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999 informe final title – ENGLISH

¿Y ahora qué?

 

What now? ICTs in primary education:
Can we construct a collective capacity?

 

Final report

September 2016

999 informe contenidos – ENGLISH

Researchers

John W. Moravec, Ph.D.
Principal investigator
Visiting professor
Education Futures
Universidad ORT Uruguay
john@educationfutures.com
Mag. Verónica Zorrilla de San Martín
Science officer
Researcher
Institute of Education
Universidad ORT Uruguay
zorrilla@ort.edu.uy

 

Executive summary

This project is an invitation to co-create knowledge with all stakeholders in the educational system (opinion leaders, collaborating institutions, governments, directors, teachers, students, and other members of the community). It is an open call to hear the voices of stakeholders in developing a positive future for education in Uruguay.

Through Plan Ceibal, new learning environments are generated with digital technologies. This raises the question: are we using ICTs in a meaningful way for our students, their families, and their communities? Can we share our views on the future of education by leveraging technologies in a positive way and build a collective capacity to take action? And, if we were to build a “collective capacity” with all stakeholders in educational activities, how can we innovate with technologies in education?

This project is designed to generate a space to provide us with answers. In regional events thorugh structured conversations in a café-like setting, the “World Café,” reflections focused on discovering visions and new imagined roles for ICTs, and building a positive future for primary education are encouraged. The outputs are built into a “white book,” shared on the project website ¿Y ahora que? at http://y-ahora-que.uy. Grounded theory construction is used to analyze the results for this final report.

This is an interdisciplinary project with an open design and potential for replication of the experience, providing comparative reports to the international academic community.

This study focused on listening carefully to the voices of those involved in the educational system (officials, administrators, teachers, students, parents, and other interested community members), tapping into schools belonging to Plan Ceibal’s Red Global de Aprendizajes (“Global Learning Network”) for participants.

We have met with various schools with very different realities, but all utilize a degree of integration and appropriation of ICTs that enable, and generate, new learning environments with digital technologies – and the possibility to imagine possible futures for ICTs in Uruguay. We found that, yes, there is a belief that we can build a collective capacity to transform learning through educational technologies, and that there is a desire to interweave participation from the communities primary schools serve. We recommend the pursuit of three policy approaches to realize this vision.

  1. Develop strategies for how ICTs can be used to broaden community participation;
  2. Develop policies to broaden participation within school-based ICTs in the community; and,
  3. Develop educational policies that promote greater applied creativity and innovation that can help build more inventive applications of educational technologies.

This Project is a response to the call of the “Digital Inclusion: Education with New Horizons” sector fund to finance research projects that provide original data with respect to existing knowledge, linked to social and/or educational aspects of Plan Ceibal. Created by the National Agency for Research and Innovation (ANII) and the Ceibal Central Foundation for the Study of Digital Technologies in Education. The participating organizations are Universidad ORT Uruguay and Education Futures LLC. The project ¿Y ahora qué? [What now?] Is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license – international

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999 informe descripción del proyecto – ENGLISH

Project description

Introduction

¿Y ahora qué? (“what now?”) is the question that gets us to think about what we want from education. Given the demands of contemporary societies, we believe that educational institutions cannot remain separate from changes in the outside world. This prompts the need to rethink traditional education that is based on systems of control, and move to a format where the whole community has a role.

Wagering on profound changes, to break with our past practices and habits, this project was an invitation to co-create knowledge with all stakeholders who are involved in the educational system, including students. It was an open call to hear the voices of stakeholders in developing a positive education future in Uruguay.

ICTs in primary education. Uruguay has opted for the integration of information technologies and communications for some time under the governmental policy of Plan Ceibal to generate new digital learning environments. But the problem is that research shows that resources that have contributed to the expansion of ICTs in schools have not increased student achievement. ¿Y ahora qué?

This leads to the questions: Are we using technology in a meaningful way for primary-level students, their families, and their communities? As key stakeholders and persons co-responsible for the success of our students, can we share our views on the future of education, leveraging technology in a positive way, and build a collective capacity to act upon them?

Can we build a collective capacity? We wonder, what if we were to build a collective capacity, from the bottom-up, and together with all stakeholders in education, to take new innovative actions with technologies in education?

