Saturday, October 30, 2010

Educative IT

Technologies of information and of communication (TIC)
Today´s society faces an enormous challenge to improve the quality of life, education and culture. The technological scientific development undergoes a rate of growth without precedents and that in a few years the volume of knowledge of man will change substantially.
The TIC gather together a set of systems that are necessary to administrate the information, especially the necessary computers and programs to transform it, store it, administer it, to transmit it and to find it. The first steps towards a society of information go back to the invention of the electrical telegraph, passing later through the telephone, radiotelephony and, finally, television. Internet, telecommunications and the GPS can be considered as the new technologies for information and communication.
The technological revolution that’s among humanity today is mainly because of the significant advances in technology, information and communication. The great changes that characterize this new society are: the generalization of the use of technologies, communications networks, fast technological and scientific developments and the globalization of the information.
TIC in Education
The new technologies of Information and Communication are those IT tools that process, store, synthesize, recover and display actual information represented in the most varied way (Sanchez, 2000a, 2000b). It is a set of tools, supports and channels for treatment and access to the information. They constitute new supports and channels to give form, register, and store and spread informational contents. Some examples of these technologies are the digital slate (personal computer + multimedia projector), blogs, and by all means, the Web and wikis.
For all type of educative applications, the TIC´s are average. That means that they are tools and construction equipments that facilitate the learning process, the development of abilities and different ways to learn, styles and rhythms for the apprentices. In the same way, technology is used to approach the apprentice to the world, like the world to the apprentice.
For that reason it´s necessary to educate the future generations to be on the same level as the advanced technology, this can be done by incorporating in the education the use of technology and with it the proper use of the computer.
The TIC´s represent a double challenge for education; on one hand they are a powerful tool to introduce to the world of youth, to carry out management, and to improve the profit of their objectives. On the other hand, it sets a challenge in the contents, because we must teach the teenagers to be capable and informed users, who take advantage of the enormous learning resources, change and creativity that these technologies represent. Achieving the first challenge would improve the effectiveness of education, achieving the second challenge would make our country more competitive.
For this the professors must be up-to-date and understand about the advantages that the incorporation of educative Computer science brings to the classrooms.

The advantages of Educational IT
The main advantages of Educational IT are:
The interaction that takes place between the computer and the student. The computer allows the student to participate actively in the learning process.
The possibility of giving an individual attention to the student. Starting off that each student has their own rate of learning and previous experiences, the computer will facilitate the problem of these individual differences when they learn, because as soon as the student enters the formulated question into the computer, it is analyzed, which makes the decisions that are based on previous and immediate answers.
The potentiality to amplify the experiences every day. The computer can create experiences in order to enrich a formal, present and future learning environment with the intention to construct in the students a mental process that can be used for future abstract learning.
• The contribution of the computer as an intellectual tool. The computer becomes a powerful tool with which the student can think and learn creatively, stimulating the development of mental structures, logics and Arithmetic in the students.
The capacity that it grants the student to control his own rate of learning. One of the advantages of the application of the computer in education is the possibility of adapting to different rates, accepting students with different experiences; this allows the educational process to be more flexible, effective and efficient.
The control the learning time and sequence. It’s the ability of the student to be able to control his movements through the learning material, being controlling the sequence of the material within a learning sequence and the time of presentation.
• The capacity that grants the student the control of the learning content. The computer can provide a great variety of experiences of interactive learning, allowing a major flexibility to the process, controlling the types of frequency and displaying different routes for a single material.
The possibility that the computer offers to use the evaluation as a learning mean. This evaluation is based on the learning for the control, that is nothing more than the possibility that the students have to learn the same things; allowing that by the computer they reinforce immediately the correct answers, besides making an auxiliary development of the question; on the contrary if the answer incorrect not only is it identified, but it is also possible to determine why the answer is incorrect and to offer immediate learning sequences to the student. Sanchez J. (1995)

