DEVELOPING LEARNING UNITS, FROM STUDENTS TO TEACHERS
Autonomous University of Morelos State (UAEM) (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Education is at the confluence of powerful and rapidly shifting educational, technological forces shape the structure of educational systems across the globe.
The UNESCO (2002) notes that new technologies challenge traditional conceptions of both teaching and learning and, by reconfiguring how teachers and learners gain access to knowledge, have the potential to transform teaching and learning processes. ICT provide an array of powerful tools that may help in transforming the present isolated, teacher-centred and text-bound classrooms into rich, student- focused, interactive knowledge environments. To meet these challenges, schools must move toward the goal of transforming the traditional paradigm of learning.
The professional development of teacher educators is essential. It is also important to consider the question of who may teach. With ICT, students often become teachers, using the processes of peer tutoring or reciprocal mentoring. Indeed, a teacher may facilitate learning by reversing the teaching-learning roles, with students acting as expert learners who model the learning process. ICT provide extensive opportunities for this to occur in ways that can increase the self-esteem, motivation, and engagement of students. Members of the community also may become teachers, or at least invited experts. ICT extend the range of such opportunities and provide access to extensive relevant supporting materials. The teacher’s role changes to manager and facilitator in many of these situations as the teacher helps the expert communicate with the learners and scaffolds the learning process. The teacher also acquires professional development by learning from the expert.
According to UNESCO, the ICT competencies are organized into four groups: Pedagogy, Collaboration and networking; Social Issues and Technical Issues. There is interdependence of competencies, but the most important aspect of infusing technology in the curriculum is pedagogy.
At the Autonomous University of Morelos State (UAEM in Spanish), 15 undergraduate students who has never worked with virtual education and who were doubting about its functionality, worked in a project development, which consisted in planning an actualization course for teachers in a virtual way for a virtual mentoring.
After reviewing literature, scientific articles and several curriculum world universities there were designed three learning units: autonomous learning, critical thinking, collaborative learning.
Descriptive evaluation showed how the planning and development of this learning units are being developed step by step, even though the students have ever before used the ICTs for academicals subjects. Students were engaged learners, able to take greater responsibility for their own learning and constructing their own knowledge.
The evaluation shows the development of this planning among students, produced a horizontal social organization within the classroom. The students, being designers learning units, could move through adopting ICT stages in five months from adopting technology as a substitute for teaching practice they have already lived in the university within presential courses, where technology is not used (e.g., teacher lecture becomes electronic presentation supporting lecture), through adaptation of ICT in teaching practice, under the constructivism and socio constructivism learning paradigms.
Keywords: Virtual education, ICTs, learning, teaching.