VIRTUAL CLASSROOMS FOR UNAM´S TEACHERS. TOWARDS INNOVATION
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Since the establishment in 2009 of the program h@bitat puma of DGTIC-UNAM (General Direction of Information Technology and Communication of the National Autonomous University of Mexico) various long scale actions have been developed within the UNAM in order to integrate the use of ICT in the classrooms. The purpose of this program is to improve educational processes taking place in the University, by updating and adapting towards the needs of present times.
The task involved is not simple, it implies addressing the challenge from different angles and at different levels: On one hand, from an operational point of view, it was seen the need of bringing technology to the academic community. This has been done through equipping classrooms, the creation of the University’s Wireless Network (RIU) and by giving teachers and students a software and computational equipment in affordable prices. Of course, to get these benefits, it has been necessary to establish loan programs through agreements with various hardware and software companies, as well as exploring ways of funding through the university authorities and other people involved.
Moreover, in line of the formative work, one of the core strategies of the project was to train teachers about teaching uses of ICT, under the pedagogical approach about that the integration is be based on the premise that these (ICTs) are tools that students need to handle, and that can be used daily to enrich the study of the contents of the different subjects they carry. Following this goal, we have designed and implemented many workshops and a specialization through which we have trained more than 5000 teachers over 4 ½ years.
Another strategic key to accomplish the purpose of the program, has been to provide teachers the tools and spaces suitable for the implementation of the ICT’s in their daily work at classrooms; this has been achieved through the development and implementation of the project Tu Aula Virtual (TAV - Your Virtual Classroom) and this is precisely the focusing subject of this work.
Tu Aula Virtual (TAV) is a virtual space developed in Moodle, which is offered to teachers, so they can have one or more virtual classrooms to teach their subjects in mixed mode. TAV currently has more than 1500 classrooms in 6 categories, at various levels and schools of the university (UNAM).
Besides showing and describing in detail what Tu Aula Virtual is and how it works, we consider that sharing about how classrooms are used in practice, could be of interest to other colleagues. With this purpose, we will present a review of the different ways in which classrooms have been used and how digital tools have been integrated and implemented by teachers. Because of the numerous number of classrooms, we will take into account the review of only one of the existing categories in Tu Aula Virtual: in specific, the classrooms of the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria (ENP -National Preparatory School) considering all registered courses.
We believe than our experience in this project may be of interest to colleagues from other educational institutions.
Keywords: Virtual classrooms, teaching uses of ICT.