In October 2018, I participated in the “Integrating Information and Communications Technology (ICT) into Teaching and Education” course in Bologna, Italy. This was associated with the study centres’ joint Erasmus+ mobility project. I chose this course as I wanted new ideas for using information and communications technology in our operating environment.
The content of the course was an excellent starting point towards this target. During the week, we had a look at eleven free mobile and/or computer applications. After a brief introduction and practice session, the course participants brainstormed together to find ideas on how each application could be used in teaching. The applications selected covered a wide range of very different purposes. Some were very easy to use while others would have required a lot more practice to make their different uses clear to the course participants.
The course’s approach was very practical. Some theory, a lot of practical activities and co-operation in and between groups. Unfortunately, I was the only participant from outside formal education systems, so the perspective was inevitably classroom-oriented. Regardless of this, the course evoked many different thoughts and ideas about using applications also in liberal adult education and especially in study centres, mainly on short courses. Turning ideas into concrete actions was left as an interesting piece of homework and will require some time to be set apart for this from daily work duties.
In addition to the excellent course content, the week was topped off by the other 13 brilliant course participants from Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland and Spain, Bologna’s cultural offering and excursions to Florence and Verona. Team spirit among the course participants could not have been better: apart from when we were studying or sleeping, we spent all of our time together, which made the course an even more profound experience. We had excellent discussions about life in our home countries. Many discussions touched upon the topic of Finland’s excellent Pisa results, but they also served as a confirmation of how unique and outstanding Finland’s liberal adult education system is.
Text and pictures: Pekka Kinnunen
Citizen’s Forum study centre
This article is part of a series of articles about learning experiences in the field of adult education in an European context. Our ERASMUS+ KA1 project is called “European Educational Know-how Supporting Civil Society”.