It is a consensus that new technologies influence the formation and interaction in today’s society, impacting the way our youth acquire knowledge. However, there are many variables to consider when discussing the importance of the using tablets in schools with the school community. As a result, many principals and school directors suffer from teachers and parents resisting the adoption of mobile devices in their institutions. Here, we will list some important points that will help you justify the investment of tablets, as educational tools, to integrate into the teaching and learning process.
*by Michele Rodrigues
The amount of educational material currently available to teachers is immense due to advances in technology. Using the internet, it has become increasingly easy to search for materials on which to build our lesson plans.
Several sites provide teachers with numerous types of educational materials including detailed, ready-to-use lessons plans. But, is it as easy as searching and immediately applying these materials in the classroom? The answer is: no. The internet search must be thorough and results must be analyzed. In some cases the lesson plan provided by one teacher is not suitable for another, and vice versa. Before we go crazy looking for a perfect plan, we should consider adapting pre-existing materials to meet our needs, as teachers, as well as students’ needs.
How are teachers curators?
The word curator has Latin origins of ‘curare’ meaning to take care of. It is commonly used in the arts and refers to the steps of searching, selecting and organizing related works based on predefined criteria. The curator acts as the mediator between the works of art and the visitors of the exhibition.
Similar logic can be applied for teachers, as curators of educational materials, by following a few steps:
- Limit the content;
- Search related materials;
- Only select suitable materials;
- Write your lesson plan guided by the found materials. Be sure to consideration the class and student profiles, the pedagogical philosophy of your school, etc.;
- Put the lesson in action and check whether any modifications need to be made;
- Pay attention to students. The higher the level of engagement, the more relevance the material has for them, making the learning experience meaningful.
In times when educational technology is so prevalent, the process of curating digital learning objects (DLOs), or digital instructional materials, is crucial in the creation of lesson plans that effectively integrate new technologies. By testing and reviewing the materials, you can be sure it addresses all educational goals and objectives.
Common mistakes that can extinguish all efforts. Therefore, never:
- Copy and paste the material found. In addition to possible copyright issues, the application of the material can be catastrophic.
- Remember, students also have access to the Internet;
– Give credit to the author;
- Include your personality, opinion, and teaching style;
- Lastly, never use a DLO without first testing it (simulators, games, applications, etc.)
Storing a DLO
The initial work of curating can be cumbersome, but over time you will have a library of quality and easily accessible materials. The methods of archiving and distributing can make all the difference, and employing a mobile educational platform to assist with this can be of tremendous help.
Effectively curating, archiving and distributing materials will make classes more attractive to students while greatly impacting the professional curriculum of the 21st century teacher.
In October, I attended the ABED (Brazilian Association for Distance Education) International Conference which held a lecture about the analysis and utilization of student engagement data to prevent evasion. The lecture, in conjunction with the noticeable increase of new higher education institutions in Brazil, stimulated the consideration of risks that institutions face as a result of the growing number of competitors.
There are several factors to be taken into consideration regarding higher ed competition, but the primary concern revolves around retaining the student body. Studies conducted by the Ministério da Educação (MEC) in Brazil, reveal that the number of Undergraduate students at graduation is less than half the number of entrants.
*by Stephanie Fitzwater
We are aware that educational technology has become the catalyst for transformation in the K-12 environment. We know students react well to the incorporation of technology and are increasingly demanding to be producers of knowledge. But, where do we stand as educators? Are we working on changing our mindset to accommodate the growth of technology and widespread educational reform? Or, are we hesitant, believing we will have to start-over and recreate all of our years of previous work?