New Education Forum+
New Education Forum+ (NEF+) is a project that aims to combine the innovation of Outdoor Learning with digital education, in order to promote Outdoor Learning as a way to develop transversal competences in education and vocational training. These competences are essential in the area of employment, active citizenship and personal development. NEF + is a response to the need to disseminate the Outdoor Learning approach in formal and informal education, as well as open access to knowledge and good practices.
The activities planned under the NEF+ project focus primarily on the development and sharing of innovative digital solutions tailored to the needs of regional partners so as to support the implementation of Outdoor Learning at a time when the possibilities of direct interaction are limited by restrictions. Moreover, these activities will offer new space for professional development to VET providers, by creating an open digital library containing information, self-study materials and examples of best practices in lifelong learning.
NEF+ combines the strengths of Outdoor Learning and digital learning to create new pathways for the VET sector, maintaining high quality and effectiveness of training during and after the pandemic, mitigating shortcomings in VET in Poland, Spain and Ireland. It is also an opportunity to expand the existing NEF network and promote Outdoor Learning within its framework thanks to digital tools.
The project is to reach three groups of recipients:
- VET providers and related professions who are already active in the field of vocational training, but not fully aware of the opportunities that Outdoor Learning brings, or are interested in this area;
- experts and professional institutions that, through their training activities, will support the dissemination of Outdoor Learning as a tool;
- politicians and decision-makers at regional and European level to raise awareness of the value of Outdoor Learning for vocational education.
The main project activities planned for the next two years (2021-2023) include:
- review of available literature and research on Outdoor Learning;
- creating a list of good practices that provide inspiration and reference for the implementation of Outdoor Learning in formal education;
- establishment of an open digital library, containing materials to facilitate getting to know the topic and self-application of individual tools for everyday work in education;
- organization of two international conferences;
- publication of a guide and recommendations on the use of Outdoor Learning in vocational training and education.
- University of Edinburgh – one of the largest and most spectacularly successful universities in Great Britain with an international reputation: a community of several thousand foreign students, international staff, research in cooperation with universities, institutions and governments from various countries. It is also a leading research university in a country where the vast majority of employees conduct research activities.
- Limerick Institute of Technology – an Irish government funded higher education institution with 5 campuses and learning centers with a total of over 600 employees. LIT has extensive experience in international programmes, both as a project leader and participant. For many years, LIT has been actively involved in research and development projects under Erasmus+, Leonardo, Norwegian Funds, Interreg and others.
- Femxa Formacion SL – the company specializing in counseling and vocational training, addressed to enterprises, public administration, training centers and private individuals. Their main goal is to increase the competitiveness of the organization as well as professional qualifications and employability.
- Cantabrian Government (Consejería de economía y hacienda del Gobierno de Cantabria) – has been invited to cooperate due to the high effectiveness of the FOLM project in Cantabria, its innovative commitment to education and activity in European forums and its focus on introducing Outdoor Learning to vocational education.