Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Roadmap (1): Integrating ICT in Education... today (version 2.0)


Introduction: we have a big problem

We have a big problem. Largely we are preparing our students for a society that no longer exists. Perhaps that is why we are (Spain) one of the countries of the European Union with greater school failure and more youth unemployment, and at the same time we are also placed in  the queue of the OECD countries in academic performance (as the PISA tests).

We are doing many things wrong. We patched our encyclopedic traditional curriculum with additives of "competencies" rather than develop a new curriculum according to the requirements of our times. We say we innovate with ICT in the classroom, when we used ICT to do basically the same thing as always. We are developing "student-players memory" when society demands "innovative people-Google" able to meet new and changing situations.

This cannot continue. Immediately we must make a clear and objective diagnosis of what is wrong and also recognize the mistakes of the past as indispensable starting point to adjust our educational system to new times and establish an appropriate plan of action in this regard.

In addition, under the current economic situation, we have limited resources, so that once developed the action plan will need temporalize actions prioritizing those that have an effect on core problems, which are the cause of many secondary problems, and those that have greater impact on student achievement and the quality of their training.

In this context, we begin here the publication of "roadmaps" that are intended to guide decision making toward improving education. Considering the current economic constraints and other conditions of learning contexts, are guides to introduce some of the most essential innovations in our educational system.

Roadmap (1): Integrating ICT in Education

Today, few people question the desirability of integrating ICT in schools or the need for students to use them and acquire the digital skills  or  the digital literacy. If the reader doubts I suggest you check: "Keys to educational change: Technology and Methodology, Curriculum and Assessment"

Considering that we are clear that we must integrate ICT into the classroom and we are clear why and wherefore, the issues addressed in this task list  are: where do we start the integration of ICT in Education? , how we can do it given the current economic constraints and the necessary adjustments with other key elements of our educational community?

Considering the "6 Keys to successful integration of ICT in Education" we present a proposal to the classrooms of the stage of compulsory education, contemplating an integration process into two stages and a "permanent laboratory of educational innovation with ICT".


STAGE-1: First action to be taken. Fortunately all the centers of our country have long since begun the process of integration of ICT, so that some have already covered this first stage. In any case, and depending on the economic resources available, we must ensure the achievement of these objectives in a maximum of 2 or 3 years:

1. – Digital whiteboard in ALL classrooms. A digital whiteboard is a computer connected to the Internet and with a projector. Anyway, if you can have an interactive whiteboard (IWB), better.

Today there should not be a classroom without whiteboard. The range of learning activities we can perform multiplies tremendously. And in addition to providing added value to the implementation of many 'traditional' activities, allows the realization of many new learning activities focused on the activity of students  and on the development of their skills.

If the classroom has Internet access, it would be enough get an old computer and buy a simple projector of 300 Euros to have a basic whiteboard. Once we will have money, then we can buy the interactive whiteboards. Meanwhile, we cannot have classrooms with blackboards of nineteenth century, when by just over 300 euros we can provide them with a digital board and multiplying the chances of student learning.

We  also recommended to equip classrooms with a document reader.

2. - Have a selection of multimedia didactic resources: free access materials (as provided by "Agrega", Ministries of Education, Genmagic ...), materials from publishers: digital textbooks...

The multimedia learning resources offer teachers and students: information and guidelines for systematic learning, self-correcting  exercises, large libraries and databases to explore and search data, simulators where to make all kind of experiments, building tools, environments for collaborative work ... This resources, well used on the whiteboard, and in the home or school computers,  will permit us to perform many new activities that can facilitate the learning of students.

3. - The bimodal curriculum focus, that ensures to students a knowledge of vocabulary and also prepares them to solve practical tasks efficiently using information and tools available: his notes, Internet...



"Currículum bimodal" model (Pere Marquès)

4. - "Initial training" essential for ALL teachers in the educational use of ICT, guiding the application of current teaching methods in the classroom  and  the work with a bimodal curriculum focus and considering the specific contributions of ICT to the various subjects and their teaching.

TPACK model (Punya Mishra y Matthew Koehler)

The initial training will be necessarily face training, and better than is carried out at the school itself. 

In future articles we will propose a roadmap in this regard.

5. - ICT coordinator. It is necessary to consider time availability sufficient to the teacher ICT coordinator, who will provide support and training on the educational use of ICT to other teachers.

6. - Inclusion of digital skills in the curriculum. Mention in the School Educational Project and consideration at the Classroom Curriculum.

7. - Computer classrooms, according to the schools’ needs. As the school can increase its provision of classroom 2.0, laptop trolleys ... then it will decrease the need for these classrooms.

We do not recommend major investments in computer rooms, it is now more appropriate extend the provision of mobile carts with laptops that can be shared by several classes according to their needs.

STEP-2: Progressive actions, once achieved at least the first 6 objectives of the stage-1.

Of course, the resources listed below are also very important, are essential for schools today. But if we have limited financial resources we have to prioritize. And so, for reasons of lower cost, ease educational use, great teaching potential and efficiency, we have prioritized the digital whiteboard in the stage-1: first of all, we should have digital whiteboards in all classrooms.

