CONCRIT PEER REVIEW TRAINING LAB

Last week I had the pleasure of spending time exploring different methodologies and practices around critical thinking and the construction and de-construction of narratives, with partners and practitioners from different European countries. This is part of an exciting European project that PVM are collaborating on, called Concrit. 

Concrits aim is to create new educational tools to train, teach and empower communities. Specifically, concentrating on critical thinking and the construction and de-construction of narratives through digital storytelling. The aim being to strengthen the self-confidence of the learners, empowering them to grow in self-confidence, find their own collective voice and to strengthen a sense for local action.

Last week’s Peer Review training was meant to take part in Berlin but for obvious reasons it was online instead. And of course, online training and co-production can’t ever take the place of being together in person, but it has to be said it was still a fruitful experience.

We used the online platform Jitsi and the virtual whiteboard application Miro Board. Jitsi was quite unpredictable, getting frozen and kicked out if the internet wavered, however, I found that once again the Miroboard was an excellent tool to collaborate on and to share information and ideas.

And share ideas, we did. We tried out a variety of practices and then applied them to real life settings and then reflected on their effectiveness. The next step is to develop them further, re-designing and adapting them to suit different settings and groups. The most effective will be chosen to add to the learning paths that we are developing.

I’m looking forward to seeing the partner again in the new year for more sharing and creating together.

Kath Peters 

EUROPEAN LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEK

This week it is European Local Democracy Week (ELDW). This pan European event is targeted specifically at local and regional authorities (local communities, cities, municipalities, provinces, regions). The general aim is to promote and foster democratic participation at a local level throughout public initiatives which involve citizens.

“Local democracy: building trust. Co-designing local democracy together with citizens and practicing open government” is the leading theme of 2020.

Coinciding with this week’s events we had a planning meeting today, to co-create training for the EUROSPECTIVES 2.0. This is an Erasmus Plus project that we are working on with other European partners 

This is inspiring Erasmus project brings together knowledge, experience and skills from a number of EU organisations, from Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy and the UK.  Getting our heads together and co-creating a Digital Storytelling curriculum for non-formal and formal educators, facilitators and activists. 

Despite the pandemic we are moving forward using online platforms, and today we had a meeting to plan blended training for the new year. We are all itching to get started and test out our modules and sessions. 

#ErasmusDays  #ErasmusDays2020  #ErasmusPlus #Europe #edchat #edtech #edpolicy #edreform #teachers #openaccess #OER #STEAM #STEM #artsed #elearning #classroom #teachers #cpchat  

CONCRIT TNP in Poland

Part of my role at PVM is to manage an exciting European project called Concrit. 

The aim of the pan European project is to create new educational tools to train, teach and empower communities. Specifically, concentrating on critical thinking and the construction and de-construction of narratives through digital storytelling. The aim being to strengthen the self-confidence of the learners, empowering them to grow in self-confidence, find their own collective voice and to strengthen a sense for local action.

Last week, Concrits second Trans National Partnership meeting took place, it was hosted in the fair port city of Gydnia, in Poland. It was great to catch up with partners and although I attended online, I imagined myself enjoying the sea breeze and maybe a poroggi (delicious Polish dumpling) or two. 

Despite the meeting being blended (online and in person) it went very well using a number of platforms, such as Jitsi and Zoom. We also used the virtual whiteboard application Miro Board. This is an excellent tool to collaborate on and to share information and ideas.

During the meeting we found out what specific group each partner will be working with. There are a varied mix of groups, including; parents and families, homeless people, people with mental health issues, migrant workers, older people in a remote rural setting and an urban neighbourhood. 

An important element of this project is to conduct a thorough, useful and inclusive needs assessment for each community. Part of my role is to design this. During the meeting we collectively looked at it and made some tweaks and changes to it, using the Miro board. 

The plan now, is to work with our communities to discover what their needs are, what learning gaps there are, if any. Then we will design specific inclusive learning paths for these specific communities, developing them and then testing them out when we meet again at the training labs in December.

Watch this space.

Kath Peters – PVM Concrit Project Manager

DIGITAL STORYTELLING TRAINING FOR NON-FORMAL EDUCATION

In July I took part in online training in ‘Digital Storytelling for Non-formal Education’ as part of the Eurospectives project. It was originally going to be delivered in Copenhagen but because of Covid-19 it was delivered online. The training was designed by the partner organisations as part of a new curriculum for facilitators in non-formal education. The training ran for 5 days and each day a different area was looked at and delivered by a different partner organisation.  

The training allowed me to learn about new methods in delivering digital storytelling. It explored how it can be used in different ways and in different contexts. We learned how to use digital storytelling in campaign work and how to capture the ‘lived experience’ using digital technology. As well as the practical side we also explored the theoretical side; looking at why storytelling is important, how to establish the context in which you work, the best methods to approach different groups and how to create and measure impact. 

The online platforms that were used were effective and each session was well delivered with expertise and knowledge relevant to the subject area. I particularly like the use of break out groups in Zoom as it was great to be able to discuss in pairs or smaller groups and then feedback. I really enjoyed the interactivity and listening to other people’s views and experiences. There were also some interesting and useful digital platforms that we used and I will use again.