TEACHERS AND ICTs

A teacher must be willing not only to know but to use ICTs according to the context and availability of resourses they have. At institutional level, it is important to recognize their relevance and its inclusion in the curriculum. In public education in Venezuela, considering the spread of Canaima Project and CBITs (Centros Bolivarianos de Informática y Telemática), a teacher should master both free and commercial software. Therefore, teachers must be prepared to manage different suites:

  • Office (reading, creating and editing different types of documents, spreadsheet, or presentations)
  • Sound and video suite (recording, playing and editing audio and video files)
  • Search engines and email communication
  • Social Media

These literacies are developed according to availability and need. So, teachers must be equiped with the  technology, trained and encouraged to use it. Educational policies must take socioeconomic factors in consideration and ensure ICTs are incueded in all areas realted to schools: planning, learning, practice, support, and assessment (UNESCO, 2011).

From my personal perspective, teachers and students must be trained in use of the technlogy in the classroom not as a personal choice but as part of the curriculum. Also teacher training must include the use of ICTs in pedagogical settings.

Reality shows that teachers, specially those over 35 are reluctant to use technology, maybe due to fear.

unescoMay2011

Digital literacy in education; Policy brief; 2011 UNESDOC -Unesco
unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002144/214485e.pdf

Talking about possibilities …

by Liz Walter Benjamin Franklin famously wrote that ‘nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes’. We all know how annoying it can be when someone seems to be completely sure about all their opinions, so it is important to be able to express certainty only where it is justified, and other degrees […]

I’ll belive it when I see it: Talking about certainty, probabilities and possibilities an article by Liz Walter on how to use modal verbs and expressions to express different degrees of certainty.

Write comments about thing that today you feel certain, probable and possible. And tell me one thing you know it’s impossible.


Hope you enjoy it!

Podcasting

This week I have been learning about the use of Internet tools for distributing audio. Eventhough I have not podcasted any content yet, I have already created free accounts in Podomatic, Podbeam, Vocaroo, Audioboo, and Sound Cloud. I have checked the sites but have still to post. It is amazing the amount of content and information you find. 

As any interactive tools responsibility and respect for other people opinion is essential for effective and successful communication. All this reminds me of Grice’s (1975) principles of cooperative conversation. To maintain conversation as a cooperative venture you should follow these principles:

Be relevant

Be informative

Be truthful

Be clear.

Following these principles could save us a lot of trouble in our modern society.

Back to the point of our post, here you will find a presentation with the summary of the articles read this week, hope you enjoy it.

podcasting

Podcasting

REFERENCES:

1. Podcasting: Audio on the Internet Comes of Age by Graham Stanley http://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume9/ej36/ej36int/

2. The 4 Types of Podcasts http://icoblog.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/types-of-podcasts/

3. Podcasting, Academic Tip Sheet http://www.ecu.edu.au/CLT/tips/docs/podcasting.pdf

Wikis in the classroom

Acording to its creator Ward Cunningham a Wiki is

“ …  a composition system;

 it’s a discussion medium;

 it’s a repository;

 it’s a mail system; 

it’s a tool for collaboration… ”

Ward Cunningham’s Wiki

A Wiki can be an efficient exchange of communication because all participants can  EDIT and SAVE information. A base document then can become a webe page that can also be LINKed to other web pages.

Since Wikis are applications that allow users to contribute and edit content, they provide a very useful space for developing projects and promote independent learning and responsible use of information.

 wiki

Wikipedia, The Iconic Wiki

When using Wikis in learning environments it is important to :

  • Set clear expectations
  • Start small
  • Ask for help, from experts
  • Read other Wikis
  • Allow Wiki to work for you
  • Use them as showcase of work
  • Contribute with others

wiki2

Although Wikis are flexible collaborative tools, there is always the risk of finding inappropriate content or language, irresponsible use of information or lack of clear objectives in the information posted. However, they sound like an excellent opportunity to allow students to use their power to search information, discuss it and keep it in a repository.

