I-T Shape 2nd Meeting - Pisa

The second IT-Shape meeting, attended by representatives of the 10 project partners, took place on 1st, 2nd and 3rd April 2014 at ITCG E. Fermi in Pontedera. The Pontedera meeting followed the kick-off meeting that took place in November in Budapest (Hungary). Between the two meetings, six months of hard work on the project. The aim of the meeting was to evaluate and discuss the activities carried out so far and to examine the activities to perform before the next meeting, which will take place in Ireland at the end of October.

Peter Tóth, headmaster from the Oveges Jozsef Vocational School, shared the results of the survey which has been carried out in Hungarian vocational educational schools, involving about 500 students. The aim of the survey was to get their views for the introduction of a European level IT professional training qualification among IT students. Most of the students in the panel are open to taking part in an IT training which gives access to a certificate recognized in Europe. The main issue coming up from the survey is linked to the lack of good English language skills among Hungarian students, even if most of the students are willing to improve their competences, as they are aware of the importance of English in order to be more competitive on the European job market.

In addition to that, the teachers from the Hungarian partner schools have presented the experience of the ITAF text exams. The results were not what they expected. Some students found it difficult to understand the questions (there were translation problems as the questions were translated into Hungarian) and therefore the teachers have requested the tests in English and a support from AICA (Associazione italiana per l’Informatica e il Calcolo Automatico – is an Italian Association, member of Council of European Professional Informatics Societies ).

http://it-shape.hu/sites/default/files/itshape/wp1_project%20management/Meetings/Italy-PISA_1-2-3_04_2014/2nd_meeting_pisa_1.pngIn the pilot phase of the project 200 Hungarian students have the opportunity to obtain the EUCIP Core IT certificate. The students can decide to choose Hungarian or English language for their exam, and in case they pass the three module tests (PLAN, BUILD, OPERATE), AICA will submit the EU-level recognized IT certificate. This would be the first step towards the Hungarian adaptation of EUCIP Core programme.

In the second part of the meeting Fabrizio Agnesi (AICA) presented the modalities and the running environment for the Eucip Core tests.

Adriana Fasulo from ITCG E.Fermi spoke about the experience of her school following the introduction of Eucip Core in the educational curricula and listed the contents covered by the modules, the requirements for the exams, the difficulties the teachers have faced, the critical points to pay attention to.  Adriana introduced the three modules (PLAN, BUILD, OPERATE) of EUCIP Core syllabus. After a very detailed introduction into the three knowledge areas, Adriana explained the new didactics and methodologies applied in the course and finally showed some test examples in order to make the participants understand the level of complexity of the questions in the Eucip Core certification exam.

The aim of next presentation of the day was to place EUCIP system, EUCIP Core certificate into a wider context. As Pierfranco Ravotto (AICA) explained EUCIP defined by CEPIS is:

  •  a competence system (frameworks are the syllabuses)
  • a certification system (IT Administrator, Core - Plan, Build, Operate- , Professional - 21 profiles)
  • a set of services for businesses and individuals (Self-assessment & proximity profile, Assisted assessment, learning paths)

EUCIP is promoted by CEPIS, the Council of European Professionals Informatics Societies, and is managed by the ECDL Foundation. Another European system is  e-CF, the e-Competences Framework, defined  by the CEN (European committee for Standardization).  E-CF is not a certification but only a competence system. It is not proposed as an alternative to other frameworks, such as EUCIP but wants to be a common language in IT sector. EUCIP and the e-Competence Framework have common features and interesting potential synergies.  EUCIP is moving to be compliant with the e-CF framework.

The Hungarian partners agreed that these terms are used differently in Hungary, but there is an on-going process to align the Hungarian education with the European Qualification Framework (EQF), aiming the adaptation of the European terminology into the Hungarian system.

Pierfranco explained that 150 schools are involved now in the EUCIP Core programme in Italy. Three schools started with the programme in 2010, but the number of schools involved is increasing continuously.

On the third day the partners, among them the teachers from the Hungarian vocational schools had been invited for a meeting with the Italian teachers and the students involved into the EUCIP Core Program in the high-school  ITCG E. Fermi in Pontedera.

http://it-shape.hu/sites/default/files/itshape/wp1_project%20management/Meetings/Italy-PISA_1-2-3_04_2014/2nd_meeting_pisa_2.pngSome students of IT classes take part to Company Program, a program of Junior Achievement (international not profit organization). JA inspires students to develop competitive skills and help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to create jobs and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. The primary purpose of the project is the creation of a micro-enterprise that encourages the entrepreneurial spirit in students, promoting creativity, use of resources, the courage and the responsibility for the risk, just like the real entrepreneurs know how to do. The students created a company named 4 assi spa. This company produces Aperipuzzle. It is a tray / cutting board suitable for “apericena”, so it can be sold in bars, pubs, which offer that kind of service, or customers may be families that use the tray for those moments of conviviality with friends. 

In the business management, the micro-company has been supported by some topics learned in Eucip Core context: project management issues and tools, business application like CRM, e-commerce website, and so on. The demonstration gave an example of the new methodology used in the Italian school, namely how the project-based approach could help to develop business competences of the IT students.

Later, the partners visited the “Creative Room” of the school . It is a math lab where simple but creative tools could be used for developing logical competences of the students. In the laboratory, through games and fun activities, the students discover rules and mathematical properties working in a group and then comparing to get yourself to the solution.

The third issue edited by Adriana Fasulo, from IS Fermi in Pontedera. You can read more about it here:

Newsletter issue 3.