Teaching is about inspiring people. It is not only about transferring knowledge, or building skills.
Ask yourself what your passion is, then learn.
You can ask your learners what their passion is, then teach. Share part of the control on the teaching process.
Playfulness is within every child and adult.
We can all be part of the “net generation”.
No distinction between teachers and learners, especially because of age.
Break the teacher-student hierarchy.
Everybody can teach and learn and enjoy it! And at the same time.
But teachers are not entertainers.
But students are not only consumers or costumers.
Don’t preach facts, stimulate acts.
Promoting self-directed learning.
Social networks and web 2.0 tools can be a powerful tools.
There are new opportunities brought by mobile technologies, PLEs, OERs, video…
New literacies are needed: information seeking and filtering, content creation and curation, sharing and organizing, working in teams. And literacy is no only skills but attitudes.
Old barriers need to be overcome: school/university structure and bureaucracy, assessment (or just scoring?), coping with fast endemic change, knowledge comes in standardized and isolated silos, low transfer from educational research into practice.
Promote creativity in class.
Take risks, you also learn from failure.
Adopt perspectives from other disciplines.
Create communities of practice.
Don’t let this seminar be another “ivory tower”: spread the word.
UOC UNESCO Chair in Elearning VIII International Seminar: Teacher Training: Reconsidering Teachers' Roles (2011)
How is teacher training understood in Spain, how should it evolve or what will be the new approach like, and what would be the main challenges for this evolution to take place.
Traditionally, teachers’ training in Spain was a compulsory short training course, focused in what to teach instead on how to teach. And it was a poorly legitimated course, mainly conceived as a formality.
So, there has been a long discussion around the topic and it was not until 2010 that a legal change was made: now, teacher training consists in a 60 EC master programme, with a common structure for all disciplines and students, and a specific part depending on each one’s original discipline. The common part is made up by several subjects related to learning and personality development; principles and models of educational intervention; society, family and education; and processes and contexts of education; curriculum counselling, educationa intervention for an inclusive education, innovation and research. A third module consists on a supervised practicum + supervised internship. At last, a master thesis is required.
Unlike the previous system, there is now a focus on the pedagogical and social aptitudes of the soon-to-be teacher.
The actual reflection now is about:
Both in action and about action.
Have a global approach.
How ICTs can be embedded into teachers’ development process.
Ways of introducing an innovative teaching practice. Which most times means preaching by the example.
The design and structure of this programme is not enough flexible to contribute to the development of professional knowledge (different from academic knowledge).
To develop a closer relationship between “teacher educator” and teaching practices.
To contribute to the integration of ICT uses into everyday teaching-learning.
Julià Minguillón: is there any community of practice for this course where people can share their knowledge and experiences? Guasch: That is certainly a very important observation, and this is definitely one of the next steps forward.
Edem Adubra: is this programme official / is there any authority that gives credit for this programme? Guasch: the general design for the programme comes from the Spanish Ministry of Education, so it is official and it is assessed itself. Afterwards, UOC provides its own approach, and it is this approach that can be changed, and being evolved.
Q: how are the schools that offer places for practices and internships chosen? Guasch: schools are part of the Spanish educational system and so it is quite easy to offer places, get in touch with the schools, work with them and coordinate the internships, etc. Indeed, collaboration with schools is very interesting to be able to reflect not only about internships, but about how the new student-teachers implement what they learnt and how the training programme provides answers and tools for them to be able to become real teachers.
The IOC is the Catalan Open High School, and have set up an online modality for 26,000 students — usually adults — to follow their courses online, many of them vocational training.
As many students have low educational profiles and are not proficient with technology, instructional technology is very transparent and is only aimed at facilitating the learning process. Thus, platforms the students are familiar with (e.g. Vimeo) are both used by IOC to upload learning materials or by the students to share their work.
A new software has been developed to monitor students’ practices in businesses that have partnered with IOC.
The tutor has great importance in the learning methodology of the IOC online edition.
On the other hand, remote access to “real” research and simulation infrastructures (e.g. labs in universities) are common so that the students can practice, from home, with the same infrastructures they are likely to use once out of high school.
The roles of the student and teacher have radically changed:
The teacher proposes a work study plan.
Students are the actors of their learning.