REFERENCES:

7 Things you should know about … Wikis. July 2005. https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7004.pdf

Ward Cunningham Wiki. http://wiki.c2.com/

Le Bar, Z. (2014). What are wikis, and why should you use them? https://business.tutsplus.com/tutorials/what-are-wikis-and-why-should-you-use-them–cms-19540

 

Basic Concepts in ICTs

I used the Cambridge online Dictionary to look up for these definitions (This is also a skill teachers must learn and teach, how to use an online dictionary efficiently.)

onlinelearn

 

  • Online learning:  Online learning refers to courses offered by postsecondary institutions that are 100% virtual, excluding massively open online courses (MOOCs). In the domain of higher education there are two distinct methods in which a learner can engage with an academic institution; the traditional method of brick-and-mortar facilities and the virtual method through online learning. This article will focus on the virtual platform of online learning. Today’s online learning is the newest development in distance education that began in the mid-1990s with the spread of the internet. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_learning_in_higher_education)
  • Virtual learning (V-learning):  A virtual learning environment (VLE) is a set of teaching and learning tools designed to enhance a student’s learning experience by including computers and the Internet in the learning process. The principal components of a VLE package include curriculum mapping (breaking curriculum into sections that can be assigned and assessed), student tracking, online support for both teacher and student, electronic communication (e-mail, threaded discussions, chat, Web publishing), and Internet links to outside curriculum resources. In general, VLE users are assigned either a teacher ID or a student ID.(http://whatis.techtarget.com)

e-learning

  •  Blended learning (B-learning):  The term blended learning is generally applied to the practice of using both online and in-person learning experiences when teaching students. In a blended-learning course, for example, students might attend a class taught by a teacher in a traditional classroom setting, while also independently completing online components of the course outside of the classroom. In this case, in-class time may be either replaced or supplemented by online learning experiences, and students would learn about the same topics online as they do in class—i.e., the online and in-person learning experiences would parallel and complement one another.

    (http://edglossary.org)

blended lear

  • Mobile learning (M-learning):  Mobile learning involves the use of mobile technology, either alone or in combination with other information and communication technology (ICT), to enable learning anytime and anywhere. Learning can unfold in a variety of ways: people can use mobile devices to access educational resources, connect with others, or create content, both inside and outside classrooms. Mobile learning also encompasses efforts to support broad educational goals such as the effective administration of school systems and improved communication between schools and families. (http://www.unesco.org)
  •  BYOD: Bring Your Own Device – Consumerization is quickly transforming business and IT models, and the bring your own device (BYOD) movement – once regarded with hesitation or even outright resistance by many businesses – is now a mainstream trend in organizations of all kinds. By adopting a BYOD policy that lets people use their own PCs and mobile devices for work, your organization can attract and retain talented employees while increasing productivity, protecting data and simplifying IT.(https://lac.citrix.com)
  • Flipped Classroom: The flipped classroom is a new method of teaching, it is turning the traditional classroom on its head.

flipped class

(https://www.knewton.com)

This link takes you to a very interesting example of e-learing.:  https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/digitalliteracy/curriculum4.aspx It offers online training and testing on basic computer knowledge and digital literacies.

 

ICTs in Latin American Education

As ICTs are part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the goals greatly influence policies regarding ICTs use in countries around the world. In Latin America and the Caribbean countries, acording to the ICTs in education in Latin America and the Caribbean – A regional analysis of ICT integration and ereadiness (UNESCO, 2012), ICTs have become a priority in Education policies, eventhough there are vast differences among the countries.

SDG GOALS

The report states that differences in ICT instruction along LA and the Caribbean countries is greatly influenced by factors such as, “economic, infrastructural (e.g. availability of electricity, Internet connectivity and type) and other factors, including teachers’ training and preparedness” (UNESCO, 2012).

In Venezuela, policy is intended to favour broadband connectivity, free software, and access to mobile equipments in all levels of education, specially primary schools. Two of the most important programs are: Proyecto Canaima and CBITs.

http://uis.unesco.org/sites/default/files/documents/ict-in-education-in-latin-america-and-the-caribbean-a-regional-analysis-of-ict-integration-and-e-readiness-en_0.pdf

Teachers and ICTs

A teacher must be willing not only to know but to use ICTs according to the context and availability of resourses they have. At institutional level, it is important to recognize their relevance and its inclusion in the curriculum. In public education in Venezuela, considering the spread of Canaima Project and CBITs (Centros Bolivarianos de Informática y Telemática), a teacher should master both free and commercial software. Therefore, teachers must be prepared to manage different suites:

  • Office (reading, creating and editing different types of documents, spreadsheet, or presentations)
  • Sound and video suite (recording, playing and editing audio and video files)
  • Search engines and email communication
  • Social Media

These literacies are developed according to availability and need. So, teachers must be equiped with the  technology, trained and encouraged to use it. Educational policies must take socioeconomic factors in consideration and ensure ICTs are incueded in all areas realted to schools: planning, learning, practice, support, and assessment (UNESCO, 2011).