On the other hand, once achieved the objectives of the stage-1, which are "essential", the objectives for this phase-2 affect key aspects to consider, although according to the characteristics of the centers can support other than concretions those raised here.

8. - Some support computers in every classroom, according to the demands of teachers.

Depending on the economic resources of the center (and perhaps with the support of AMPA, Association of Parents of Students), here also would include other devices that teachers consider important to their work: children's interactive work table, electronic voting system, digital tablet ...

9. - Learning and management platform, website... The intranet will facilitate educational school management, contact with families and the multiple activities of teaching and learning.

Some schools produce their own educational platform with free resources (likeMoodle) or closed social networks. But generally the centers take advantage ofeducational and management platforms that provide some Ministries of Education or acquire the services offered by educational publishers and specialized companies.

10. - "Basic training" in the educational use of ICT for teachers. This training, among other things, will ensure that each teacher has his teacher blog (or other online educational space) and is integrated into a social network of educators.

Like the “initial training”, we believe that this “basic training” must also be face training and at the school itself. This training can largely be the responsibility of the "ICT coordinator".

It would be nice that schools are self-sufficient in training for the educational use of ICT of its teachers, using the knowledge of different teachers, and especially the ICT coordinator.

11. – Progressive provision of “1 to 1 classrooms” (one computer to student) and laptops for teachers.  The “1 to 1 classroom” multiply the range of possible learning activities to do with students, and also facilitates the use of Web 2.0 resources and develop their digital skills.


Considering that in our country currently about 90% of families with school-age children have computer at home, we believe it is more efficient to have laptops owned by the school (not necessary that families buy them for their children). Where appropriate, school will advise parents so they can buy a family computer, and in cases of poverty, school (perhaps the AMPA) could have scholarships or loan facilities of computers.

Moreover, as the use of laptops in the “1 to 1 classroom” is usually between 30% and 50% of class time per week (there are many activities that will continue to do better without ICT), one trolley of laptops can service 2 or 3 classrooms. In this way  we can reduce the cost of buying and maintaining computers. It’s better to have a laptops trolley in every classroom, but if there are not sufficient financial resources, this can be a good option.

12. - School Maintenance Technician. In the same way that schools have concierges and administrative staff, when it increases the technology park is essential to have on staff a computer technician.

13. - Complementary training "on demand" for teachers. Often through virtual environments.

14. - System to evaluate the use made of ICT and its impact on student learning. We need to analyze what we do and its results to make adjustments and continue improving education, which is what we want to do.

Permanent laboratory of innovation with ICT. Beyond these guidelines, the centers should support initiatives that may have some teachers to experience new learning activities with technology resources: use of digital tablets, social networking and other Web 2.0 resources, QR codes, augmented reality.


Bibliography

DIM (2010). Formación TIC. DocumentosdimEDUtic. Recuperado el 26-4-2012 en https://sites.google.com/site/dimedutic/principales-problemas/formaciontic

EL PAIS (2012). España recupera en PISA el bajón de 2006, pero sigue a 12 puntos de la media de la OCDE. Recuperado el 26-4-2012 en http://sociedad.elpais.com/sociedad/2010/12/07/actualidad/1291676402_850215.html

EL PERIÓDICO. EXTREMADURA (2012) OCDE: España tiene una de las tasas más altas de abandono escolar. Recuperado el 26-4-2012 en http://www.elperiodicoextremadura.com/noticias/sociedad/ocde-espana-tiene-una-de-las-tasas-mas-altas-de-abandono-escolar_635343.html

MARQUÈS, Pere (2012). Web de Tecnología Educativa. Recuperado el 26-4-2012 en http://peremarques.net/

MARQUÈS, Pere (2012). ¿Qué es el currículum bimodal?. En Blog Chispas TIC y Educación. Recuperado el 26-4-2012 en http://peremarques.blogspot.com.es/2011/09/que-es-el-curriculum-bimodal-i.html

MISHRA, Punya  y KOEHLER, Matthew (2006) Modelo TPACK. Recuperado el 26-4-2012 en   http://www.tpack.org/

MISHRA, Punya  y KOEHLER, Matthew (2006) Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A new framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record 108 (6), 1017-1054. Recuperado el 26-4--2012 en http://punya.educ.msu.edu/publications/journal_articles/mishra-koehler-tcr2006.pdf

OCDE (2009). PISA 2009 Programa para la Evaluación Internacional de Alumnos. Informe español. Recuperado el 26-4-2012 en http://www.educacion.gob.es/dctm/ministerio/horizontales/prensa/notas/2010/20101207-pisa2009-informe-espanol.pdf?documentId=0901e72b806ea35a

RUTE-EDUTEC (2008). Declaración conjunta RUTE-EDUTEC ante nuevos titulos universitarios. Red Docente de Tecnología EducativaRecuperado el 26-4--2012 en http://redtecnologiaeducativa.ning.com/notes/Notes_Home

UNESCO (2008). Estándares de competencia en TIC para docentesRecuperado el 26-4-2012 en
http://www.eduteka.org/EstandaresDocentesUnesco.php


In a future article will be completed this roadmap for the integration of ICT ineducation, expanding some of the points mentioned. Meanwhile, we welcome comments and suggestions.



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