In June Kevin Burden and Paul Hopkins traveled to Vietnam to the Education University of Da Nang and the Ha Noi National University of Education as part of a University of Hull project on collaboration in East Asia.
Part of this work was delivering a seminar-workshop on new technologies and teaching and as part of this we introduced the idea of developing eBooks for teacher educators in Vietnam.
We gave the attendees at the seminar (about 60 in Da Nang and about 35 in Ha Noi) a chance to look at and develop a very short eBook and they were all very enthused about these ideas. We also took these ideas to the ministry of education in Ha Noi and again the idea was received with great enthusiasm.
We are now exploring the possibility of developing a sample of a book for teachers of chemistry as a proof of concept and looking at how we can develop these ideas further working with grant funding bodies. We will be looking to run further workshops and seminars in Vietnam and also bring staff from Vietnam to work with us in the UK.
We are also developing links with a wider network of international universities led by the The University of Western Australia.
As part of Erasmus mobility funding I (Paul Hopkins) visited the Hochschule der Median in Stuttgart to meet and talk with students who are undertaking courses around education and digital technologies some of who might end up in schools but most of whom will end up in a variety of other occupations. I gave three talks on, ‘ebooks’, ‘learning spaces’ and ‘education 2025′ and the students responded talking about their own experiences and views in these areas.
As you can see here I was also able to spend some of my time at the University working with a group of PhD students and teaching Davide's 2nd year teacher trainees. This was an excellent introduction for me to the Italian educational system and I learned how so many aspects of schools and teacher training are different from those in England at this present moment.
Perhaps the greatest difference was the lack of any form of inspection or even classroom observation which seems to be the norm in Italian schools. Most of the audience were shocked to discover how centralist the education system appears to be in England and were not aware how the inspection regime and publication of high stakes tests produced published league table.