Learning Communities & Self-learning Competences: An EPALE Talk with Jochen Robes and Dörte Stahl

On this EPALE Talk, Jochen Robes and I take a look at Learning Communities, at different forms and formats, from Communities of Practice to Working Out Loud, at examples and experiences, bringing together adult and continuing education perspectives in the process.

Our topics were:

  • Why do we think Learning Communities are important? And how do we see the connection to self-learning competences / capacities?
  • What forms of learning communities are we talking about?
  • What characterises a good / successful learning community?
  • What role do “presence” and “online” play in the exchange in learning communities?

Unfortunately, the video is only available in German; you may insert English subtitles.

EPALE Talk: Jochen Robes and Dörte Stahl talk about learning communities and self-learning competences.

An overview (also unfortunately only in German) of the following, unrecorded discussion is given by Jochen Robes here: https://epale.ec.europa.eu/de/content/epale-talk-learning-communities-und-selbstlernkompetenzen

LifeComp: Competences for life and learning in times of transition

The European Framework for Personal, Social and Learning to Learn Key Competence (LifeComp) and what it could mean for adult education and learning.

This article was first published on EPALE: https://epale.ec.europa.eu/en/blog/lifecomp-competences-life-and-learning-times-transition

We live in a time of transition, which makes demands on us both as individuals and communities. Changes to society caused by migration, the rapid transformation of the world of work due to digitalisation, and the transition to climate-neutral economies are just a few examples. We need more than just new skills and knowledge in certain areas if we are to master and help shape the ensuing challenges. We need wide-ranging competences that equip us to deal with the most diverse circumstances.

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Critical Thinking as a competence for 21st century

In May, I had the pleasure to provide a workshop on “Critical Thinking as a competence for 21st century” for the ErasmusPlus project “TeDiCom – Teaching Digital Competences in Adult Education”.

I started with a comprehensive overview of the topic of critical thinking by embedding it in a larger framework of important competencies for the 21st century.
Next clarifying the term with examples and at the same time explaining what critical thinking is not. Finally, I gave a number of practical tips on how to promote critical thinking skills in everyday educational work with adults.

Here is the recording of my input.

And here you can find my presentation and other really recommendable workshops from the project: https://kultur-life.de/projekte/tedicom/online-training-on-digital-competences .

The “Digital Education Initiative”: Boost or Barrier to Adult Learning?

This article was first published on EPALE in German: https://epale.ec.europa.eu/de/blog/die-initiative-digitale-bildung-schub-oder-schranke-fuer-das-lernen-erwachsener.

On February 22, 2021, the “Initiative Digital Education” was presented. The pandemic has shown that there is still a lot of room for improvement in the design and development of digital education, which is why the initiative wants to give digital education a boost. To this end, a national education platform and a digital education space are to be created as an “open overall architecture for digital learning,” according to Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek 1.

The national education platform is to create secure access to a digital education space that contains a wide range of learning opportunities 2. Much remained unclear, but the platform and education space are to be combined:

  • include existing and new learning platforms and offerings
  • Provide learners with a single point of access to these offerings and platforms
  • Provide learners with individual learning paths
  • Make educational materials available
  • Store certificates centrally
  • Provide networking opportunities
  • Ensure quality of learning offerings through seals of approval and standardization
  • Regulating data security for all areas of education

Digital education: adult education also addressed

Right at the start, Minister Karliczek spoke of “learning in all phases of education,” and Chancellor Merkel, patron of the initiative, also made it clear “that digital education is not just for schools, not just for universities, but that we also want to address people of all ages.” So adult learning is explicitly addresses, and that’s very gratifying, because it’s not always part of education discussions. But was adult learning thought of, was it meant to be included?

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