In this framework, an open invitation was made to 9 interested schools which belong to the Red Global de Aprendizajes in the departments of Montevideo and Canelones. At the same time, a conference launched that invited others, explained the project, and encouraged participation.

“World Café” meetings were then held (a conversation-structured process in which groups of people discuss a topic at several tables). In this case, they consisted of regional meetings with all stakeholders in the educational system (officials, administrators, teachers, students, parents, and other interested educational community members). A café-like ambiance was created to facilitate the conversation, including sharing, discovering, and listening on issues that matter. The conversation focused on discovering, through dialogue, visions and new, imagined roles for ICTs for creating a positive future in primary education. The outputs are used to generate a “white paper.”

Participation in the event was open and voluntary. All participants were informed that data would be collected and shared on the project website.

Recognizing the need to hear the voices of all those involved in education, a grounded theory approach was used in the expert analysis to generate this research report, utilizing data from the World Café or “coffee talks.”

This is an interdisciplinary project, with an open design and the potential to create impact on various levels. At the national level, it motivates critical reflection and an orientation for intentional inclusion policies in Uruguayan schools, using ICTs. At the regional and international levels, the experience may be replicated to provide comparative research to the international academic community.

Project background

The current context demands contemporary societies be prepared to (re)train citizens in order to respond to global changes in the 21st century. The trans-techno-info-cyber-socio-economic paradigm and political demands relations with creative individuals, entrepreneurs, and people competent with a digital world, but also with a strong orientation toward the collaborative construction of knowledge and an ability to adapt to the constantly-changing world of work. Here results in the transcendental establishment of national, educational public policies to sustain human development, of which one of the fundamental pillars is social inclusion as well as modern and relevant training.

Educational institutions cannot alienate themselves from the paradigm shifts at the expense of knowledge, and it thus becomes essential to promote institutional leadership based on building new innovation networks, supported by the use of ICTs and model of economic innovation and social sustainability. In this context, the intersection between three key factors emerges:

  1. the introduction of ICTs in education (Buckingham, 2013);
  2. adaptation and constant renewal of knowledge (Gibbons, 1994);
  3. mastering new skills sets, inter-cultural competence, the development of entrepreneurial capacity, and the ability to (un- and re-)learn constantly (Cobo & Moravec, 2011).

It is known that learning with ICTs requires a distinct method for exclusive content acquisition (The British Department for Education, 2013). Similarly, evaluation of this type of learning should not only focus on determining the acquisition of content, but in the master of skills called for in the 21st century (Goleman, et al., 2013).

In order to meet the challenges in this age of complexity, it is essential to promote skills such as creativity, collaboration, empathy, leadership, and a capacity to innovate. There is an urgent need to rethink the education system in ways that avoid stifling the creativity of students. Namely, rethinking the traditional educational system that is based on control toward establishing one that is focused on various ways to create empowerment, exchanges of knowledge/experiences, and systems adaption. The student needs an environment that stimulates his/her creative skills and an education system that promotes conditions that can further develop that creativity. This is illustrated by research by Jenkins (2006) at MIT, among others.

The main purpose of education is to provide that each individual can achieve an optimal degree of social and emotional well-being, so an education that reflects the sentiments of the community should occupy a privileged place in educational systems. For this, teacher training programs should devote more attention to the development and continuous updating of skills (both functional and “soft” skills) (Cobo, 2013).

Here, greater coordination between family, school, and community is essential: education therefore is not – and cannot – be exclusive to educational institutions (Thomas & Brown, 2011). Today, more than ever, it is possible to learn anywhere in society. This should include connections and collaborations between family, formal education, and community. Education is a question for the whole society. However, this involves placing stakes on profound changes in the structures of traditional training (Cobo & Moravec, 2011).

