Teacher trainers and teacher students from Europa Seminar, Giessen, Germany and Haaga-Helia’s English teacher training programme tutors and teacher students have been collaborating in an Erasmus+ mobility project during the past two years. The project was launched just before Covid19 pandemic started. The original plan was to have teacher trainers and teacher students from Europa seminar for job-shadowing visits in Haaga-Helia School of Vocational Teacher education.
Soon after the travel arrangements were cancelled, we started to design online activities and decided to implement a workshop as part of Haaga-Helia’s partner webinar in March 2021. The teacher students from both institutions planned and facilitated the workshop collaboratively. The topic of the workshop was ‘Virtual or blended learning’ and the challenges and possibilities that teachers face in digital pedagogy were discussed. The workshop was successful and the teacher students received encouraging feedback from the participants.
Impact – what did we learn
It has been a valuable experience for both partners to experiment virtual mobility, which is in the focus in the new Erasmus+ programme 2021–2027. We also learned that challenges of digital pedagogy are shared internationally, as well as the ways to implement vocational pedagogy online. Working online and completing a shared activity created a win-win learning experience for both the teacher trainers and the students.
The collaboration is ongoing and the next workshop will be organized on the 2nd of December 2021. The German teacher trainers and their teacher students are already planning a visit to the School of Vocational Teacher education in spring 2022 and we have agreed that they will meet the teacher students from the English programme. This type of collaboration is especially beneficial for the teacher students who wish to develop their competence as part of the optional pedagogical theme “Global competence and human rights pedagogy”. The future of our collaboration with the German partners looks bright and we could consider implementing a joint COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) module with the next group.