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It is assumed, that most organisations offering vocational education and training find themselves in one of the following situations:
The two options represent different levels of freedom for decisions and changes. Hence, different implications of either prescribed or open to choice technologies and infrastructure need to be reviewed. In reality, an organisation might neither fit 100% into the one or into the other category; rather it will be a mixture of conditions. It is therefore recommended to go through both sections of guiding questions and skip those questions that are not relevant for your specific situation.
In situations where technologies are provided or prescribed by external policies (i.e. policies that neither can be influenced nor ignored by an educational organisation), or where the infrastructure is not seen as something that needs to be adjusted to the specific requirements of an educational organisation, it is essential to find out about the impact of the prescribed technology configuration on the organisation’s inclusive capacity.
The following questions may be useful to reflect on the potential or already observable impact of such policies:
In other cases educational organisations will find themselves in the role to select specific technologies, and to adjust / configure established (or elsewhere tested) infrastructure solutions to their own needs and requirements. Availability of technologies and respective vendors who provide essential services (e.g. repair, replacement etc.) may vary depending on the location of the VET organisation. Yet, most probably a smaller set of alternative technologies, operating systems or infrastructure solutions would be shortlisted. What would then be the selection and configuration criteria if the aim is to raise the organisation’s inclusive capacity?
Reflect on hardware or software that …
Critically assess hardware or software to avoid ICT that …
Beyond the technologies and infrastructure to be acquired by the organisation, learners themselves often possess technologies that are essential to them. To make best use of it in the context of learning:
In reality, focussing on inclusion-related considerations only does not suffice. Specifically budgetary limitations are also important and might lead to the need for finding compromises between economic and pedagogic considerations. The following areas point out some options with budget implications to be discussed. However, none of the options per se is positive or negative with regard to inclusion. But it is assumed that in the context of developing inclusion capacity, it is preferable to choose options that ensure rather stable budgetary foundations for the procurement and maintenance of ICT:
The main objective of the Strategic Partnership EICON is to support organizations / institutions providing vocational education and training (VET) to become more inclusive using information and communication technology (ICT). Organizations / institutions that are active in VET are particularly in need for guidance on how to further develop, as they often have to work towards multiple aims simultaneously, i.e. inclusion usually is one among many other aims. EICON particularly explores the inherent potential and synergies in the overlapping section between education, inclusion and digitalisation.
There is no 'one best way' for any organization / institution active in VET to increase its inclusive capacity with ICT. Rather, each organization / institution needs to find its own solution that then fits perfectly to its respective situation and requirements. Therefore, this list of inclusion opportunities aims to guide organizations / institutions through a process of reflection and planning. List entries contain both examples of good practice and innovative examples and focus specifically on inclusion potential in an organisation.
Lists of opportunities may be used by different groups: teachers, managers of VET institutions / organizations and facilitators that support these organisations in organizational change processes. These lists have a slightly different focus depending on the respective role, so make sure you select the ones that fit to your role. Teachers use them, for example, to formulate requirements for their management with regard to the procurement of new ICT. Facilitators in turn can use the lists to discuss and decide on possibilities for specific ICT change projects together with the organisation's representatives. Managers can also use the lists to identify potential uses of ICT for inclusive leadership.
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