Globalization and Education

According to Alfred Marshall, a thinker of the classic economy, “the most valuable capital of all the capitals is the one that is invested in human beings”. Of these words we can deduce the importance of education as a motor of development for the nations. Since the present concept of globalization has a fundamentally economic origin, the education takes a special significance like generator from capital.
This phenomenon appeared long ago with the development of the international trade. But for some years it has intensified considerably thanks to a particularly favorable political and ideological context to its development, as well as to the acceleration of the technological innovations, especially in the field of the communication. The planner of the education – in any State that it comes from - must reflect on the numerous consequences that a similar phenomenon generates, particularly in terms of mutations of the work market, in order to manage as well as possible the adaption of the formation system in its country.
The increasing complexity of the economic relations at a world-wide level - demanding greater efficiency and technical, productive and commercial refinement - intensifies the competitive character of our societies and the emphasis in expectations of economic utility that the subjects and the governments direct to the education. It is more manifested the urgency of different sectors from the society to introduce changes in the educative system that allow the teenagers to enter successfully and efficiency in the dynamics of the present economy and, mainly, future changes that will assure to the country a favorable position in what we call the global market. The entailment between education and economic development has become something of obvious and fundamental importance at this rate of history, simply something urgent in view of a country like ours, with serious deficiencies in the material conditions of life of a significant part of its population. But it is indeed the need of this alliance and the intensity of which is presents itself and demands our attention, which accentuates the possibility of an estimation of the education in which all the nondeductible senses to fees and utility are neglected and subjected to a stage of eclipse and delay.
Consequences of globalization concerning the training needs
The international dimension is not totally absent of the present educational systems: thus, in the superior education level, for example, particularly in the sectors of science, technology and investigation, the integration of foreign students hasn’t stopped increasing during the last 30 years to get to represent today more of a million people. However, in the majority of cases the distributed education does not respond to the new exigencies born from the globalization.
As recalled by J. Hallak, the objective of the majority of the actual educational systems, that consists of making a national economy work forming an abundant manpower for certain and precise tasks and allowing an elite to have access to the direction and management positions, appears partially un adapted to the mutations that the contemporary societies undergo, as proved in the new observed forms of illiteracy in some of the more developed countries.
Indeed, to respond the challenges of globalization it seems necessary to prepare people for a world of the work where the tasks that have be carried out will be in constant evolution, hierarchy will yield its place to an organization of networks, the information will journey through shared informal channels, the initiative will predominate on obedience and where the “logics” at stake will be particularly complex due to the extension of the markets beyond the borders of the States. Therefore, education must help the people to carry out tasks for which they were not formed, to prepare themselves for a professional life that will not have a linear character, to improve its aptitude to work as a team, to use the information in a independent way, to develop their capacity of improvisation, as well as their creativity, and, in the end, to forge a complex thought in relation to the operation of the real world.


The future of long distance education
E-learning appears to us like one of the formative strategies that can solve many of the educative problems whereupon we were, that go from the geographic isolation of the student, from the centers of the knowledge to the necessity of constant improvement that introduces the society of knowledge to us, without forgetting the calls realized on the money saving and time that suppose, or the magic of the interactive world in which we are introduced.

Definitions of E-Learning
The concept of e-Learning is included/understood easily by the majority of people. Even so, a precise definition of this term is pending. In order to give us an idea of the variants that exist at the moment in the conception of the electronic learning, we examine some definitions:
Technically, e-Learning is the delivery of educative material via any electronic means, including Internet, Intranets, Extranets, audio, video, satellite network, interactive television, CD and DVD, among others.
For the educators, e-Learning is the use of technologies of networks and communications to design, to select, to administer, to give and to extend the education.
Being brief and practitioners, e-Learning is the learning based on technology.

Their distinguishing characteristics can be analyzed from a double perspective: on one hand, comparing it with traditional actual education, and on the other, presenting/displaying these distinguishing characteristics.
Formation based on the network
 • It allows the students to go at their own rate of learning
• It is a formation based on the concept of formation at the moment at which it is needed (just-in-Time training)
• It allows the combination of different materials (auditory, visual and audio-visual)
• With a single application it can be taken care of a greater number of students.
• Knowledge is an active process of construction.
 • It tends to reduce the time of formation of the people.
 • It tends to be interactive, between the participants in the process (professor and students) and with the contents
• We have little experience in its use.
• We don’t always have the structural and organizational resources for its operation
Ultimately, it is possible to be said that the formation based on the network talks about a remote formative modality that leans in the network, and that ensures the communication between the professor and the students according to certain synchronous and asynchronous tools of the communication.
Since it has happened with all the technologies, to which we talked about, there has been a series of granted disadvantages that must be recognized, they have come more times from the speculation than from the reality of the investigation.
Within the advantages, the most mentioned are the following:
• It puts at the disposal of the students an ample volume of information.
• It facilitates the update of the information and the contents.
• It makes flexible the information, independent of the space and the time in which are the professor and the student.
• It facilitates the autonomy of the student.
• It offers different tools from synchronous and asynchronous communication for the students and the professors.
• It favors a formation multimedia.
• It facilitates a group and collaborative formation.
• It favors the interactivity in different scopes: with the information, with the professor and between the students.
• It facilitates the use of the materials, the objects of learning, in different courses.
• It allows that in the servers the activities performed by the students can be registered.
• It saves costs and displacement.

