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Hildur Vignir, a Community Story from Iceland

In February and March when it became evident that COVID-19 was going to change the world, at the IÐAN Education Center they decided to move quickly. In just a few weeks, they revolutionised their teaching methods. Before they gave courses at the educational center but were in the process of developing reinventing online education. Now, a few months on, they are streaming lectures, producing webinars, podcasts, and offering online courses and educational material on the website to support and inspire their learners.

Hildur Vignir.

I'm the managing director of the IÐAN Educational Centre in Iceland. IÐAN is a private non-profit education and training provider supported by the Federation of Employees and Unions represented by the industries we serve nationwide. I've been the managing director from the start in 2006, but I have been working in the field of adult education since 1995. I am on the advisory board for EPALE in Iceland.

Good teamwork is key

IÐAN is a private non-profit education and training provider supported by the Federation of Employees and Unions represented by the industries we serve nationwide. It offers a wide range of services for its members from courses, to counseling and validation of prior learning. We also provide various services for the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and are involved in creating both national and international partnerships in order to embrace innovation and meet new challenges in support of our industry.

In February and March when it became evident that COVID-19 was going to change the world, we at the IÐAN Education Center decided to move quickly. In just a few weeks, we revolutionised our teaching methods. Before we gave courses at our educational center but were in the process of developing reinventing online education. Now, a few months on, we are streaming lectures, producing webinars, podcasts, and offering online courses and educational material on our website that supports and inspires our clients. During the lockdown in Iceland we worked from home and started each morning with a meeting on Microsoft Teams to touch base. At the end of the day we had another meeting to talk about how the projects were going. The meetings were helpful to organise and implement new strategies.

We quickly learned that our clients needed a morale boost and emotional support through these difficult times.

We came up with the idea of online Friday recess. It turned out to be very popular and a welcome breather from the pandemic and from the stress of juggling studying, remote working and family life. Our Friday recess included stand-up comedy, singing and philosophical dialogue. We are continuing our journey and reshaping education for both our students and teachers through new innovative teaching methods. To have a look: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8q_0ifh6RJUPH48LvS7wxkPfj1WjkQeD

Education is being reshaped for students and teachers alike through new, innovative teaching methods.

We believe that we are well prepared for the next school year and as a team less vulnerable to lockdowns and crises in general. We are very aware, though, that we still need to reach out to our students and clients with physical classes as distance learning is not always the best solution.

Crises tend to outline very clearly what matters to us, what we value most. We learned that good teamwork is essential to lead change in education and that necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

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