Blended learning: A form of education that replaces traditional teaching
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the quarantine reoriented the entire education system in a short time. VET schools faced a huge challenge by looking for solutions on how quickly to adapt a change, to organise training productively. Blended learning, where virtual lessons are remotely combined with practice in the classroom, has become a great way to organise the educational process. In order to run it smoothly, it has grown the importance of teachers’ digital competencies.
In order to provide necessary knowledge for VET teachers in the field of beauty sector on how to develop a digital learning material and organise a blended learning, Karalius Mindaugas Vocational Training Centre is implementing the Erasmus+ project “Innovative teaching and learning practice in the field of professions in beauty sector – INLESSON” No. 2019-1-LT01-KA202-060758, together with the project partners from Belgium (Centrum voor Volwassenenonderwijs DTL and Katholiek Onderwijs Vlaanderen), Portugal (Escola Profissional do Minho), and Greece (Action Synergy).
Innovative training activities for beauty professionals
During the first training activities, VET teachers from Lithuania, Belgium and Portugal, were trained on how to create attractive digital learning material for their lessons, moreover, much attention has also been paid to the Methodology how to organise blended learning in beauty sector. “ICT skills are becoming more and more important not only in today’s context, but in the future as well. Pandemic has forced us to organise distance or blended learning, but blended learning will undoubtedly become one of the models for vocational training in the future” – says “INLESSON” Project Manager Gintarė Lisauskaitė.
VET teachers who participated in training also agreed on the benefits of developing digital competencies. “When learning moves to virtual space or a blended learning is organised, the learning content needs to be oriented much more creatively and smarter. During the training, we worked practically with various free IT tools, for example, we learned to create videos for our lessons. Now, when I teach about cosmetology devices, I cannot only demonstrate them practically while making a video, but also explain each button and functions of the apparatus using IT tools” – says one of VET teacher who participated in training activities. Other VET teachers admitted that digital knowledge helped to feel more confidently. VET teachers were pleased to have improved their digital skills and received valuable practical advice that would be useful in day-to-day teaching practice.
During the project 6 modules (3 for hairdressers and 3 for beauticians) based on blended learning will be developed. Even more, all knowledge on how to create digital learning materials, what are basic steps, what are free IT tools that everyone can use and the necessary pedagogical knowledge on how to organise blended learning for students will be systematised by the project partners as the Guidelines for the development of digital content for blended learning and the Methodology how to organise blended learning.
Although the project INLESSON is still being implemented and digital learning material is being actively developed, a number of useful recommendations for VET teachers and developed digital learning material can already be found on the project website: www.io.inlesson.eu.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.