In the case of the disadvantages, we present/display some:
 • It requires more time reversal on the part of the professor.
• It needs minimum technological competitions on the part of the professor and of the students.
• It requires that the students have abilities for the independent learning.
• The quality of the formation can decrease if professor-student does not occur to a suitable ratio.
• It requires more work than the conventional one.
• It supposes the low quality of many courses and present contents.
• It has resistance to the change of the traditional system.
• It imposes solitude and absence of physical references.
• It depends on a connection to Internet; in addition it has to be fast.
• It has little trained teaching staff.
• It supposes problems of security and besides authentication on the part of the student.
• There is no experience in its use.
• There is digital breach.
• If the role of the professor is important, than it is also the one that the student carries out, because, if he does not modify the traditional role of passive receiver in the formation and he becomes receiving conscious assets, the educative action will fail. At the same time it is important that the student is auto motivated for the study.
• The students in network must own a series of distinguishing characteristics, like motivation, independence and the self-sufficiency of the student, like variables that influence in the learning obtained by the students.
The introverting students are more successful in an education context on line; the homing and auto effectiveness are important for the satisfaction of the students in this type of education; the ability, the preference by an active learning, conditions the learning that the students make in contexts hyper mediate, and the self-regulation is a significant variable.
The attitudes influence and all the students do not have significant attitudes by this procedure, because some prefer a face to face formation. Also it is necessary that the student dominates certain techniques of intellectual work, mainly the ones referred to the independent study and the accomplishment of actions supported in the collaborative work.
Ultimately, the student of e-learning will have to dominate a series of skills: to know when there is a information necessity, to identify this necessity, to know how to work with different sources and symbolic systems, to dominate the overloaded information, to evaluate it and to discriminate its quality, to organize it, to have ability for the exhibition of thoughts, to be effective in the use of the information to direct the problem, and to know how to communicate the information found to others.
If we want to incorporate e-learning in education we must have academic leaders who develop in the society of the knowledge and not in the postindustrial one.
We must have academic leaders who play with the innovation, the creativity and the risk like managing principles, and not with the fear and the disagreement that all change generates. If we want to use technologies of the society of knowledge, we must have academic leaders who can perceive what to do with them and that don´t respond with a simple “yes, students at your university have classes with actual teachers ”… With teachers or virtual, the important thing is to make quality universities. The debate is the same as the one had before, when another “technology” that really had an impact on education: the text books.
And, to conclude, a not indicated variable: the investigation.
If we generally do not know the behavior of the TIC in education, this is accentuated in the case of e-learning, and by it, a series of reasons, that goes from its newness to the speed of transformation, going through the technical difficulties that it had; in counterpart, new doors are opened to extend the lines of investigation, that go from the design of adapted didactic materials to the characteristics of the networks going through the mixed learning, the application of specific didactic strategies, the levels of satisfaction of the students, etc.
Finally, what I want to say is that the technical determinants of the system will not mark the quality and the effectiveness, but the attention that we give to the educative variables and didactic variables that are in operation. Today’s problems are not technological, but they are derived from knowing what to do it and how to do it, and the reason of why we want to do it.

Education of the future

Education must undergo many continuous changes in approaches and contents. In the society of knowledge in which we are beginning to develop, the work of the educator is more and more complex. We must quickly change the pedagogical focus task in the subject delivery, traditional and fundamental work of the teacher in the past when its essential responsibility consisted in transmitting the effective knowledge to the new generations. That knowledge was established and irrefutable, and consisted in texts and programs that remained in that condition for many years. On the contrary, the professor must now be located in the plane of who teaches to the new generations, to look for the appropriate information, along with indicating to them where the current knowledge is (today).
The professor must be prepared to answer not in the knowledge-specific field, but in the methodological-specific one, so that he can form and consolidate the restlessness of the boy to look and to learn, to always feel unsatisfied with the answers and to develop methodologies to learn in a permanent form. The key of the future is not to look for the information but to know where to find it.
The educators have to be prepared - like a generation transit - to travel towards the education in the society of the knowledge. It’s a difficult trip, because not all of our students have access the same media to complement the work of the class, or to advance in questions in the development of its inquisitive eagerness. But the transit is already there, and our work - beyond the programs of contents and homogenization at a regional and national level - they will have each time a greater component that would be of our responsibility, and of the reality that we must grow in our students.
The basic question resides in assuming the new tasks, but above all to be assumed by the society, it must offer the recognition and the stimulus to a designed education does not to obtain scores and certifications, but to train appropriate people for the success in the complex society in which we are entering.
The process of globalization is no longer a possible future development, but a reality that has settled between us. Much more there a game of greater commerce and investment between countries or of labor mobility that doubtlessly will be increasing, globalization is prevailing by the route of technology the communications. This has been based between our children and teenagers, and the educative system must take full awareness to the consciousness of its conductive responsibility. The new educative approaches and the new methodologies, like also the new disposition of the teaching staff to undertake a task of from a different dimension than from the traditional one, are determining fundamental factors of this process of unstoppable change. It is satisfying to verify that the Chilean teaching staff has already begun to worry about these serious challenges, and is prepared to cause switching actions that venture a proactive answer.