Since 2007, Plan Ceibal (Conectividad Educativa de Información Básica para el Aprendizaje en Línea, “Educational Connectivity of Basic Information for Online Learning”) was implemented to place Uruguay “as the first country worldwide to implement a project of this nature and magnitude related to the integration information and communications technologies in the curriculum” (Baez & Bahajoli in Balaguer, 2009). Following several years to install and support a public policy for strong social impact, Plan Ceibal, a pioneer in the region, has justified the inclusion of ICTs in various locales: democratizing knowledge, guaranteeing greater social justice and educational quality for all, and trying to become a “window of opportunity” for review and transformation of educational practices for better teaching and learning (Lugo, in Báez et al, 2011). The beneficiaries of the project are approximately 700,000: all students and teachers in primary and secondary state education, covering a 9-year cycle of education (Brechner, 2015). Included in the state budget since 2010, Plan Ceibal has expanded its reach and impact as an established public policy.

Since the beginning of the Ceibal project (2006), a stake was placed on the ubiquitous use of technologies (Flores, 2008). One Laptop Per Child XO machines were given to students and teachers as a tool for personal use, not only available at school. Laptops were not to remain in the institutions, but to go to the homes of the beneficiaries. This form of implementation enables new environments for learning with technologies, a greater connection between family, school, and community, and promotes spaces for development that are continue and permeate beyond the walls of classroom-based training.

As a laid-out public policy, Plan Ceibal in 2015 delivered 685,000 devices (laptops, tablets) with Internet access. This is based, increasingly, on a cloud-based infrastructure (Brechner, 2015).

This history demonstrates a perspective of a policy implemented top-down from the government to schools. This research project asks the question, what if we were to build a bottom-up, collective, community-driven conversation on innovating with technologies in education?

At the national, regional, and international levels, a debate has begun on the impact of ICTs in schools and learning. At the primary education level in Uruguay, little prior research exists. Instead research targets have been set to study the impact of Plan Ceibal in learning (Machado et al, 2010) or attempts have been made to “measure” the impact on learning (Plan Ceibal, 2010). What is valued, and what is measured? What are the indicators considered? What is considered to “learn” in this age of complexity? Much fertile ground exists to justify the construction of further empirical studies on this theme. Zorrilla de San Martín (2015) has started her doctoral thesis in this line of research into new ways of learning, with the intent to ask good questions that build roads to connect the relationship between ICTs and learning. Considerando este proyecto como parte de los insumos para la tesis doctoral.

In January, 2015, Moravec (2015) released Manifesto 15, a statement of twelve principles learned from research and actions in reinventing education. Many of the ideas were developed during the Aprendizaje Invisible (Cobo & Moravec, 2011) and Knowmad Society (Moravec, 2013) projects, and others emerged as the authors engaged in collaborative works and projects with thought leaders, institutions, and governments around the world. The key points of the manifesto encourage educational leaders to reconsider what we are educating for, why we do it, and for whom it is all supposed to benefit – and this requires the development of a collective capacity by broader communities to enable this transformation.

The manifesto was never intended to be a set of solutions for evolving learning. It is just a set of principles for finding these solutions. However, the question persists: What should we do now?

At a meeting with Plan Ceibal in March 2015, this question resonated. While the institution has done exemplary work in building a distribution system, ICT infrastructure, and distributed “ceibalitas” to students throughout Uruguay, the overall impact of the project in terms of student achievement has not been tremendous. This was also not unexpected, and from the start of the project, there were many questions about the effectiveness of placing computers in schools (see esp. Balaguer, 2009). Long standing experience shows that just bringing computers or other ICTs into schools does not necessarily change anything, and that having well implemented technical strategies cannot be expected to create results (see, for example, Woronov, 1994). Now, we need to connect with the “so what” questions that link these technologies to human experiences and the communities we serve.

Qualitative research can help this by engaging communities in responding to the question, what should we do now? Can we come together as communities to build a collective capacity to transform learning (i.e., through technologies)? And, what would it take?

Recognizing a need to discover new best uses for ICTs and their implementation within communities, this research project seeks to discover:

  1. Through grounded theory construction:
    1. What are our boldest visions for positive futures for primary education in Uruguay? In particular, how can we envision new roles for ICTs in learning?
    2. Looking forward, how can we best engage all segments of our communities to collaborate and create positive futures for Uruguay’s primary-level schools and youth that best leverage new technologies?
  1. Whether as self-organized communities of stakeholders, or through institutional leadership, if the conditions exist to build a collective capacity to transform learning in primary education.
  1. Does a collective capacity exist to transform learning? Why/why not? What are its sources?
  2. How can leaders foster or facilitate the growth of a collective capacity?

