out of respect for our pupils, for the long-run viability of our school and for the sustainability of our European dynamic. As a result of this awareness, several staff members expressed a need for a digital training in order to improve their teaching practices and also to be able to get involved more efficiently in European partnerships. In view of the above-mentioned difficulties (the lack of digital + lack of confidence in English communication), we decided to look for a training center providing courses in English on ICT and the use of ICT for educational purposes. We decided upon Bios Life long Learning because of its good experience in European programmes but above all because its training offers perfectly match our needs . Indeed during this one-week training course, 4 members of our staff worked on the integration of ICT in their teaching process, they worked work on topics like « the use of collaborative work platforms », « social media for teachers » , « shooting and editing films with pupils »… This training course was provided in English, and this is something we really value. The international dynamic of our school is strongly related to our ability to speak English and we want our staff members (who most often underestimate their English capabilities) to live real English communication situation in order to boost their confidence. The first expected impact has concerned the 4 people who participated in the training course since they improved their ICT skills and their ability to use them for teaching. Of course pupils have also benefited from this training course since their teachers now use more modern teaching and learning practices that make lessons more attractive. When teachers become more familiar with ICT tools, the tasks that students are asked to do also evolve, they change in their form if not in their content . Pupils themselves are required to use more ICT. Following the training course, and when the ICT tools will be mastered enough the 4 participants will conduct practical ICT workshops in order to share and transfer the acquired knowledge and skills. There will be a recognition of the skills acquired during the training course. Thanks to the training course , the 4 participants have better ICT knowledge and skills they are committed to transfering. They also play some sort of a pioneering role in the sense that they are the first (apart from language teacher ) to follow a training course provided in English. We hope that their experience feedback, will encourage staff members who need to become more confident about their English speaking capabilities to live such experiences. So we think that following a training course provided in English is consistent with our wish to go further into our European dynamic. Better ICT skills allow better teaching practices in line with the modern technologies and the demands of today's society. They also enable more staff members to get invollved in the European projects of our school. More attractive teaching practices and an enhanced european dynamic are definite assets for our school.

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