At the beginning of August 2021, Efektas Group team had a chance to participate in the first after pandemic on-site meeting of the Erasmus+ KA227 project “Innovative Methods And ICT Competencies For Cultural Sector Employees”. During 3 days we had Design Thinking training sessions, discussed administrative and implementation questions of the project, development of topics for the curriculum that we will be applying for cultural workers learning activities.
What is ‘CulTech’?
Current Erasmus+ KA227 project aimed to assist cultural organizers and cultural sector workers in finding alternative means regarding the creation and delivering culture to the people. The pandemic of COVID-19 has had and continues to have a tremendous impact on various sectors of employment. Cultural sector is among the most impacted, as cultural activities traditionally require people to come together.
Therefore, a Consortium 4 partners – AS BCS KOOLITUS, Efektas Group, Prios Kompetanse AS, Estonian Centre of Folk Culture based in Estonia, Lithuania, and Norway gathered to collaborate on providing cultural workers with digital skills, increase their perceptions of equality and inclusion, offer other opportunities for cultural workers despite their age, gender or location.
Current project presumes intellectual outputs that will be developed and delivered by the end of the CulTech project. Nonetheless, project consortium aims to keep those outputs sustainable after current project ends. Among the main ones one should emphasize cultural sector employee’s digital competence and post-COVID-19 working tools needs analysis in partner countries (EST, LT, NO); E-Learning Platform with educational modules for regular cultural sector employees; Progressive web-app (software development); Handbook – training format for mentors and cultural sector managers; Blueprint of Culture Technologist competence framework.
Objectives and outcomes of the meeting in Tallinn
A short-term staff meeting in Tallin in August was led by Estonian partner AS BCS KOOLITUS. The main objective of the current assembling was to participate in the training on design-thinking methodology, meet with Estonian national educational technologists/cultural specialists and put joint efforts on the elaboration of mentors’ curriculum topics that will be used also for the modules of the e-learning platform.
Efektas team members have participated in all the mentioned activities. When it comes to Design Thinking training sessions, we were able to learn from a leading expert in this branch how important to use hits of current methodology in our personal and professional life. And, indeed, the majority of people use it while not considering it consciously. Lithuanian team enhanced its’ capacity and knowledge on how to align a person`s vision, understand challenges that we face, map our potential stakeholders, setting personal and professional targets, etc. Current training was full of practical references that simplified perception of the material overall.
Meeting with the Estonian national educational technologist allowed to the team better understand the current needs of the sector in terms of digital perspective. A specialist, who is working also for the Ministry of Culture of Estonia, brought several insights on how that would have more sense to proceed with the development of the project and shared his view when it comes to the curriculum design for cultural sector mentors.
Mentors’ curriculum design was the last main part of the 3-days meeting. However, it was not less important than the above-indicated ones. All the partners united their efforts when it was a time of brainstorming and critical thinking about how we would like to see cultural sector mentors, what should be their main mission, how they will be able to apply and transfer knowledge to a broader spectrum of cultural branches specialists. Eventually, the project team has elaborated several potential topics like security, privacy regulations, algorithms, soft skills/knowledge, etc. for cultural workers that were also split into sub-topics. The idea further on is to ensure that all the topics will be revealed properly, and sub-topics will be described that would allow proceeding on the creation of our initially planned intellectual outputs.
Following activities within the project
The active phase of the intellectual outputs work has begun starting from March of 2021 when the project kick-off meeting has occurred. As was mentioned above, CulTech project has a decent number of project results, therefore, it`s quite important to proceed with a balanced approach in terms of simultaneous development while putting efficiency on the top.
Every organization has its own responsibility and leading assigned roles when it comes to the commitments sharing among the project partners.
Efektas Group started working on the e-learning platform elaboration. E-learning platform will reflect main project information, consortium members, involved people, target groups and developed project results.
Aside from that, Efektas Group also conducted research among the cultural workers of Lithuania in order to clarify their current needs in terms of digital competencies. We have gathered feedback. To find out what are the most pressing problems in each participating country, a survey was carried out in all participating countries. As a result of the survey, a multilevel training course is about to be created in Estonia and Lithuania. The courses will be supported also by a website and an app, both with an aim to further innovation and design-thinking methodology in finding new outputs, as well as a general rise in digital skills among cultural sector employees.
As was mentioned, the main purpose of the upcoming project is to develop the digital skills of cultural sector employees by increasing the target group ́s involvement skills, assistance in creating new partnerships, and finding new outputs by supporting creativity and innovation.
A separate goal of the project is a wider adoption of new technological solutions among cultural professionals in order to increase the quality of services provided in the field and to concentrate on finding new forms of cooperation and creative outputs.
Erasmus+ KA227 CulTech project overall follows the objectives of the European Commission regarding society digital education (both youth and adults). As one might observe, the current consortium of the project was also set-up also in a cross-sectoral way so that could contribute to the eventual efficiency and effectiveness of the results. Efektas Group undertakes an active role in terms of project activities and striving for a decent result while participating in the development of all intellectual outputs, taking part in the quality steering committee, and completing all the tasks that are anticipated by the project proposal.
Efektas Group is also involved in the project since the company believes the education of people matters. Digital education is getting more and more significant in the 21st century. We will proceed with the utmost efforts to deliver the best outcomes in order for the project to be recognized and followed by other similar initiatives. Apparently, one should not forget also about the perspective of sustainability that is embedded into the project context and where the contribution of every partner is crucial.
Stay tuned with Efektas – more updates and interesting projects are about to come!