EXPERIENCE WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PERSONAL IT SUPPORT FOR TEACHERS IN TEACHING, RESEARCH, PUBLISHING AND E-LEARNING USING IN-HOUSE EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE
1 Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (SLOVAKIA)
2 University of Natural Sciences and Humanities (POLAND)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:The practice of a university teacher is extremely rich and varied, so there are no general-purpose software or IT solutions specifically focused on the person of the teacher. The typical teacher lectures, practices, makes assessment, publishes, collaborates on research, solves knowledge management, creates educational content, and performs a plethora of other related activities, including self-study in his area of expertise. All these activities of a teacher have one shared element and that is working with educational content or knowledge.
However, computers were not developed for education but for computation, so the computer does not know what human knowledge is. For this reason, no educational technology or artificial intelligence can cover all the educational activities of teachers, researchers and students. From an informatics point of view, a computer needs a data structure that can represent human knowledge for this purpose.
The authors' long-standing research has accepted the idea that the processes carried out by teachers and students are knowledge-based, i.e. knowledge is a key parameter if their personal activities are to be automated, with a separate category being the activities of individuals on personal computers, university learning environments, networks and clouds. Based on this hypothesis, a data structure, called virtual knowledge, has been proposed that can be read by both computer and human because it has form of a simple database table. In such a table, an individual inserts meta-information and any educational content. This allows the teacher to create a set of tables for different teaching topics or activities. In this context, the main author of this paper has been developing WPad educational software for over a decade to create and manage these tables. Since educational content is an abstract matter, it is a universal knowledge processing principle, so WPad can be used for all areas of digital transformation of learning or to support the creation of e-Learning and any kind of learning whether face-to-face, blended, collaborative and distance learning. From a teacher's point of view, it therefore represents a personal all-in-one educational tool. As an illustration, the application use of this educational software so far covers dozens of topics and subtopics of this conference, so that one could list a large number of applications that have been implemented in e-Learning and undergraduate teaching or international collaborative research projects and networks.
It can be said that the offline application of WPad and the web-based application of PIKS-channels (Personal Information and Communication System), which is the subject of the current research, can cover all academic activities of a teacher, including distance learning, in the time of the COVID pandemic. At the same time, the basic solution is very inexpensive, as all that is needed is a Windows system and an Internet connection. Moreover, if the university runs a virtual machine on the cloud, WPad can be used by teachers or researchers together on one remote computer.
In this paper, the authors present some selected examples from the digital transformation of teaching and from the activities of the V4+ACARD project consortium created by partners from the V4 countries and Ukraine, e.g. solutions for the automatic creation of educational packages and multilingual support.
Keywords: Digital transformation of education, e-learning, educational software, educational programming, computer supported collaborative learning, knowledge management.