The teacher stimulates the student, they are their guide, a travel companion.
Students work in autonomous ways.
The teacher is “who knows”, the expert, but they are learning too, even from the students.
Q: who decides the content of videos? how are their made? Haro: content is decided by the teachers, as it is part of the assignment. Moral: students have to have the skills to tape, edit and publish video, as it is a very important tool. These skills are taught to the students in specific courses at the earliest stages of their learning.
Q: is there peer-evaluation? do students learn from each other? Haro: Students take traditional (face-to-face) exams at the end of the semester, and they are evaluated by teachers. But teachers do not usually share experiences, at least not within the framework of the courses.
Sigi Jakob: How is Mahara used for e-portfolios? Moral: Mahara is integrated with Moodle, which is the LMS of IOC, and each student is provided their own e-portfolio in Mahara.
UOC UNESCO Chair in Elearning VIII International Seminar: Teacher Training: Reconsidering Teachers' Roles (2011)
Ferran Ruiz Tarragó, Expert in and author of books on ICT and Education, President of the Education Council of Catalonia, Spain The Usual Suspects? Teachers, Their Challenges and Development
Are there any “usual suspects” that are responsible of the ills of education?
Usually, teachers are suspects of:
School failure, low employability and youth poor cultural level.
Countries’ por results in comparative studies (e.g. PISA).
Incivic and violent behaviour of some youth.
The feeble success of reform and innovation policies.
Not working hard enough while looking to meet their convenience.
But, what are the hard facts about education?
Teachers belong to a professional bureaucracy:
Rules and regulations.
Knowledge-based division of labour.
Standarization of the activity.
Almost flat authority structure.
formal access to the profession.
And this bureaucracy is set to provide a public service in great demand: education. But this bureaucracy system is very inflexible when it comes to adapting to new times and innovating. Change comes slowly and painfully Henry Mintzberg.
In 1893, Charles Eliot and his team made up the US secondary school curriculum subjects, which, with minor changes, still applied today in most places in the world. But the world has certainly changed in the last 120 years. So, does this curriculum makes sense any more?
Peter Senge in Schools That Learn (2000) fragmented academic subjects transform us in master reductionists, instead of going to school and being able to develop ourselves by working in the things that matter to us.
Andreas Shcleicher, in the Lisbon Council Policy Brief (2006) states that education is no more a place to share and build knowledge: Education is far from being a knowledge industry as it doesn’t transform according to knowledge of its practices.
And the worst part of it is that private sector interests are redefining what we understand by education, by performance, by excellence, by efficiency. A redefinition where “measuring” becomes of greatest importance. Measuring that inevitably leads towards standardization and goal setting based on those standards. Raising the scores becomes the total priority. And, according to Campbell (Campbell’s Law, 1976), The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.
If a business reflects its manager (Ohmae, THe mind of the strategist, 1982), then the usual suspects of the educational system might not be their teachers, but their managers and administrators, and the policy-makers that put them there. The business models based on XXIth century ‘managerial capitalism’ have reached the limits of their adaptive range, Shoshana Zuboff (Creating value in the age of distributed capitalism, 2010). And the same is happening in education, that has been managed as a firm and cannot adapt to new times any more. A new logic based on the individual is now needed.
Onora O’Neill The real focus is on performance indicators for ease of measurement and control (A question of trust, 2002).
Teachers should be aware that they are requested to be excellent in an outdated system. Must be highly committed in spite of conditions that preclude excellence. Managers & decision-makers should make deep change possible. We have to confront the myth of the extraordinary teacher.
Teachers should widen the scope of their professional mission regarding students. Centre on youth development, community and sense of purpose, not just subject-matter instruction. Have to prepare students for the future, not for the past. Engage in deep and massive research and development.
Teachers should fight for intelligent accountability. Confront publicly the illusion that numbers never lie. Engage collectively on improving compete3ncy-base assessment of student learning. Put forward proposals for comprehensive and equilibrated accountability of their own work.
Edem Adubra: is there a role for planning education while not interfering with teachers’ independence? Ruiz Tarragó: it surely is about being humble and willing to work together. If policy-makers aim at imposing their points of view, then there is no way on both planning and keeping independence. But it the processes are co-built by different stakeholders of the educational system, and bases on what is really an effective possibility, then changes can be made, the system can evolve and notwithstanding disruptions can be avoided and consensus reached.
