In a multimedia classroom in Pingdu Secondary Vocational Technical School (Pingdu VEC), Ms. Dong Ping, a Chinese teacher on planting and breeding, is presenting her teaching plan using the A.S.K Competence Model she learnt yesterday, to a room of her colleagues, and to a German trainer in Thailand present online.
It is the second morning of a five-day training session on the topic of digital teaching and learning organized by GIZ’s Academy for International Cooperation and the Sino-German Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) for 14 teachers from Pingdu VEC during 2-6 August 2021. Through the training, the Chinese teachers should be better prepared both pedagogically and technologically when carrying out online trainings, a task they will need to perform in the end of October this year, for technical vocational education teachers in Laos.
“Compared to physical trainings, the learning outcome will be challenged by lack of practices caused by the online format, and by lack of practicing equipment since teachers in Laos might be joining from home.” Ms. Dong tried to analyze the problem. “… as a solution, I will combine the teaching methods including lecturing, demonstration, group work, and assignments to achieve the competence goals in terms of knowledge, attitude, and skills”.
Ms. Dong’s teaching plan is prepared for the next TVET trainings for Laos, one of the activities of the triangular cooperation project Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for Rural Jobs in Laos. With the objective to increase the capacities of Lao TVET teachers in rural job profiles, the project facilitates trainings of Laotian TVET teachers and instructors which planned to take place on the campus of Pingdu VEC in China. Since last year when the pandemic restricted most of international travels, the project team had to turn to digital solutions for the project activities.
In the first online trainings for Laos in September 2020, Ms. Dong Ping brought her vegetables to her computer, holding the seedlings to the camera to explain to Lao teachers the process for grafting. After finishing Day 3 of the digital training on different eLearning methods, now she plans to share the process through readily recorded videos, use livestream for interactions with the trainees, and ask them to record themselves practicing the process after class, for the next training scheduled in the end of October this year.
For Pingdu VEC and the teachers, the pandemic brought them not only challenges but also pressure to change. “There isn’t enough motivation for our colleagues to learn all the digital teaching methods and tools because we teach students face to face”, explained Mr. Qi Jiangang, the director of the International Training Center in Pingdu VEC to the trainer. “But the pandemic is not over yet, and we need to prepare ourselves for the uncertainties.”
Dr. Michael Grosch, an expert for international educational cooperation with a focus on the topics of ICT and TVET development, delivered the five-day training. In two months, he will also coach each of the Chinese teachers to develop the courses and teaching materials for Laos. “Teaching digitally is more challenging for teachers in TVET than in general education, for it involves more technical practices,” said Dr. Grosch to the class. “It will require our teachers to spend more time and thoughts on the course design, preparation, and evaluation.”