Tag Archives: Grundtvig

Farewell MobAd!

MobAd Project, Final Meeting _Cyprus 2014

MobAd Project, Final Meeting _Cyprus 2014

Cyprus in July and a heatwave greets us. As we arrive in Nicosia – or Lefcosia as the locals know it –the temperature is already 40° C, and set to rise over the next few days to 45.8°, and that is hot!

Along with our partners from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, we have gathered for the very last meeting of the Grundtvig project ‘Mobility Advising: a way to stimulate motivation for mobility among adult learners’.

After two years of working together on the MobAd project, it is clear that there are a number of ways in which this work can be sustained and further developed.

There is a strong feeling among the partners that mobility is a very important topic and one that could be pursued over a number of EU projects.
The main aim of this current project was to increase the number of learning mobilities undertaken between EU states, first and foremost by providing well trained staff in educational organisations acting as ‘mobility advisors’ to young and adult learners. This is a role without a specific standardised or recognised qualification, and with varying descriptions of what responsibilities it carries. By taking part in international mobility programmes delivered by these specially trained Mobility Advisors, more learners would improve their key competences and skills and thus increase their own employability, and consequently gain improved access to the labour market.

So, while sustainability can be achieved for the MobAd project in the usual way, by exploiting as many ways of disseminating our work as possible, for us that is a given. In addition, we want to take forward our work more formally, by applying for two further projects under the new Erasmus+ Programme.
One of these will be to continue the development of an accredited online course for Mobility Advisors, and the second will be to turn our attention to work we did at the start of the MobAd project in our Survey on the Barriers to Mobility. Our intention is to take this strand of the mobility process and working with young people themselves, investigate in detail how they can be better engaged, informed and motivated to participate in European mobility programmes, not only gaining vital knowledge and skills, but progress in their journey towards employability, specific job readiness, and more generally for opportunity readiness. And of course this would include the introduction of the Rickter Scale Process!

It quickly became evident that there is great variation between the participating countries in how mobilities for young people are perceived outside each country’s borders, the information that is available, the preparation for the mobility itself, the way in which the mobilities are organised and evaluated, and who in fact are the experts in this field. Particularly after completing this project, there is clearly a lot more work to be done.
It is also highly significant that the ‘Special Eurobarometer 417’, coordinated by the European Commission and only published in June 2014, records statistics about poor levels of information about mobility and even poorer figures for actual engagement. This is particularly true of the UK, where European mobilities for young people are hardly promoted at all. Even the word ‘mobilities’ is very rarely heard or understood in the UK!
It is situations like this that continue motivate the MobAd team and in particular the Rickter Company to ensure both the sustainability of the project, and its effective development in the future.

Keith Stead, CEO – The Rickter Company Ltd

Austrian Conference sees the completion of Grundtvig Media Addiction Project

Final Meeting

In May Keith and Nan, accompanied by four Rickter Company Associates attended the final conference for our Plan 2 Grundtvig Learning Partnership in Austria. This project has been about raising awareness of parents, teachers and professionals to the risks children face from computer gaming, social media and cyber-bullying.

The lead partner is the Foundation for Media and Online Addiction, Lunenburg, Germany who have developed LAN-Parties. This is a programme designed to work with parents and professionals to raise awareness of how children feel while using computer games and the risks involved in social media. They work through schools to reach their target groups of pupils, teachers and parents.

One of the other partners is the Romanian German Foundation, Timisoara, Romania. This is a vocational college working mainly with unemployed people to gain skills and qualifications in such things as heating engineering, plumbing, English Language etc.

Our partner hosts for this event were FAB in Linz who are the largest vocational college in Austria. They run a variety of courses and specialise in support for people with disabilities. The conference was held in their college and we were shown the workshops that employ disabled people and had a chance to observe their work. They have partnerships with Nestlé to supply packed goods and an Engineering Contract where they make machine parts. They also have a catering kitchen and run the college canteen, as well as a print office, cabinet makers, laundry, gardening and construction areas. These workshops can be used as a training base which up-skill people to move into open employment or the trainees, who are paid a living wage and can work there for as long as they wish.

The aim of the conference was to share our work with other professionals and political representatives. The event was well attended with representatives from all four countries, as well as many professionals from Linz. After being welcomed by our hosts there followed presentations and workshops.

Meral Akin-Hecke, Digital Champion Austria of the European Union spoke on “Competence instead of Fear” looking at why it is important to overcome the digital gap. Patricia Groib, Safer Surfing, Linz talked on, “Control versus Competence and Arnhild Zorr-Werner, Foundation Media and Online Addiction, Lunenburg, topic was “In the past everything was easier and nowadays does new media need new education?” There were also several workshops afterwards and an Information Zone where Rickter was represented. The conference was well received and successfully raised awareness of the subject matter for those attending. We are very grateful to our friends in Linz for organising this event and hosting it so wonderfully.

While in Linz our hosts took us to the Museum of the Future which is shaped like a ship and is situated right next to the River Danube. Here we saw the history of computing, work on cloning plants and animals, how plastics can be computer generated into working objects and the fantastic three dimensional space zone. A small yellow motorised train took us around Linz to give us a taste of the city and in the evening we attended a social dinner back at the museum in their Cubas Restaurant, which offered wonderful food and views of Linz.

