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JOBIT: Innovative teaching methodologies and courseware for software development Vocational Education and Training (VET) to reduce skills gap in IT

With low unemployment rates and high demand across a variety of regions and vertical markets, the IT job market is among the most robust in Europe in 2015. Topping the list of must-have IT professionals for companies wanting to build new products or develop proprietary internal systems, are software developers and software engineers. However, the current supply of the educational system does not match either the quality or the quantity of the outstripping growth of the ICT sector requirements. An additional concern from the quality aspect is the lack of qualified teachers for software development courses. In order to address these issues, European University Cyprus participates in a consortium of vocational schools, employers and educational staff, who will be brought together to develop a training course aimed at educating students in becoming junior software developers. At its outset, the program will focus on identifying the true educational and organizational needs of the software engineering market, as well as on establishing the theoretical and methodological foundation in software development with respect to VET school graduates. Based on these findings, a course accompanied with a handbook of learning material and resources, will be designed and timely delivered to selected teaching personnel. The project will develop common learning materials for an EQF level 4 VET school software development course to guarantee the best possible teaching quality and learning outcomes of the study program. The next step will be to train VET teachers, with the aim of complementing their skills and knowledge on the topic and of familiarizing them with the current labour market needs. The training program will be developed in close collaboration with employers, working specialists, and will additionally include an apprenticeship. The project deliverables will be the product of joint effort between (i) European University Cyprus; (ii) CEIPES, a center for the promotion of education and development based in Italy; and (iii) BCS Koolitus, an Esthonian ICT training and consulting company.

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CS4HS: Developing A Trainer of Trainers Course

Google’s CS4HS initiative is an annual grant program promoting computer science education worldwide. In particular, CS4HS supports colleges and universities in their efforts to provide professional development training for local high school and middle school teachers. The ICTEE laboratory team, led by Mr. Pericles Cheng, and also including Dr. George Christou and Dr. Konstantinos Katzis, will design and implement a Training of Trainers course which will introduce Cypriot high-school teachers to the use of robotic platforms (NXT Lego Robots), for the purpose of teaching programming principles to their students.

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NeReLa: Building network of remote labs for strengthening university secondary vocational schools collaboration

The wider objective of this project is to increase attractiveness of engineering education through innovative teaching methods as well as through the strengthening of university- secondary vocational schools collaboration The specific objectives, which the project shall achieve, are the following:

  • To build cross-universities network of remote engineering laboratories in order to enhance engineering education at Serbian HE institutions
  • To strengthen university-secondary vocational schools collaboration through secondary vocational schools teacher training in using resources of The Library of Remote Experiments
  • To bring remote engineering experiments into secondary vocational school classrooms in order to promote engineering education attractiveness to prospective engineering students.
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ENTELIS: European Network for Technology Enhanced Learning in an Inclusive Society

The development of digital skills is important for the inclusion and participation, further learning, employability, emancipation and active citizenship and self-fulfilment of people with disabilities. ENTELIS, a KA3 ICT Multilateral Network, aims to address issues of reducing the digital divide, especially for people with disabilities of all ages, and to increase participation and social inclusion, by creating a sustainable network of significant stakeholders in digital competence acquisition of people with disabilities. The project will promote the quality and quantity of opportunities for learners with disabilities, by sharing experiences and expertise and by providing policymakers, and the entire community committed to support people with disabilities, with foresight scenario’s and roadmaps. The role of assistive technology in educational processes will be a central issue in this project, although also mainstream ICT and accessibility issues will be addressed.

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SimSchool: Deeper Learning Modules for Learning to Teach

The SimSchool Modules Project is a project sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) in collaboration with CurveShift (simSchool) and Pragmatic Solutions, Inc. (Leverage). The project, which has been selected from a field of more than 600 pre-proposals and 50 finalists, aims to enhance the simSchool platform, a ‘flight simulator’ for teachers, to become a fully-realized teacher training platform for higher education. The project has/will develop, pilot test, and disseminate modules for learning to teach via simSchool, through an international network of colleges of education. Participating institutions have been undertaking both local and project-wide collaborative research (e.g. utilize shared protocols, share findings, co-author reports and articles with each other and other simSchool partners). The developed modules provide a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where instructors can explore instructional strategies, examine classroom management techniques, and practice building relationships with students that will translate into increased learning. Using simSchool enables transformational experiences for teachers to help them become more effective leaders in their schools and learning communities.

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The aim of the proposed project is to establish blended learning as an inherent part of the teaching practice in European University Cyprus. In particular, the project has the following main objectives

1. To design, implement and test two prototype (2) blended learning courses

2. To train instructors of European University Cyprus in the design and implementation of blended learning courses

3. To use the experience gained from the implementation of the prototype courses for the design, implementation and testing of a blended learning course for each degree offered by European University Cyprus

The project was implemented by members of the ICT –Enhanced Education (ICTEE) laboratory within the period of two years (2010 – 2012).

The implementation of the Blended Learning project brings European University of Cyprus at the forefront of applied educational technology in Cyprus. While all Cypriot institutions utilize specific ICT educational tools as part of their courses, the implementation of this project resulted in the establishment of the first full-scale use of blended learning methodologies as an inherent part of the educational process.

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SMASH: Helping Parents to Help their Children Excel in Mathematics and Science

Acknowledging the central role of parents in children’s learning, SMASH aims to raise the educational standards of European youth in mathematics and science by cultivating underlying home cultures as springboards for learning. The project consortium has developed an intercultural parent-trainer training course and related resources for European teachers, school administrators, representatives of parent associations, and other professionals involved in training activities for parents. Through combined use of e-learning and physical meetings, the course prepares these professionals to implement in their communities culturally differentiated parent-training programs for supporting elementary and middle school children’s (ages 6-15) development in mathematics and science. Online multilingual resources support and promote the program’s activities and objectives by offering open access to the parent-trainer training course content, tools, and resources.

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EarlyStatistics: Enhancing the Teaching and Learning of Early Statistical Reasoning in European Schools

EarlyStatistics, aimed to enhance statistics instruction in European schools by harnessing the power of the Internet to provide teachers with access to a wide array of colleagues, discussions, and resources eluding them in their workplace. The project consortium developed and pilot tested an online professional development course in statistics education targeting elementary and middle school mathematics teachers around Europe. The course facilitates intercultural collaboration of teachers using contemporary technological tools and resources. An online information base offers access to standards-based pedagogical models, didactic approaches, and instructional materials, resulting in a complete and flexible teacher professional development program.

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AVD-Merge: Educational Network Structure for Dissemination of Real Time AV/Data Communication in Engineering Education

The project focused on pedagogical and didactical methodologies targeting science and engineering teaching staff, for the effective integration of AVD communication services in eLearning and distance teaching processes. The knowledge base developed through the project offers organized expert and collective end-user knowledge on best practices, technical advice, didactical methodologies, and training modules on the effective integration of AVD communication in instruction.

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E!3118 – Eurolearn European Welder

The project developed and validated a new pedagogical framework for organizing, delivering and carrying out in-company skills development by using a coordinated audio, video and data collaboration environment. The model area is the welding industry, but the same training principles could be transferred to a wide variety of other industrial sectors that follow standards, including manufacturing, construction, electronics, and automotive industries.