July 2013

IPTEL 2013 at UBC: Lessons Learned

I have had two days of the most interesting and stimulating conversations about the use of technology in education. IPTEL conference this year was the first conference organized by UBC Faculty of Education that tried to bring people interested in the use of technology in education (in the very broad sense of the world) together to try and figure out where we are going. It is not surprising UBC Faculty of Education is doing it. For years, we have had a very successful program – Master of Educational Technology (MET) that is fully online. The program is successful by many standards. For example, more than 85% of the students who are in it, complete it successfully. However, what amazes me is the quality of courses in the program and the creativity and forward thinking of the people who designed it. It was wonderful to see (hmm, it was more TO SEE and to PARTICIPATE, than to LISTEN) Jeff Miller’s keynote address. He spoke about the vision of technology in teacher education and new UBC initiatives. Tony Bates’s presentation was also very interesting. I was very inspired by the ideas brought by Erica Frank (NextGenU) and by K. Balasubramanian about the COL (Commonwealth Of Learning initiative). I also enjoyed the presentations about the potential of the Second Life by Diana Ihnatovych, Kwesi Yaro and Sandrine Han from UBC.

I feel a little overwhelmed now, but I would like to point out three main lessons I learned during these days:

1). We have more tools at our disposal now than the pedagogical understanding of how to use these tools to promote meaningful learning.

2). Using old failed pedagogies in new medium is NOT going to solve the problem of education: damping lots of resources online and making them available is not going help students to become educated, but it can open new opportunities.

3). People in the developing world are getting new opportunities now, but we have to think how to provide content that will be of interest to them. Thus, students – whoever and wherever they are, should become a co-creators of the courses we want to teach, or of information we want to make available. When people are interested, then can overcome lots of barriers… Somehow our education, is trying to separate what we teach from what people want to learn…

We also were very happy to present. Our presentations focused on the use of technology in teacher education and how technology can help us create teachers with deep pedagogical content knowledge who will be able to inspire and educate the next generations of students.

Our presentations:

IPTEL Presentation_UsingTechnology4ConceptualLearningInTE_July 13

IPTEL Presentation_InternationalStudyTechnologyUseInMSTEd_July 12

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