From my personal perspective, teachers and students must be trained in use of the technlogy in the classroom not as a personal choice but as part of the curriculum. Also teacher training must include the use of ICTs in pedagogical settings.

Reality shows that teachers, specially those over 35 are reluctant to use technology, maybe due to fear.

References:

unescoMay2011

Digital Literacies and Education

Digital Literacy refers to the abilities a person has to manage and use regarding a wide range of technologically based communication devices and modalities that allow exchange of ideas, images, information, forms of entertainment at personal, social, or professional level. It implies the use and developement of abilities increasingly demanding and complex. Although, they are perceived to be easy and available.

Learning or acquiring digital literacies implies the recognition of the need and motivation to work at different levels of use and engagement. This learning will depend on economic power, willingness to learn, and availability. And of course fashion, some applications or devices may become trendy or out fashioned very quickly. The commercial career for the public preference influences the need or not to develop a skill or not. Printing, for instance, is something be do not need frequently nowadays.

Digital Literacies, according to Gavin Dudeney on his video New Literacies … Teachers and Learners provides a general view of the different types of literacies requiered nowadays in education. He identifies four types of literacies that differ on its focus:

  • Literacies focused on information are related to the ability of efficiently search, identify, and evaluate information from the different sources.
  • Literacies focused on mobile language are related to the ability to understand the language used in different mobile devices.
  • Literacies focused on designing or redesigning. They refer to the way people combine different types of sources and devices, to generate new information.
  • Literacies focused on connection are the abilities to move through different networks related to participation, personal information and interaction.

The level of mastery will depend of course on field of occupation and personal interets. So, literacies will be varying according to personal realities. In the case of teachers, it is important to identify the key literacies required for teachers in general, the level of mastery required, and the specific skills required in each field of knowledge.

UNESCO on its 2008 document “ICT-Competency Framework for Teachers” outlines the aspects to be considered and the specifications for each level of knowledge. It is important to draw the type of education required to attain the development goals to erradicate poverty and a sustainable economy. The objective is to develop a student centered approach for a curriculum that promotes problem-solving skill development, as well as, communication, collaborative learning, experimentation, critical thinking and creative expression. An education focused on solving the crucial issues of society.

Developing competences will have to cover teacher training as well as practice. It will cover: Undertanding ICTs in Education – the roles ICTs play in Education (basic principles of using ICTs)

  • Curriculum and Assessment – What do learners must learn using ICTs as a tool for the process
  • Pedagogy – Methodology and practice usint the ICTs
  • ICT – Tools available fot the learning process
  • Organisation and Administration – Use of ICTs at all levels of the process.
  • Teacher Professional Training   – Crucial the developmetnt of teacher’s abilitities

 These aspects will be developed according to the level of knowledge of each group and also the level of availability of the resources: Technology Literacy (starting skills), Deepening Knowledge (problem-solving knowledge), and Creative Knowledge (creating new knowlege).

Digital literacy in education; Policy brief; 2011 – UNESDOC -Unesco
unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002144/214485e.pdf
unesco ict

The Evolution of the Cybergenres

The combination of computer and the Internet has triggered the emergence of new literary genres. The researchers Shepard and Waters classify them into two groups: extant or existing genres that have been replicated in the Internet (newspapers or dictionaries), including variant or on-line versions like electronic news o math dictionaries. And, the novel genres or emergent, such as, personalized news or homepages.

Existant genres are described as already existing genres that are faithfully replicated on the Internet. They keep the same form and contents. Variant genres are the versions or evolutions that depend on the capabilities of the medium. Example: hyperlinked documents with images or videos.

Novel cybergenres have completely arisen from a new medium and depend on it for its existence on the new medium. As for the emergent genres, they depend completely on the functionalities of the new medium and the creativity of users.

 

Welcome to Belkys Blanco G. blog spot!

Welcome to my Belkys Blanco G. blog!

Belkys Beatriz Blanco Gudiño, ELT teacher and researcher at Universidad Central de Venezuela, contributor to the highschool teacher training programme Micromisión Simón Rodríguez (MMSR)  and student of  UCV ELT Master´s programme.

This blog was created as part of my Information and Communication Technologies  in English Language Teaching course. This course is intended to help  EL teachers develop communication skills using the tools and technologies available to reach broader audiences through the Internet. In order to accomplish this objective, as an EL teacher, I must learn the technological literacies, the use of the available technologies and  the communicative competences to become an efficient user and information developer in my area of expertise.