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IITE: November 15 2010 - Plenary
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16 November 2010
Bernard Cornu, CNED
Opened the main part of the conference by talking about the “Net generation”. There are characteristics that can be broadly stated for baby-boom, X and Y generation. With the changing expectations of behaviour also comes new views :
knowledge as social:
Learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together and learning to be. (Jacques Delors)
There is a network view of how things work: switch from a hierarchical pyramid view to multi connected network.
Collective intelligence – exhibited by animals (e.g. ants) and maybe humans.
Quoted Kevin Kelly “The next 5000 days of the web” (youtube) illustrates the way in which each individual and their machine is part of the web.
As learning needs to be rethought so the roles of schools need to change – as the entry point for lifelong learning. Schools will need to be more open and learn through social networks (but where is the evidence for this?). Technology is advancing quickly but pedagogy does not develop and evolve at the same pace. We are left with trying to match old pedagogy to new technology. Equally there is a political need that must be part of the approach.
Alexander Khoroshilov: The next talk in Russian looked at the way that activities by UNESCO are having an influence in the region through IITE on Education for All, OER, Virtual Campuses and the development of guidelines on such things as using open and distance learning. There are a large range of publications available at http://www.unesco.org/en/education/
There are plans for ICT Competence certification for teachers.
Doran Bernard: Spoke about statistical and survey work on five countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Russian Federation. The concerns that they had found show worries in all countries not just those with development needs. There are existing recommendations from EU and OECD that are trying to make teaching more attractive. Again actions tend to make sense regardless of the country or development state. While there is much good advice the plan is to carry out a 12 page survey to gain data direct from the five regions. They survey sounds like quite a lot of work with descriptive data being sought and ideas for the future. The approach seems to be about the current situation and so I wonder if there needs to be a more forward looking element in particular if there is an intention to look for innovation and change.
Fatma Abdullazade – presented the situation in Azaerbaijan and made some interesting points both that teachers should not be seen as engaged in “transmission” or having a desire to be “digital natives”. Past success from 50 years ago in addressing literacy has been let go too easily. The move to ICT has also brought in elements of political actions and the need to use funding from oil into education. This recent investment is starting to pay back and may lead to all pupils having computers. But that in itself does not solve anything. Recognising the cross over between home and school has potential – but only if the learner understands how to learn in this situation. All teachers know how to use computers – training is not the goal. The information environment is a natural educator. 5000 schools, 48 universities, but there is a gap in OER. The basis is there with unified exams linked to university entrance. However there remains the need for teachers to teach the “magic” of literature and appreciation at the heart of learning. As we adopt the wider resources there is no single model, while sometimes there is the assumption of an inevitable dominance of the “American liberal model”. Ireland is cited as an example of how a small island was able to work in the global age. Other examples of diverse approaches: Malaysia, Korea, Singapore. The post Soviet models need to come not from economics but from the education sector. The choice of good students of IT and business should also extend to teaching.
Aleksander Asmolov led with 25 years of reorganisation of the schools. While companies have developed the technology (cloud computing, web 2.0, …) but we need to take responsibility for the pedagogy. If there is a solution elsewhere then we should be prepared to adopt it.
A question asked was what is stopping innovation in pedagogic universities. The answer is that the time is now right for experiments.
Manuk Mkrtchyan: there is a need for face to face - even now with people looking at screens and listening to earpieces he personally finds it hard to talk. Meetings in his view are necessary and there will be an important one in 2012. He referred back to previous talks and the Bolshevik models of the past. This allows more radical approaches to learning groups rather than “classes” but individualisation is dangerous – it is ok to customise programmes but need to bring together for collective intelligence rather than individual. Using computers for individualisation could divide people, rather the focus needs to be on bringing people together under an holistic view. Homework changes under this view from individual to collective, while in school the individual can be supported – reversing the past position. Self management of learning is also enabled by the technology – provided the learner’s role is supported. The focus needs to be on establishing a stable view of pedagogy and then ensure technology supports it rather than the other way around. First use innovation in educating teachers before expecting them to use it in their teaching; realise that the switch to online textbooks will not change things if the texts do not change – eTextbooks need to be created for the new system changing access is not enough; first create the framework and then use the technology.
Piotr Kuharchik: Belarus. Set out the aims in Belarus.
Dae Joon Hwang: ICT and teacher development in Korea. Included the impact of OER and the way in which that is changing the approach to teacher training. They have launched module based training programme which covers six elearning topics: these have been both popular and highly rated.
Guntis Vasilevskis (Latvia) played a snippet of Russian to show that it is possible to understand even foreign phrases – unfortunately I feel that I tuned it out and so did not do so myself. There is a mismatch between the training in ICT and the actual use of ICT in practice. Their approach also includes partnership work that enables visits to e.g. chemical works to allow direct experience.
Roumen Nikolov, Bulgaria, described the options for more global online operation: virtual campus, e-science and OER. Bulgaria is a relatively new member of the EU and taking part in several innovation project such as EU2020. He cited I*Teach, TENCompetence, Share.TEC, Open Archive, Atlas, Elica.