Digital Firefly partner Valnalón, a public company of the Government of the Principality of Asturias, has been working on designing and implementing entrepreneurial education projects since 1987 in Spain and other countries.
From the start, their main focus was on teacher training for implementing these educational projects and their application in classrooms with students. This training, initially planned in a face-to-face format, gradually began to be developed in a combined format in which the face-to-face sessions had greater weight, while the online sessions were intended for the development of content reinforcement activities. At that time, there was no need to consider a larger-scale virtual format, as face-to-face training allowed us to achieve our objectives with the teaching staff.
Adapting to the pandemic
In the wake of the pandemic, the design of teacher training needed to be rethought in a context of urgency, as face-to-face training had to be dispensed with. A virtual platform was created to develop direct support for teachers throughout the teaching-learning process. This meant that the content and methodology of the training had to be restructured, facilitating the autonomous work of teachers and making them active agents in their training.
The ease of participating in virtual training is now guaranteed, but the immersion in this new format was also peculiar for all those involved. The trainers rethought that the presentation of contents should last a short period of time and that the teachers’ doubts should be resolved in a cooperative manner; that the contents should be studied in depth through dynamics in small groups and rooms, to then share the work with the rest of the course participants, using collaborative applications; and finally, that the exchange of work experiences should continue to be carried out, which is what is most valued by the course participants.
The teaching staff, for their part, have improved their digital competencies with significant advances in its use, boosted in part by the networking favoured by the pandemic. Their predisposition, willingness to share experiences and attitude also improved, increasing the number of cameras turned on during the training sessions.
Enriching teacher training
Teacher training has been enriched under a new scenario, which now, almost two years later, offers us a combined scenario that allows us to hold virtual and face-to-face training sessions in an atmosphere of greater confidence on the part of both trainers and participants. The digital support formats have also been enriched by developing more attractive, visual, interactive and iconographic resources.
The model of classroom accompaniment with students that we developed in the implementation of our educational projects also underwent an important change in our approach. The monitoring has gone from visits with face-to-face contact in face-to-face, dynamic and experiential workshops to a virtual model with a new methodology. The students, during the lockdown, received video calls that they managed and planned, which they welcomed and appreciated as a breath of fresh air in a school closed to external visits. Now, with the possibility of entry into the centres, the support modality is combined with face-to-face visits for specific workshops and online reinforcement through email or video call communication that the students continue to manage with greater practice and digital agility.
Entrepreneurial education is now unfolding in a new panorama enriched by networking, by a more favourable attitude and predisposition of trainers, teachers and students, the adaptation of methodologies, the improvement of digital skills and a new context that is still growing and from which we must continue to learn.
Written by Amara Hinojal Rascón and Raquel García Rodríguez
Entrepreneurial education techniques
in Valnalón – Asturias (Spain)
Find out more about Valnalón and their work in continued teacher training and entrepreneurship education on their website: http://www.valnalon.com/web/