The Wikinomics project
The WikiSkills project is now over, but will go on through a new project, Wikinomics !
The pilot project Wikiskills, funded by EACEA, has concluded its initial period of actions. It now, steps in a new phase that will be deployed, mainly, through the efforts the network of experts of Wikiangels. This network of practice, consisting of a variety of experts, trainers and consultants, is open to all organisations and individuals adopting the Wikiskills pedagogical approach in their schools, training centers, business, networks and projects.
At the same time, the Wikinomics pilot project starts, in order to improve, reuse and disseminate Wikiskills results, with a focus on the area of economy and employment. The Wikinomics project aims to foster key competences required for employability in the constantly changing environments of the world of work. It sets free-culture and wiki methodologies as the basis for an innovative pedagogical methodology.
The Wikiangels network has already used elements of the Wikiskills experience in order to support the Wikithon of the World Bank Knowledge Forum. Such practices will be discussed and documented during the Wikiangels Wikithon.
A bit of context…
The crisis has accelerated the pace of economic restructuring, displacing many workers from declining sectors to unemployment due to a lack of the skills required by expanding sectors (European Commission, 2010). The ‘Agenda for new skills and jobs’ initiative highlights the need to upgrade skills and to boost employability. As mentioned in the Official Journal of the European Union (2011), it is important to “strengthen the capacity to anticipate and match labour market and skills needs, as well as to deliver the right mix of skills, including transversal competences”. Furthermore, Europe faces up to 700.000 unfilled ICT jobs and declining competitiveness (EC press release, Davos, jan25th, 2013). Meanwhile, on Wikipedia, a new way of learning is self-developing, organically. By supporting synergic collaborative opportunities, wiki environments have proved to provide rich learning outcomes in a wide range of educational environments and levels. This is the result of the free licensing culture, sometimes called «wikinomics». Trainers rarely understand and rarely use free licenses for their courses, and miss a key to handle dynamic pedagogical methodologies useful in the digital age.
As such, we have proposed Wikinomics, which would set free-culture and wiki methodologies as the basis for an innovative pedagogical methodology.
Indeed, these two innovative approaches have demonstrated a great potential in developing key-competences required for the future labour market needs, including creativity, innovation, collaboration, ICT literacy, communication in mother tongue and foreign languages, learning to learn, social and civic awareness, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship.
Wikinomics will focus on vocational education (also known as vocational education and training or VET) is education that prepares people for specific trades, crafts and careers at various levels from a trade, a craft, technician, or a professional position in engineering, accountancy, nursing, medicine, architecture, pharmacy, law etc. Craft vocations are usually based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non- academic related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation. It is sometimes referred to as technical education as the trainee directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques.
The specific objectives of the Wikinomics project are the following:
1. To shape a transversal, multi-sectorial key-competences model, compliant with the ECVET (European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training) framework, and provide concrete tools and methodologies for its implementation;
2. To develop, implement and evaluate a training module specially designed to match VET specificities and different sectors, which integrates free culture and wiki-based methodologies for enhancing the development of key-competences for employability;
3. To conduct a series of collaborative wiki-based learning scenarios in which VET trainees will conduct meaningful activities in order to achieve shared results and learning outcomes;
4. To create a sustainable community of practices among VET actors among Europe, helping each other to adopt new socio-economical and pedagogical models in phase with the digital age.
The Wikinomics framework, module and tools will be validated through various implementations in different VET sectors. They will be made freely accessible after the project, so to provide a universal resource, specially adapted to the actual and future labour market needs, transferable to life-long-learning strategies of a large scope of socio-professional sectors.