Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Week 2 - Basic Concepts of ICT used in Education

E- Learning was first called "Internet Based trainning","Web Based Training". "E- learning basi-cally boils down to learning that is facilitated and supported via information and communications technology (ICT)".

According to The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) "E- learning is a broad set of applications and processes which include web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital, delivered via Internet."(Alonso,F et al (2005)
The Southern Assosiation of Colleges and Schools define Distance Education as "A formal educational process in which the majority of the instrucction occurs when a student and instructor are not in the same place.It may employ correspondence study, audio, video or computer technologies
Juan R. Pimentel (1999) defines a "virtual learning environment" as follows:
. . . we define a virtual learning environment as one that allows learners to perceive the environment, assess situations and performance, perform actions and proceed through experiences and lessons that will allow them to perform better with more experience on repetition on the same task in similar circumstances. This definition of a virtual learning environment emphasizes the importance of learning. Learners in a virtual environment are expected to make use of and include examples, observations, experiences, situations, rules, concepts and techniques in a continuous (e.g., day by day or week by week), permanent (i.e., committing knowledge into memory) fashion to improve the performance of the execution of tasks. (pp. 75-76 [print]; section IV, ¶ 3 [electronic])
According to Michael Orey: "The definition of blended learning depends upon perspective. I have chosen to look at three of the primary perspectives in a learning setting: the learner, the designer/teacher, and administrator perspective.
Learner Perspective - Blended Learning the ability to choose among ALL available facilities, technology, media and materials matching those that apply to my prior knowledge and style of learning as I deem appropriate to achieve an instructional goal (the salad bar metaphor).
Designer/Teacher Perspective - Blended Learning the organization and distribution of ALL available facilities, technology, media and materials to achieve an instructional goal even when many of these things may overlap.
Administrator Perspective - Blended Learning the organization and distribution of as many cost effective facilities, technology, media and materials as econonmically viable to achieve an instructional goal even when many of these things may overlap.
Some of the various facilities, technology, media and materials include books, computers, groups, teachers, classrooms, virtual classrooms, non-traditional classrooms, tutorials, etc.

Current Situation in my Local Context:
My local contex is the school where I am teaching, which is Mater Salvatoris in Caracas. I teach students of 1st year of highschool, who are between 13 and 14 years old.This school has a very poor situation in terms on ICTs. The school provides students with computer classes, but the students as well as the teacher, do not have the possibility of an Internet connection. This makes impossible the using and teaching of  any digital competence. The school has a computer lab, with 20  pentiums 4 computers, and although it would be extremly easy to have the Internet access, the Institution has not been really interested so far in doing so. As a consequence of this, the students at school, are not able to explore any of the incredible possibilities the Web, wisely used, can provide.
The school has two videobeams, which have to be reserved in advance, and which can not be removed from the rooms they are located in.I must say that I have never used them so far. There is only one Computer Teacher who, although being prepared to teach the students the current trends in technology, is not allowed to do so, because of school policies, that don't allow so. There is only one technician, who comes once a month to maintain the equipment, but who is not available on any other moment. 
As for my students ICT background knowledge, I wouldn´t be sure of it . I know, because of informal information they have provided me, that they are familiar with some web 2.0 tools, such as facebook, twitter, youtube. These are the ones they use most out of the school enviroment. As for blogs, wikis, glogs, e- portfolios, they know basically nothing, as I have confirmed upon asking them. Nevertheless when offered them the oportunity to learn new web tools, they sound incredibly thrilled by the prospect, as well as when told about using such artifacts, in their English class they show an enormous interest. I believe there is hope.
Unfortunately, there are still many closed minded persons and institutions, that seem to be against progress and evolution, and are opposed to the new concepts in education, and therefore stuck in the past. I truly hope this changes, for it would be incredible to be able to connect with our students, and present them with new innovative ways of teaching and learning.

    In the darkness of the unknown, teachers are the stars that illuminate with knowlege. A knowledge that can not rest,which can not be subdued by the storms of the constant challenges of our changing times.As travellers of time and space we are daily faced with the mission of blending into new worlds and renewing our knowledge by not only increasing our wisdom, but traspassing the frontiers of our student's space. Technology has opened new opportunities and we have been granted the gift of it by being offered the possibility of distant learning,a marvellous e-learning concept, a most miraculous virtual learning and a blessed blended learning. As guiding stars, it is our responsability to embrace this gifts and lead the steps of the endless journey through the magnificent learning-teaching process.


1 comment:

  1. It's really amazing the job you're doing. I feel very proud of you and the other participants of the Master program. Kisses and keep on working