Adult learning in the workplace
Adult learning in the workplace is essential for functional elementary education of adults, and only in this way can the desired results be achieved, especially in motivating vulnerable groups for learning and education. The development of IT technology and multimedia teaching content has proven to be especially suitable for motivating adults to learn, especially since the use of such teaching content develops digital competencies in addition to acquiring knowledge.
Of course, in order to design and use these types of teaching material, staff need to acquire appropriate knowledge and digital skills to be able to design multimedia teaching content and use electronic textbooks. The school I work in pays special attention to this. I was a part of the project called Digital classroom – a digitally competent teacher, and I was trained in the use of e-textbooks and other multimedia teaching contents that are needed to deliver high quality lessons and make students active participants in the teaching process. I even held demo classes on the use of electronic textbooks for the staff of the school I work in and other schools, and that was quite a challenging task. Apart from sharing the knowledge I acquired through this project, I also exchanged some examples of good practice with my colleagues. A great breakthrough in the sphere of motivating school staff came with the ''Selfie'' project which analysed the use of digital technologies through a questionnaire. As a school, we examined the digital competencies of the staff and students by participating in this project, and all colleagues who needed it were given an opportunity to take a course called ''Developing digital competencies'', which was organized by the Institute for Educational Advancement. Through the use of digital textbooks, I realized that technology in the classroom was essential for high quality lessons. The participants found interactive tasks particularly interesting. In these tasks participants not only actively participated in the teaching process, but were also trained to individually reach certain conclusions and use the acquired knowledge.
Apart from these examples, it is crucial for teachers to attend certain seminars each year in order to acquire certain competencies, and to give a lecture about it and share their experience with their colleagues. In the school for elementary adult education Obrenovac in Obrenovac (Serbia), this is a common practice, apart from demo classes.
Our school also teaches at two institutions for the execution of criminal sanctions: at the Youth Detention Centre Valjevo and the Belgrade District Prison. We are participating in an Erasmus+ project with the support of the Foundation Tempus – Education in Jail: a Way to be Free. This project has significantly improved the andragogical competencies of the staff at our institution for effective work with adults, especially with adults in institutions for the execution of criminal sanctions. One teacher, Ivan Šarčević, visited prisons in Italy, while I – Mirjana Kujović, a Serbian language teacher, visited prisons in Croatia. We met other colleagues from Serbia involved in adult education on this trip, so we were able to learn from each other. We became acquainted with the prison education systems in Italy and Croatia, and we understood the benefits of their system compared to ours, and vice versa. Certainly, upon our return to Serbia, we gave a lecture to colleagues at our school and in the treatment services at the Youth Detention Centre Valjevo and Belgrade District Prison.
This text is only a small contribution to adult learning in the workplace, as this topic is inexhaustible and never-ending. Acquiring knowledge certainly does not end once you graduate, we must develop and learn daily, advance our teaching practices and the teaching process, as this is the only way to achieve the desired results.