The pandemic has given a tremendous knock out to the organisation of national and international Tool Fairs, events where since years practitioners used to gather in a place to work on the improvement of educational tools (also known as “tools for learning”).
But there is a lot we can create anyway, even in these hard times, in order to keep the educational tools’ strategy alive and kicking.
During these “non-presential times”, it’s important to continue working to improve educational tools, strengthen tool presenters’ capacity to showcase them and, for this purpose, create events for sharing these tools, while enriching the multilingual Toolbox.
This work can guarantee an ongoing interest on the development of the educational tools and their transferability, circulation and adaptation to other contexts.
To create events in pandemic times is not an easy task: it requires to set the activities online, foreseeing a capacity of adaptation which is not only technological but also methodological.
Online activities are not better nor worse than presential ones, they are just different and represent all what we can do right now with extremely reduced mobility: if we plan them creatively and with a good preparation support, we can make a lot of impact out of them. We can create something that is not just a replacement of a presential activity, but something new and special that in the future can be combined in a blended educational process.
Of course, an activity in presence has a special atmosphere, 3 dimensions instead of 2, the physical contact, somehow it creates magic.
But a well-planned online activity can also bring some extra features: it allows participation to people that has difficulty to travel and otherwise could not participate; it can be open to a broader number of participants without extra costs; it pushes presenters to make use of new technological tools and to adapt their presentation methods online; it gives the possibility to present tools that are useful during the pandemic and also beyond.
Recently SALTO EuroMed organised the first online Tool Fair Maghreb 2020, gathering practitioners and educational tools from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
Tool presenters have been supported in the preparation of their presentations and finally participants could live an enjoyable intensive day, sharing educational tools of different type and format (see here the development of the workshops and the tools’ descriptions).
It is strategic, during corona times, to keep organising national/regional Tool Fairs to make grow the awareness of the importance of developing educational tools, to keep alive and enrich the exchange of practitioners inside a specific community (at national and regional level) and to directly connect these local events to the International Tool Fair, in a process of mutual feeding and enrichment.
Tool Fair, Tool for Learning Magazine and the Multilingual Tool Box are open educational tools for youth workers, trainers and pratitionaires who would like to share and contribute in the exchage of their tools, exercise, methodology. If you would like to know more and have an overview you can browe on this prezi
If you would like to have more information about the coming International Tool Fair, follow up this page