I am a 75 year old adult education vocational supervisor and teacher. I am a school manager and adult education administration and programme expert. I have 22 years of experience in the field of adult education. My fields of interest are mathematics, physics and information technology. I currently work at Informatika-Számítástechnika Tanárok Egyesülete (Association of IT and Computer Science Teachers). I first heard about the EPALE community at a conference hosted by the National Office of Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning. I have been active on the platform for 4 years. EPALE provides a broad perspective on a range of topics and allows us to present our own activities.
We have been operating an accredited further training programme for teachers for 22 years. We have been functioning as an accredited and licensed adult education institution for 19 years. We have been involved in providing technical support for out-of-classroom digital education. We have continued our current training programmes for teachers and adult education courses online during the state of emergency. At the request of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, we have hosted a 30-hour series of authorised free online trainings for SMEs entitled ‘Basics of digital administration’, through our own Moodle system, with instructors from the Hungarian Electronic Signature Association. How has COVID-19 affected my professional life? A lot of my work is online so that I can spend my time efficiently.
Due to my age, I am naturally nervous about being at risk, so I have followed all the government guidelines.
I have continued to teach online, using 2 or 3 different platforms: Zoom, Skype, ClassRoom, Messenger, and the telephone. We have switched to online events for the attendance-based parts of the courses. The state of emergency was unexpected both for adults and children. Although the digital hardware and software investments and further trainings over the past 10-15 years have not had an impact on millions of people, when the state of emergency was declared, there was an immediate sense of solidarity, collaboration, interpersonal cooperation and learning from one another. The enactment of the Digital Welfare Programme established the legal foundation for that. The GINOP (Economic Development and Innovation Operational Programs) and VEKOP (Competitive Central Hungary Operational Programs) projects have involved 260,000 people in the trainings entitled, ‘Narrowing the digital divide‘.
My pupils have a certain degree of knowledge but required far more time spent on them, as they were unfamiliar with video and file-sharing applications. The main difference between distance learning and classroom-style lessons is that there is limited contact between the participants, therefore there is a lack of interaction.
Changes in the provision of adult learning are inevitable. They are also necessary, so that digital literacy and culture can facilitate how adults acquire knowledge.
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