Technology comes into play at the time of the vindication of Vocational Training

Milena López prepares everything for an X-ray session, and proceeds to tell the patient where and how to position himself.

Technology comes into play at the time of the vindication of Vocational Training

Milena López prepares everything for an X-ray session, and proceeds to tell the patient where and how to position himself. Once the parameters to locate the exact point of radiation have been established, everything is ready for the medical test... but in her case she is not exposed to radiation, since she does so with a virtual reality system through which glasses and controls simulate the entire process with a fidelity unthinkable a few years ago. From the time she makes sure the door is closed to the end of a process that is as important as it is everyday.

It is an example of one of the classes of the Higher Technician Cycle in Imaging for Diagnosis and Nuclear Medicine taught at the new CCC headquarters in Madrid, a proof of the current application of ICT in the classroom.

A new step in the Digital Transformation, in this case, in Vocational Training through which students can practice, day by day, to face the labor market with guarantees. This has been the case of Milena, who previously studied Nursing Assistant and did internships at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid: «These studies help me to get even closer to the knowledge of anatomy and technology that will be very useful to me. You practice what you would do in a work day, a process in which my experience and that of my class serve so that we are all better prepared.

In this case, the Smart Simulator from Siemens Healthineers has been used, a company that has virtual reality technological resources that allow diseases to be detected more quickly, with greater precision and improvements in the application of treatment. And that joins the deployment of innovation already applied in the classrooms of the increasingly claimed Vocational Training, which has interactive whiteboards, efficient online campus, interactive resources, etc. «It is necessary to bring technology to the classroom, as soon as possible, as a bridge between training and employment (highlights Teresa Muñoz, a specialist in Products and Services for Education at Siemens Healthineers). They increase interest and commitment, which will reduce school failure, since 50% of what we hear and talk about is what we learn… a percentage that rises to 80% of what we do».

This implementation is practiced, increasingly, in all areas of training, and acquires special relevance in cases such as health, as Muñoz points out: «Safety and functionality are aspects to be taken into account, as is the case with this simulator, since making mistakes in what is simulated reduces the risks of doing it in real life».

But there is still a long way to go, as pointed out by Luis García Domínguez, director of the IES Puerta Bonita in Madrid and president of the Association of Vocational Training Centers FPEmpresa (which represents 70% of public centers, 20% concerted, 10% private): «The main challenge is that of investment, since, logically, technology is very expensive, which is why the contribution of companies is essential in an environment in which there are 300 titles, each of them with sensitive processes to be virtualizable.

A machine that simulates welding or flexography in graphic arts, those typical of air navigation... or as García Domínguez indicates, "work simulators with a medium voltage electrical transformer, which requires complex and dangerous techniques". This is the case with collaboration agreements such as those signed by Iberdrola with FPEmpresa (and with others such as the Fundación de la Empresa Familiar), in both cases with internships already carried out with students from Castilla y León, who have been able to benefit from the experience on the energy company land.

Guadalupe Bragado, director of Vocational Training at CCC (a company that is now over 80 years old and has adapted to the 21st century), emphasizes the importance of this direct connection with the company through technology: "We are creating professionals of the future, and close collaboration with specialized companies is essential to deepen this passion for learning. Innovation goes through the practical, through technological resources, with great importance of the teaching staff». This is endorsed by Héctor Rodríguez, teacher of the cycle that Milena studies and who has just finished an hour of class that has been a fascinating journey through the union between technology and people: «We managed to reach the students a little further, promoting individual progressive learning in a group work environment, which in this case is complemented by a 3D anatomy application through which bones, muscles, organs, etc. can be studied.”

From Europe, projects such as KA2 or KA3 have applied the guidelines of the Europe 2020 Strategy, in the Strategic Framework for European cooperation in the field of Education and Training and in the European Strategy for Youth and, in fact, has just celebrated the European Week of Professional Skills, an annual event directly related to Vocational Training. In this edition, the sixth, the focus is on the 'Green Transition', in line with what Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights already advanced in 2020: "Labor markets need creative minds and expert hands to master both the digital transition as well as the ecological one.

In this environment, in which European funds promise to help boost education in the coming years, the Government has just announced an additional investment of more than 1,200 million euros for Vocational Training (FP) studies. 800 for the training of workers and companies and 300 to increase places, improve facilities and internationalize students. Good news for a network of knowledge and experiences in which the AtecA Classrooms (Classrooms of Applied Technology) are established as a pillar of the Modernization Plan for Vocational Training in Spain. Digitization, active and collaborative learning, development of information repositories, connectivity, mixed and virtual realities... technology, without a doubt, can no longer miss class.