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Appears in:
Pages: 3294-3299
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

UDIGITAL.EDU: ENCOURAGING CREATIVE LEARNING AND CRITICAL THINKING THROUGH INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES

Nowadays, in the midst of the Information Age, the world is changing very quickly and this causes people to constantly face unexpected problems and situations. In this scenario, it is obvious that personal success (or success of societies, nations, etc.) is not only based on what we know or how much we know, but on our ability to think and react in a creative way.

Creativity and innovation have always been important factors, but in the Information Age have become essential and indispensable. Unfortunately, it seems that in most cases society has evolved faster than the schools. Moreover, the traditional learning models that are used in these schools are not typically focused on developing creative thinking. Many students learn a huge amount of knowledge, and skills and abilities to solve concrete problems, but they are unable to adapt these learned concepts to find out solutions to real problems and unexpected situations that today's changing world offers continuously (Resnick, 2007).

With the introduction of Information and Communication Technologies (from now ICT), some sectors hoped that ICTs would be useful to encourage creativity, critical thinking, group problem solving, and continuous learning, all of them key competencies in the early XXI century. However, the truth is that in most cases, education systems have used ICTs only as a simple change of medium, without major changes in the way of teaching or learning.

The UdiGital.edu project ―led by nine multidisciplinary research groups that make UdiGital (a strategic research unit of the University of Girona)― is inspired and supported by the theory of Constructionism (Papert, 1980), and it combines aspects of Educational Innovation, ICT in Education, and ICT for Development. Specifically, the project aims to study how ICT–Media technologies known by UdiGital (eg. Robotics and Artificial Intelligence) can help to stimulate the creativity and critical thinking of children and youth. The project has a strong component of science popularization and dissemination of knowledge, and also a component of fostering talent and innovation. However, it goes one step further and aims to study by means of workshops and activities with children and young people, how ICT-Media technologies can be used to help us to build a critical awareness of our environment. The whole project turns around the idea that creativity used in a proper way, can become an important tool for Human Development, being the long-term goal the transformation of these children and youth who participate in our workshops and activities into agents of change, creative and innovative in their own communities, and committed to their social reality. This way, they will be able to propose new alternatives to improve their life quality, and start projects to create wealth in different social environments.

Following this philosophy, we have developed over twenty workshops, with different formats and topics, and for different audiences. We have also established the design and structure of these workshops, as well as the processes of organization, coordination and monitoring of each one.

References:

Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms: Computers, Children and Powerful Ideas. NY: Basic Books.

Resnick, M. (2007). Sowing the Seeds for a More Creative Society. Learning & Leading with Technology, v35 n4 p18-22. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
@InProceedings{MUNTANERPERICH2011UDI,
author = {Muntaner-Perich, E. and Innocenti, B. and Cuf{\'{i}}, X. and Figueras, A. and Roca, J. and Estebanell, M. and Echazarreta, C. and Freixenet, J.},
title = {UDIGITAL.EDU: ENCOURAGING CREATIVE LEARNING AND CRITICAL THINKING THROUGH INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {3294-3299}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Muntaner-Perich AU - B. Innocenti AU - X. Cufí AU - A. Figueras AU - J. Roca AU - M. Estebanell AU - C. Echazarreta AU - J. Freixenet
TI - UDIGITAL.EDU: ENCOURAGING CREATIVE LEARNING AND CRITICAL THINKING THROUGH INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 3294
EP - 3299
ER -
E. Muntaner-Perich, B. Innocenti, X. Cufí, A. Figueras, J. Roca, M. Estebanell, C. Echazarreta, J. Freixenet (2011) UDIGITAL.EDU: ENCOURAGING CREATIVE LEARNING AND CRITICAL THINKING THROUGH INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES, ICERI2011 Proceedings, pp. 3294-3299.
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