Nan Wood
Director of Operations

MobAd: Motivation for mobility among adult learners

DSCF8607The Rickter Company is involved in a European Grundtvig Project which is looking at the role of a Mobility Adviser. This is a person who would advise on learning mobilities for students, encouraging them to travel to different countries to access courses, qualifications and to build confidence and experience.

We have already explored the barriers that prevent people from taking up mobility opportunities. These would include; family responsibilities, different food, being alone in a strange country and not speaking the language.

Keith and Nan travelled to Poznan in Poland to meet with our other partners from Germany, Cyprus, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Romania. Our partners in Poznan hosted this meeting and looked after us incredibly well.

We are in the process of outlining a profile of the skills and expertise required by a Mobility Adviser to enable them to engage with people and to fulfil this role to the best of their ability. Through an earlier poll in all the partnership countries we discovered that the UK has the least knowledge and use of mobilities.

Our partner in Lithuania shared their vast experience of working with young people and encouraging them to engage in the mobilities programmes. They say as well as any qualifications gained, the changes in confidence and motivation when these young people return is vast.

We were lucky enough to have a little time to visit the historical parts of Poznan and view their beautiful cathedral and the Castle of Kόrnik, before flying home.

Project update: Grundtvig Learning Partnership (MobAd). Creating the MobAd Manual.

On 12 January, we welcomed our European partners from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Lithuania, and Poland to a meeting of the Grundtvig Learning Partnership Project (MobAd), held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Unfortunately on this occasion our colleagues from Romania were unable to join us.

The partnership is an EU-funded Grundtvig Project called ‘Mobility Advising: – a way to stimulate motivation for Mobility among adult learners’. This was our fifth such meeting, with two further meetings scheduled for March in Romania and June in Cyprus.

Our meetings this time revolved around the development of the course Manual for a new skill-set to be offered to those already helping individuals make career choices or simply wanting to look at their options for further work experience or training. When people do this outside their own countries, the practice is known in Euro-speak as a ‘mobility’. We want to encourage Careers Advisors to become more informed about such opportunities by taking a specific course in Mobility Advising. Results from a survey which we carried out demonstrate the greatest need for such knowledge and skills is required right here in the UK, where the word ‘mobility’ is usually preceded by ‘shop’ or followed by ‘scooter’.

The MobAd Manual will in fact be the core product of the learning partnership. There will be four sections: “Information – Motivation – Organisation – Assessment and Evaluation” – with each chapter giving answers to frequently asked questions, such as:

  • How do I become a Mobility Adviser?
  • How do I successfully motivate people to help overcome any barriers they might have?
  • How do I evaluate the mobility process, and
  • How do I monitor the progress of the individual’s mobility?

We also spent time together taking a guided tour of historic Newcastle and enjoying a tasty social dinner in a city centre restaurant. Looking forward to meeting again in Iasi, Romania.

European Media Addiction Project visits Newcastle

Boy Playing a Video Game

This week sees the Rickter Company playing host to our partners in our Plan 2.0 Project which is working with parents to help them identify the risks their children face of cyber-bullying and addiction to computer games and social media.

Partners from Germany, Romania and Austria will join us in Newcastle where we will be looking at an adaptation of a model of work called “LAN Party” which has been developed in Germany.

Within this meeting we will also be discussing youth protection and we will have a presentation from Nathalie Noret, Senior Lecturer from the University of York St John and a leading researcher and speaker on cyber-bullying. We also plan to take our visitors on a walking trip around Newcastle, visiting the castle and other places of interest.

Grundtvig Media Addictions Project Questionnaire

Young Girl at School Holding a Computer MousePlease will you help us by completing this Questionnaire (Word Document) (Opens in new window)

We are gathering information for a European project, looking at the problems children might experience with cyber-bullying and over-use or inappropriate use of the internet, and want to know about your concerns as adults and professionals.

Taking just a few minutes to complete and return the Questionnaire will be most valuable to us. Thank you.

Please forward your questionnaire by 30th April to keith@rickterscale.com

Keith Stead: Director of The Rickter Company and UK member of the Grundtvig Plan 2.0 Project.

Invitation to participate in our MobAd Questionnaire

Learning

The Rickter Company is currently part of a Grundvig Partnership to look at the barriers to people using Mobilities to travel to other European Countries to access learning.

We are currently undertaking a survey and would like to invite you to take part by using this link: http://miroslava.licee.edu.ro/MobAd/ModAd.html

Any participation is anonymous and we would welcome your views and input. Thank you for your participation.

New Media Project

The Rickter Company, along with services from Bulgaria, Romania and Germany recently became a partner in a Grundtvig European Project which is entitled, “Professionalization of pedagogic personnel in adult education for parents critically reflected dealing with media“.

So, I hear you ask yourself what is that all about?

Germany is the lead partner in this project and has developed a model of working with parents to help them become more aware and tackle computer addiction in children. These addictions are around social media sites, gaming etc. The aim of the project is to look at each country and develop a social study on methods and interventions regarding media competence. There will be a website developed to publish the results and a forum to effectively exchange ideas and methods.

The final outcome will be to develop a concept for media education within adult education. Our first meeting was in Luneburg, Germany where we discussed the project and responsibilities of each partner and the outline of work over the next two years.

Bernd Werner

The photograph shows Keith and I with Bernd Werner of Stiftung Medien-and Online Sucht who were our hosts. We were shown around Luneburg Town Hall where we met with the mayor and explained the project and partnership. Our next meeting is in Romania in June 2013 and I will keep you up to date on our progress.