Focusing on primary-level education, this project aims to facilitate authentic conversations within communities (accompanied by a workshop guided by a thought leader), listening, valuing contributions of all participants, and reporting back in a meaningful way. The project has the potential for impact on two levels:

  1. Result in a report in the form of a white paper that can help guide policy directions for the purposive applications of ICTs in Uruguayan schools.
  2. By opening the datasets and research methodology to the commons, and by tapping into the researchers’ broader networks, the study has a high potential for replication with other groups in LAC countries and throughout the world. This could result in an expanded, comparative perspective that would frame the Uruguayan experience on an international level (benchmarking).

First and foremost, we seek to break from our past practices and habits. Too often, we create mere surveys of the learning landscape only to end there – as surveys. This project goes deeper: It is a co-creative journey that begins with a clean slate, and engages stakeholders in conversations focused on developing positive futures for education in Uruguay. While Plan Ceibal is at the center of the context for the dialogue, key stakeholders from the primary education community were invited to participate – including students.

Each of these questions sought to encourage peer exchange and the definition of activities that promote expanded learning, beyond formal education. The information gathered through these sources were examined through a qualitative analysis, allowing for the collection, organization, and establishment of cross-recommendations, which adds substantive value to document the current status and future challenges for educational policy in regard to ICTs at the primary-level of education in the country.

Research strategy and method

The epistemological approach to this research project relies on qualitative grounded theory construction to analyze participant responses. As the research design is open and may be replicated in other regions or contexts, comparative aspects may also emerge from the project.

The research design is also interdisciplinary, combining perspectives and research approaches often applied in both comparative and international development education (educational policy, comparative studies, intercultural studies) and futures studies (foresight, sociology, and cultural anthropology).

Phase I: Setup

Following notice of the award of funding, the researchers engaged in the logistical layout of the project plan, finalized project details with concerned stakeholders, identified and contacted host regions, and developed a project website to share all data collected. The researchers also solicited feedback and shared project status updates through social media (i.e., Facebook and Twitter).

The researchers expected to engage between 9 and 12 regional locations for data collection, and ANEP and Plan Ceibal were solicited for authorization to contact the schools. This network aims to articulate and investigate how true learning potential can be achieved through new pedagogies, in a society rich with technology. Leaders at each invited school will be asked to, in turn, invite additional stakeholders from their community (i.e., businesses, parents, government leaders, students) to attend their regional meeting.

Phase II: Regional meetings

Dr. John Moravec and Mag. Verónica Zorrilla de San Martín provided facilitation leadership for all meetings. One week prior to the meetings, ORT hosted a mini-conference that was open to all participants. The purpose of the mini-conference was to launch the project and spark the discussion of key ideas for development. Invitation for participation, either in person or virtually, was extended to all potential participants in this study. A recording of key moments was also made available online, thus providing participants at regional meetings a “flipped classroom”-like experience. This allowed static, conceptual themes and content to be recorded and viewed at participants’ leisure, and frees more time during the regional meetings to share ideas and experiences. In addition, to launch each regional meeting, a short workshop was provided to recap key points of the conference, and to further help set the context for the World Café conversations to follow.

The World Café is a structured conversational process in which groups of people discuss a topic at several tables, with individuals switching tables periodically and getting introduced to the previous discussion at their new table by a “table host.” A café-like ambience was created in order to facilitate conversation, and the process was built around seven design principles that focus on sharing, discover, and listening around questions that matter.

This method was selected for having a simple format that is effective in group conversations, regardless of the number of participants (Slocum, 2005). Participants were informed that all data will shared on the project website ¿Y ahora qué? at http://y-ahora-que.uy. Participation in the events were completely voluntary and open to the public. Except for refreshments provided by the researchers, participants were not compensated for the contributions to the conversation.

The conversation was focused on three questions at each regional meeting. These were discussed during one World Café round for each question:

  1. What is our boldest vision for positive education futures in Uruguay?
  2. Looking forward, how can we best engage all segments of our communities to collaborate and create positive futures for Uruguay’s schools and youth?
  3. What are our next steps for developing this collective capacity for “our community?” And, what can we pass on to the next conversation groups that will explore these issues?

