No 2009/01
  Online platforms for knowledge sharing in VET and HRD
 WIFO Home


  Dear Colleague

Online facilities for knowledge sharing have become part of our professional activities. Their success depends, above all, on how actively they involve the community in question. This newsletter highlights a few examples of platforms related to VET and HRD at European and international levels.

The latest global knowledge sharing platform, launched by UNESCO-UNEVOC, is TVETipedia (http://www.TVETipedia.org/). This is an online portal for the exchange of information on technical and vocational education and training (TVET). It is the place to find general information (a glossary) on TVET, examples of good practices and lessons learned, and collaboration on TVET projects. Included in the platform is a TVET blog.

The anticipated community of authors consists of all those who are interested in education for the world of work (practitioners, researchers or policy-makers). A core group for this community has in fact already emerged - the UNESCO-UNEVOC e-Forum (http://www.unevoc.unesco.org/e-forum), supported by a mailing list. This has been a lively and productive discussion forum for several years, addressing a wide range of issues, with contributions from all over the world (two of the most recent topics of detailed exchange being 'strategic management system of TVET institutions' and 'strategies for promoting entrepreneurship in schools'.

At the European level, interactive knowledge sharing related to VET and HRD, utilising discussion forums or blogging facilities, has not as yet become popular. Initiatives of this kind seem to have been more successful within specific experimental environments. An interesting example in this respect is the platform navreme (http://www.navreme.net/) - a knowledge development network concerned with issues of intercultural relations, transcultural cooperation, transboundary migration, information technology, interactive education, and virtual cooperation across Europe and beyond. Supported by various online facilities, members of the network carry out their activities via nodes in Vienna, Prague, Skopje, Ankara, Giurgiu and, most recently, also via a virtual university in the environment of SecondLife. The navreme newslog keeps website users up-to-date about latest activities.

The predominant function of other European online platforms, in support of project and network activities, has been to share resources, linked with the dissemination of news.

Most of you will be familiar with the network websites run by the European Research Network in Vocational Education and Training (VETNET - http://www.vet-research.net/) and the University Forum for Human Resource Development (UFHRD - http://www.ufhrd.co.uk/). A major resource provided by each of these is a systematic collection of papers submitted to the respective annual conferences.

Another active collaborative platform is VETCULTURE (http://www.peda.net/veraja/uta/vetculture), the former EMVET portal, just reproduced with a new layout. This is the virtual home for the VET & CULTURE network, which is engaged in practising cross-cultural, independent and critical research, debate and academic teaching about relations between education, work and politics. Network activities can be followed up on several sub-portals, one for instance experimenting with the academic apprenticship in various contexts of collaborative projects and ongoing MA & PhD research.

The latest news on the VETCULTURE portal is the announcement of the16th network conference "Inclusion and Exclusion in a Globalised World", due to take place in the University of Zurich 26-29 August 2009. The first day is dedicated to the supervision of students. The draft programme and information are available online (http://www.peda.net/veraja/uta/vetculture/conferencesandevents/zurich09). Abstracts with title and affiliation should be sent by 30 April and inquiries directed to stefanie.stolz@igb.uzh.ch

Further online platforms are included in the WIFO pages below:

- Associations and networks: http://www.b.shuttle.de/wifo/educ/r-ass.htm

- Services in support of learning: http://www.b.shuttle.de/wifo/educ/r-ser.htm

You may miss, on the above pages, the link to the familiar European Training Village. This platform seems to no longer exist; former sections are now incorporated in the CEDEFOP website (http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/). A continuing service from the former ETV is the Newsletter, which keeps you up to date with European vocational training news, including calls for proposals and tenders from Cedefop and the EU institutions, e-documents, new websites and forthcoming European and international events (http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/etv/News/newsletter.asp).

You are welcome to submit further information about online platforms and other forms of knowledge sharing in the area of learning and work.

Kind regards
Sabine Manning

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 Editor: Sabine Manning © WIFO