Are you an educator looking to get financial support for your personal and professional development needs? Then you need to find out more about Erasmus+ for teachers. As you probably know already, one of the best ways is to write a good project for your school and apply for an Erasmus+ KA1.
At first, it seems like a complex, time-consuming process. However, it is not that complicated if you are willing to invest some time and energy in the analysis and planning stage. Even more manageable if you know how to use some efficient project management tools. Getting familiarized with a good EDP (European Development Plan) for your institution will be a clear advantage.
As we promised in our previous article on this topic, we will share more useful tips on avoiding common mistakes when applying for Erasmus+ KA1. In this article, you will find plenty of resources to make your writing journey easier! Hopefully, we can encourage more teachers to benefit from this opportunity. To begin with, you need to start planning and collaborating with your team members!
How to design a coherent European Development Plan (EDP).
The main aim of the EDP is to provide the background of your application. More specifically, to ensure that the planned activities of the Erasmus+ project proposal are relevant. Both for the individual participants and the institution as a whole. The logic behind this is simple: the more effectively you integrate the activities into the organization’s long-term development, the more significant impact there will be on the quality of teaching and learning.
The European Development Plan is the core part of the application. Even if it sounds sophisticated, it is not that difficult. It makes a lot of sense if you consider that it is meant to give evaluators a snapshot of the school’s current situation: (Where are you now?), a perspective on your institution’s vision ( Where do you want to be in two or five years?), the identified needs in terms of development, and most importantly how the planned activities meet those needs.
Keep in mind the following specific tips:
1) Ensure that when you define your goals and objectives, they are realistic and relevant to your organization’s size, capacity, and experience.
2) Link the specific objectives of your project with the broader goals of your EDP!
3) Be careful when you explain the expected impact of the project! You need to remain consistent with the answers you have given in this selection!
4) Try to avoid one of the most common mistakes, such as the lack of correlation between your organization’s needs and the training courses/activities proposed!
Choose courses in relation to the needs and goals in your European Development Plan.
It is vitally important to support with clear arguments your choice of courses. Try to link them explicitly to your institution’s needs identified in the initial stage of the project! Don’t forget to use some useful project management tools, which we have explained in our previous article.
Be as concrete and specific as possible! Your NA (National Agency) will never make assumptions or guess what was in your mind! So, the information needs to appear there explicitly!
Be careful to take into account your country’s national priorities as well as the European ones! They differ every year.
You can check your national priorities on your National Agency website here. Additionally, you can also find useful information, videos, and all the documents necessary to apply. Make sure you download the correct application form from your National Erasmus+Agency website. You need to read it carefully and follow the instructions in the Guidelines.
Study examples of successful projects
What better way to have an idea of a well-written application than to read the summaries of projects that were approved for funding!
Below you will see the summary of my project. Thus, you can have a model and follow the logic of argumentation. Keep in mind that this was specially written for my institution, based on its EDP (European Development Plan). Hopefully, it can help you have an idea about the context, background, objectives, impact.
We live in the context of an information-saturated world and an increasingly globalized and high-tech society. Undoubtedly, we need to keep up with the rhythm imposed by digital education and today’s key competencies. Additionally, we need more international cooperation projects.
From the wide spectrum of identified needs, our school project intends to approach two strategic priorities. On the one hand, the necessity of implementing a long-term policy plan on internationalization. On the other hand, the need to promote innovation and quality in education. An innovative way is to exploit the potential of digital technology in the didactic process. Thus, we can ensure that tomorrow’s European pupils are highly competitive in a world increasingly marked by innovation.
These two essential directions circumscribe the following main areas for improvement from our European Development Plan (EDP): European dimension, staff competencies (language, digital, management competencies), new teaching methods or tools, curriculum. Based on the previous needs, we have outlined the European Development Plan, which includes six European mobility projects within four professional development courses.
Explain with clear arguments HOW the chosen courses correlate with your institution’s identified needs
To develop our international cooperation skills, we chose two courses. The first one, “How to make your school more international,” provided by Euneos, a trustworthy Finnish course provider, clearly meets the need for development and integration of the international dimension in the curriculum. How exactly? By creating tangible results (drafts of the international development plan, concluding (bi)multilateral partnerships). Additionally, through the development of key competencies of a good coordinator. For instance, he or she will be able after this course to develop our school’s vision and a long-term policy plan on internationalization.
The course “How to become a teacher trainer” is organized by Bell Cambridge, with a world-wide reputation in academic excellence. This addresses our school’s need for a highly qualified English teacher trainer. He or she will be able to design and implement 20 bi-monthly workshops throughout the year. As a result, this will facilitate linguistic preparation for our colleagues. Thus, they won’t be reluctant to get involved in international partnership projects.
Present each strategic priority identified for your institution
Technology plays a vital role in today’s society, and students are incredibly receptive to digital technology. Consequently, it becomes imperative to adapt to and adopt new technologies in education. Therefore, the course “How to use tablets in education” meets our school’s needs to facilitate the transition to digital education. More specifically, the need to provide support to two teachers from different subject areas in digital education. They will acquire the didactic and digital competencies needed to successfully implement by 2016 pilot projects of tablet use in students’ learning program.
Moreover, we need to learn from and be inspired by the efficiency of the Finnish educational system by sending two teachers (at least one person from the Board members) to attend Best Practices Benchmarking. Thus, this will result in improving our school management. Moreover, it will facilitate setting up a qualified team of promoters of innovation in the school. They will be responsible for improving the quality of teaching and learning through the development of innovative digital learning methods and tools.
In conclusion, it is essential to explain how the European mobilities for teacher development are appropriate to achieve your institution’s strategic objectives. Last but not least, show how your EDP can trigger a significant impact both on the organizational level as well as on the local community level.
Explain the expected impact using a macro and a micro perspective!
At the macro – institutional level, the short and medium–term impact is visible in the following concrete outcomes:
- workshop at school level based on planning, implementing, and evaluating European partnership projects;
- at least one multilateral strategic partnership project grant;
- training course materials for the workshop English for International Projects;
- bimonthly workshops for a period of 1 year. These are aimed at developing staff members’ English language skills. Thus, they will be able to participate in future international projects;
- a guide for parents and teachers on How to use tablets in the classroom;
- training for school staff on the use of tablets in teaching and learning;
- teacher’s portfolio with digital resources and lesson plans integrating technology (plus a DVD with interactive lessons);
The long-term impact is quantified by defining and successfully implementing:
- a policy, strategy, and vision of the school to promote the international dimension and innovative methods in the curriculum;
- pilot-projects based on the use of tablets in the classroom to facilitate the transition to digital learning;
- a more international and innovative oriented curriculum by integrating iPad applications in lessons;
First, identify in your dissemination plan as detailed as possible what you will do after each course! For instance, complete the school policy plans, organize a training at the school level, implement newly acquired competencies in the didactic scenarios, etc.;
Don’t postpone writing until the last week because a well-written application needs quality time and reflection to ensure its success!
Last but not least, remember that you cannot apply directly for a grant as an individual. Applications must be made by schools!
This article cannot cover all the details of the registration and application process. However, if you follow their guidelines explicitly explained, you will not have any problems with this part. Plus, there are many tutorials and webinars made by your NA to help you with the technical part.
Here you can find the resources, documents, and tools to get started with Erasmus+. Good luck, and should you have any questions, feel free to contact us! Dare to apply, enjoy writing your project and let us know if you were successful!
Do you want to know how to enhance your professional portfolio? Here’s an interesting guide that will help you develop portfolios as part of your professional development process.