Analysis of the World Café responses were conducted through an open coded, inductive strategy. The purpose of the analysis was to identify themes and patterns that inform the creation of an action agenda (policy) for Plan Ceibal and other institutions, both public and private, who are interested in developing and leading future-relevant programs.

Dedoose (a Web platform for qualitative data analysis) was used to code data into categories, and spreadsheet software was used to further sort, organize, and make any necessary revisions to the coding produced. Analysis of the final round’s qualitative responses employed an inductive strategy based on the content analysis techniques described by Berg (2004, pp. 265-297) for grounded theory construction. The resultant, sorted, coded categories were then sorted into broader thematic categories for reporting and discussion.

Since the fully qualitative portion of the study depends on World Café notes recorded by different note keepers at each session, descriptive statistical data on the frequency and magnitude of response items were not measured. To help ensure data were coded and reported accurately, dual coding procedures were followed, and all raw data collected is maintained in an open data repository

Phase III: Analysis, reporting, and dissemination

Approximately three months following the conclusion of Phase II, a draft report of the Phase II findings were shared with all participants through the project website, where feedback, corrections, and additions to the items it contained were solicited from all participants on record. Comments received were compared with the coded themes reported, and corrections, additions, and deletions were made, as necessary. The international advisory committee for this project was also invited to provide their feedback and responses for possible inclusion in the final report.

A comment period of one month was invited for the draft report, after which a final report for the project was produced, made available to the project website, submitted to ANII, and published under an open, Commons License.

The researchers will also share their experiences and findings at national and international conferences. An allowance to support diffusion at conferences by the national research partner is provided in the project budget.

Evaluation

Assessment for the project was conducted in accordance with procedures established by ANII. These procedures were developed in collaboration with the funding organization upon award of the project grant.

General objective

The intent of this action research project is to discover whether communities of stakeholders among Uruguayan primary schools (i.e., teachers, parents, students, government, businesses, and other interested community members) can build a collective capacity to collaborate and create positive futures for Uruguay’s schools and youth that best leverage new technologies. At this stage in the research, a “collective capacity” is defined as having a shared vision for education futures (especially involving the use of ICTs) together with tangible and intangible resources to permit communities of stakeholders to take action to realize their visions.

Specific objectives

  1. Mini-conference to launch the project and spark the discussion of key ideas for development.
    Expected result: Spark the discussion of key ideas for development and “jumpstart” World Café conversations.
  2. Discover, through facilitated dialogue and grounded theory construction, what our boldest visions for positive futures in primary education are in Uruguay.
    Expected result: Develop understanding of community views on new roles for ICTs in learning (to be summarized in white paper).
  3. Discover, through facilitated dialogue and grounded theory construction, how, looking forward, we can best engage all segments of our communities to collaborate and create positive futures for Uruguay’s primary-level schools and youth that best leverage new technologies.
    Expected result: Develop an understanding as to whether as self-organized communities of stakeholders, or through institutional leadership, if the conditions exist to build a collective capacity to transform learning (to be summarized in white paper).
  4. Discover, through facilitated dialogue and grounded theory construction, how leaders can foster or facilitate the growth of a collective capacity to transform primary education.
    Expected result: Develop an understanding of strategies for engagement or policies that can help leaders build –and leverage– a collective capacity to transform Uruguayan education (to be summarized in white paper).

Contributions of the project

Four primary impacts of this project are foreseen by the research team that illustrate the novelty of knowledge to be gained in this project:

  1. With a bottom-up, futures perspective, identify an ecology of possibilities that define what we are educating for, how we can do it, and for whom it is intended to benefit.
  2. Determine of a collective capacity exists and identify its sources
  3. Suggest strategies and policies for leaders
  1. Serve as a model for research that can develop further comparative (benchmarking) perspectives among LAC countries as well as throughout the world.

Facilitators

John Moravec and Verónica Zorrilla de san Martín led all ¿Y ahora qué? Events. During the first round of the World Café, each table designated a “host” to take notes and report summaries of their talks to the researchers. Also, three graduate students from Universidad ORT Uruguay accompanied and provided support at some events.

