Interview with Monika Býmová in regard to the EU-funded project from ERASMUS+ "Educate!"
In the last week of June, the Association of Laundries and Dry Cleaners of the Czech Republic organized a Multiplier Event for the EU Funded project from ERASMUS + "Educate!", in which it is involved together with colleagues from Germany, Belgium and Sweden. As part of this project funded by the European Union, an online training platform for laundry and dry cleaning workers is being developed under the name E-Washboard, which will be the first product of its kind in the world. Monika Býmová, the project manager and executive director of the Association of Laundries and Dry Cleaners, was interviewed on the current situation on when the platform will be officially launched and what discussion arose at the Multiplier Event.
Where did the idea for this event come from?
The organization of the Multiplier Event has been planned since the beginning of this three-year project, which our association joined in 2018 together with partners from Germany, Belgium and Sweden and also with the educational institute HeurekaNet. Our work is coming to an end and the aim of this event was to inform the professional public about our results.
Who was the Multiplier Event intended for?
Our association approached the membership base and partners with whom we cooperate with an offer of participation. These were therefore members of the top management of companies in the textile care and textile industry, managers in training and personnel management, as well as professional lecturers.
The multiplier event took place on the same date as the meeting of the Board of the Association. Was that your intention from the beginning?
Yes. We wanted to ensure maximum participation in the Multiplier event and this was the way. We had to take into account the heavy workload of our members, the owners of laundries and dry cleaners, who are fully returning to work after the crisis and are very busy. However, these two actions were properly separated. We were pleasantly surprised that some participants only arrived at the Multiplier Event to learn more about our Educate! platform. This confirms the interest in online education in our field.
What was the Multiplier Action program like?
It was a form of presentation in which we introduced the backstage of the project, our team that worked on it, a description of the target group for which we are developing the platform. We also presented individual intellectual outputs and a list of upcoming modules. An integral part was a demonstration of videos and entire educational modules on the Moodle platform. We also emphasized a latter presentation in regard tothe work of our Association.
Tell me more about the Association, what was it all about?
Our association played a very important role in the project. It worked on all parts of this project, but especially was in charge of the part that dealt with the production of instructional videos. These are crucial for the training of laundry and dry cleaning workers, as confirmed by our recent survey.
How are videos designed?
We have videos that are a classic example of the operation of laundries and dry cleaners with professional commentary. However, the aim of the project was to obtain authentic videos in which the workers of laundries and dry cleaners themselves actively act and describe their activities, say, such youtubers. And it worked. In this way, I would like to thank everyone who was interested in the project and involved in its development. Together with other partners, we managed to produce 50 videos, which are supplemented by infographics and photographs that will facilitate learning. But there was one more thing.
While working on the project, we focused on promoting the field. We wanted to show the employees of the laundries and dry cleaners that they were important and that their work was indispensable. The public does not realize how true this is. The field of washing and cleaning has undergone a major change in recent years, which means a number of innovations for these workers. If they realize how important work they are doing, they will have a greater desire to learn new things. Let's hope it's on our new platform.
What were the responses of the participants in the Multiplier Event?
The first information that the participants received from me at the beginning of the presentation was that whenever they jump into my speech when something comes to mind or they want to ask something. Our goal was not to make an ordinary presentation, but a mass discussion about the future of education in the field. I am very glad that such a discussion has taken place.
What did you learn?
That we still have room for improvement. At the moment, our platform is made up of a number of training modules. But we already have ideas with the project partners to supplement it, which was also confirmed to me by the participants of our event. For example, we also need to think about positions that are not directly related to the maintenance of laundry and clothing, but are indispensable for the operation of operations, such as a driver, maintenance worker or technician. We must also address the motivation of employees to use our platform.
When and how will they be able to use it?
The educational platform is called E-Washboard. Under this name, it will be downloadable as a mobile application for smartphone, but it can also be used on a regular computer through a website. And since September this year. The important thing is that it will be available to everyone completely free of charge.
So the basic version will be launched in September. What will be next?
We will discuss this with the project partners at the end of August. If it epidemiological situation allows, we will all finally meet in person in Berlin, where we will address the suggestions that each partner country has gathered for its Multiplication Action. Our common interest is for the platform to grow and improve. We all feel that it has great potential for the future.
Educate! is an EU funded project from the ERASMUS+ programme in which ETSA works closely with the HeurekaNet, the Belgian Textile Federation, the German Textile Cleaning Association, the Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Association of the Czech Republic and the Swedish Textile Service Association. If you'd like to know more from ETSA's perspective click here.
To find out more about our members including suppliers, national associations and research institutes click here.
To find out more about our members including textile rental companies, national associations and research institutes click here.
To find out more about our members including textile rental companies and suppliers, click here.