Hands-On ICT project
Innovative education technologies have the potential to improve the delivery of education by offering the flexibility for learners to study anytime, anywhere, by encouraging a more personal and cooperative kind of learning and by opening up new resources such as video.
The HandsOn ICT EU-funded project was EU-funded Massive Open Online course (MOOC) that won an EU prize. It was designed to give teachers the skills and knowledge to build their own online courses and modules.
The MirandaNet Fellowship was one of the developing team with Catalonia, Greece, Slovenia and Holland. In this context, the teachers who become co-researchers gained valuable ICT professional development in the uses and pedagogies associated with digital tools.
“The 28 months of the Hands-On project have been an intense learning experience, not always easy, but definitely most enriching”, said the Catalonian project leader. “For the potential of MOOCs to be realised, educators need to have the tools and knowledge to design and manage courses using online learning technologies.”
This is where the Hands-On ICT project comes in and during the life of the project, which ran from 2013-2015, over 4000 participants took the MOOC.
The Hands-On approach can be used by educators teaching in schools, vocational education and training institutions and universities as the onus is on them to be creative and shape the content for their students.
The Hands-On MOOC lasts five weeks, over which a participant designs, develops and tests online learning activities related to an educational problem of their choosing.
Now in its third edition, the MOOC runs on the open-source platform Moodle, as well as Canvas. Each generation of the MOOC was tested by thousands of educators during development so it could be fine-tuned to their needs.
To spread the word about the MOOC and the power of educational technologies in general, the Hands-On Toolkit especially tailored for teacher trainers, offers a reduced, face-to-face version of the MOOC. This is available in Bulgarian, Catalan, English, French and Greek.
The project was led by Fundació per a la Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, an online university based in Barcelona, Spain. Partners from Greece, the Netherlands, Slovenia and the United Kingdom helped in the development and promotion of the Hands-On MOOC. The EU granted €393,174 to Hands-On ICT as part of the Lifelong Learning Programme now part of Erasmus+