Are children really early adopters of new technology? There are authors like Vygotsky or Prensky that have pointed at some factors that may make children more creatitve.
A research was performed by running several workshops on storytelling, playing, taping, etc. What happens behind the scenes, how documentaries are made, etc. was analyzed through action research, and looking at the different narrative activity phases
Every workshop provided qualitative and quantitative data on the activities, children and parents to demonstrate that workshops for children incorporating digital video technology provide children with means of expressing their creativity in different and enhanced ways.
Initial conclusions showed that this is a research that never ends: its ethnographic and participatory approach makes it a non-stop experience. On the other hand, replication requires the development of a manual, which was done too. 3 keys to success proved to be adaptability, simplicity and scalability. Performance and sharing with your community, and real-time evaluation by your peers are certainly very interesting and valuous aspects of creativity.
(personal note: difficult to liveblog session, due to the rich and constant examples and references to works produced by children.)
Q: We need to find the way to put all the (digital and creative) skills together, so that things can happen. On the other hand, how do we “control” children? how do we manage the planning stage? Bhimani: having a fresh, young mindset does help. In any case, control is definitely not the option, control has to go out the window. Trust, confidence, nearness are very important, and the teacher is a facilitator, not a director. And the environment makes it all: it is not a classroom, but another kind of space where to enjoy oneself, to play, to tape. And technology is not important: is how we use technology in that specific environment.
Edem Adubra, Chief of the Section for Teacher Policy and Development, UNESCO Paris, France Enhancing the status and professionalism of teachers in the digital age: UNESCO’s perspective
Teachers are a priority in the framework of Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) implementation. At a global level, the role of teachers has been mentioned in major conferences and reports related to EFA and MDGs. And this role has increasingly been mentioned in parallel with the important role of technology in education, both as key players of the development of education.
UNESCO has five main functions:
Laboratory of ideas, including foresight on the future of education.
Standard-setter, helping to set educational policies.
Capacity-builder in UNESCO’s fields of competence.
In the field of capacity development, UNESCO works in the intersection of ICTs and teacher education, assisting with the development and adaptation of online tools and resources, with a focus on open educational resources (OERs) and guidelines for the effective use of ICT in teacher education, including how to adapt curricula, methodologies and syllabuses.
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is also an important part in capacity development for teachers.
UNESCO usually partners too with the private sector to be able to carry on specific projects: Microsoft, Intel, Varkey GEMS Foundation, Nokia, etc. We need to bring the expertise of those who are working in the field to know what is working and what is not, so that UNESCO’s policies and actions are guided by research and real experience.
Emma Kiselyova: what can be done to increase the adoption and impact of the recommendations, resources and outcomes in general of conferences and committees related to education? Adubra: Curricula and teachers’ practices are very difficult to change overnight. We have to have a clear and smooth implementation plan, and this is what is lacking. And most of the research on these topics remains closed within the “ivory towers” of academic publishing, with serious flaws concerning outreach and with an arguable lack of effectiveness.
Q: how can we avoid the “westernization” of teaching all over the world? how can we embed in international policies the way of thinking that is not from Western countries? Can ICT be used outside of Western educational context? Adubra: surely governments have a crucial role in “transposing” international recommendations to the context of their own populations. And the responsibility of education is to tame technologies so that they do not destroy, but help in the building of a society.
Arthur Preston: what strategies can we put up in practice to fight the digital divide in education? Adubra: basic infrastructures are a prior stage that has to be addressed. Education and ICT in Education cannot be treated as an isolated matter, but within a bigger framework.
Q: how do we use technology for assessment? Adubra: we promote participatory teaching, collaborative learning, but our assessment (especially State-level ones) still is based on pencil and paper, writing essays, etc. Maybe, instead of trying to organize new assessment strategies yet again at the State-level, what we should focus is on teacher training on new assessment methodologies, and afterwards see how we make them compatible or comparable one to another.
I am professor at the School of Law and Political Science of the Open University of Catalonia, and researcher at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute and the eLearn Center of that university. During 2014 I am also the director of the Open Innovation project at Fundació Jaume Bofill.