Comparing International Vocational Education and Training Programs

| March 28, 2018

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When education-system actors have all the power, the result is school-based career education or VET that ignores the needs and opinions of employers. This leads to a number of common VET-program struggles, such as a mismatch between the education students receive and the job market. In one egregious example, a major American city offered VET in horse-shoeing; the city was not known for its horse population.

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OTHER ARTICLES

Boston Dynamics’ Handle robot recreated with Raspberry Pi

Article | August 25, 2020

You in the community seemed so impressed with this recent Boston Dynamics–inspired build that we decided to feature another. This time, maker Harry was inspired by Boston Dynamics’ research robot Handle, which stands 6.5 ft tall, travels at 9 mph and jumps 4 feet vertically. Here’s how Harry made his miniature version, MABEL (Multi Axis Balancer Electronically Levelled). MABEL has individually articulated legs to enhance off-road stability, prevent it from tipping, and even make it jump (if you use some really fast servos). Harry is certain that anyone with a 3D printer and a “few bits” can build one.

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Improve Remote Learning With Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Article | May 28, 2020

The fall 2020 semester won’t be business as usual for many higher education students. While some schools — including the University of Notre Dame and Purdue University — recently announced plans to resume in-person classes, others are planning for continued online instruction. According to recent COVID-19 guidelines from Harvard University Medical School, for example, “fall 2020 courses will commence remotely for our entering classes of medical, dental and graduate students.” Meanwhile, the California State University System announced that its planned approach “will result in CSU courses primarily being delivered virtually for the Fall 2020 term, with limited exceptions for in-person teaching.”

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Outdoor Play for Students with Special Needs

Article | June 21, 2021

When you think of a playground what do you think of? Swings, slides, roundabouts? Many years ago, these would be constructed without too much thought gone into the risks to ordinary children falling or losing grip. I have several siblings. We all sustained injuries at the local park. One fell off the high slide and lost her front teeth. One slid forward on the slippery rocking horse and had stitches in her chin. Another caught her foot on the roundabout as she tried to jump off when another child was pushing it too fast for her liking. I could go on. Today playgrounds have to meet the European safety standards and safety surfacing has to be installed under swings, slides, and roundabouts. This must adhere to the current standard for impact absorbing playground surfaces. It is good that playgrounds today meet these safety standards. Yet. If your child is unable to walk, how will they get on that swing, that roundabout, that slide? More and more children with disabilities are being educated in mainstream schools. Parents no longer think that a disability should stop their child from accessing the local playground. What is available to students with disabilities in these playgrounds? Special schools have had to cater for students with disabilities when planning a playground but do ordinary schools? It is an act of discrimination if a child with a disability cannot enjoy being out on the playground as much as the able bodied child. There was a time when the only wheelchair swing took ages to set up for a child to enjoy just 5 minutes of swing time. Anbakgard in Denmark have designed a wheelchair swing that takes just two minutes to set up and has additional seating for peers to join the experience. To see one in action go to https://YouTube.be/vh4NSOTULdA. There are roundabouts that include a safety space for wheelchairs and slides that allow adults to accompany children on them for support. There are outdoor trampolines specifically for wheelchairs. There are birds nest swings that allow students with mild physical disabilities more space to enjoy the vestibular sensory stimulation. There are many sites that now provide play equipment to suit all kinds of needs. One such site is https://www.gljones-playgrounds.co.uk who provided our school with a lot of its play equipment. There are climbing walls specifically geared to wheelchair users. Visit http://www.rockclimbingcentral.comto see the benefits to building muscle strength, endurance, strength, agility and flexibility. When our children have missed out so much on play during the pandemic it is important that we provide all children with their right to play by ensuring that playgrounds everywhere are inclusive.

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10 European EdTech startups changing the face of education in 2020

Article | February 10, 2020

Edtech has changed the face of learning and the whole concept what a school is. A decade ago, a university was an old building in the city where you went to get an education – nowadays there are MOOCs available online, with enrollment numbers skyrocketing. Coding used to be reserved for talented IT professionals – now kids learn to code before they even know the alphabet. Virtual reality was a Star Trek-like feature that we only saw in the movies – today it’s a highly efficient classroom tool.

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