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999 informe reuniones en escuelas – ENGLISH

School meetings: May 2016

A total of 357 participants consented to join the ¿Y ahora qué? School meetings between May 12 and May 24, 2016. World Café meetings were held at nine schools, located in the City of Montevideo and the Department of Canelones.

The facilitators presented the main ideas through a provocative, opening presentation.

vis-notes

Source: Moravec (2015). http://www.manifesto15.org/vis-en

The responses of each group meeting in schools were then collected.

Two additional, mini-sessions were held at Universidad ORT Uruguay on May 3 and May 4 to launch the project and to also pilot the research questions. A summary of these meetings is provided separately as the profile of the participant group (university community) and questions focused on did not entirely match the profile and questions asked of the main, 9-school meetings.

The ORT groups responded to the following pilot questions:

  1. Can you name some “bold” or “innovative” ideas that facilitate or lead toward a positive future for primary education in Uruguay, making the best use of technologies?
  2. Looking toward the future, is it possible to identify some actions to better involve different sectors of civil society for the purpose of collaborating in creating a positive future for primary schools in Uruguay?
  3. Can we come together as a community to build a collective capacity to transform learning? Why? Why not? How can leaders encourage or facilitate the growth of a collective capacity?

The questions implemented in the school World Café sessions do not fully coincide with the questions of the ORT pilot. The final questions the schools responded to were:

  1. Can you name “bold” and “innovative” IDEAS for better use of new technologies in primary education in Uruguay?
  2. What possible ACTIONS can be identified for all members of the community (teachers, parents, students, administrators, neighbors, …) to collaborate in creating a positive future for primary schooling in Uruguay?
  3. Above all, can we come together as a community to transform learning? Why? Why not? How can leaders facilitate the growth of a collective capacity?

The ¿Y ahora qué? Website contains an archive of all data collected at http://y-ahora-que.uy/datos.

Data summary

World Café primary school meeting dates: May 12 – May 24, 2016

Number of participants that consented to data collection:  357

Average participant age: 29.46 years

  • Percentage of participants under 16 years of age: 36.86%
  • Percentage of participants 16 to 30 years of age: 10.26%
  • Percentage of participants 31 to 45 years of age: 34.62%
  • Percentage of participants over 45 years of age: 18.27%

Average meeting group size: 38.56 participants

School locations (neighborhoods)

  1. Cerro Oeste, Montevideo
  2. Punta de Rieles, Montevideo
  3. Maroñas, Montevideo
  4. Buceo, Montevideo
  5. San Jacinto, Canelones
  6. La Paz, Canelones
  7. Flor de Maroñas, Montevideo
  8. Malvín Norte, Montevideo
  9. Colón Sureste, Montevideo

Coded excerpts: 415

Reporting methodology

Analysis of the qualitative responses employed an open coded, inductive strategy. The purpose of the analysis is to identify themes and patterns that inform the findings and recommendations of this study.

Dedoose version 7.0.23 (a Web platform) was used to code recorded data into categories, and Microsoft Excel for Mac (version 15.24) was used to further sort, organize, and make any necessary revisions to the coding produced.

Since the fully qualitative portion of this study depended on World Café notes recorded by different note takers at each session, descriptive statistical data on the frequency and magnitude of response items are not measured. To help ensure the data were coded and reported accurately, a draft report of the final round results was shared with all participants through the ¿Y ahora qué? Website, and feedback, corrections, and additions to the items it contained were solicited. Comments received were compared with the coded themes reported, and corrections, additions, and deletions were made as necessary.

In the following summary, to illustrate the World Café conversations, the first 10-12 codes that appear in the table of co-occurrence are described in detail. The complete table of co-occurring codes, together with the raw data collected, are available online at http://y-ahora-que.uy/datos.

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999 informe resumen de conversaciones – ENGLISH

Summary of conversations

This narrative summarizes the participant discussions, in schools, during the three rounds of the World Café activity. They are listed by theme, in descending order of frequency of occurance.

NOTE: At the moment, this section remains in its original Spanish to best illustrate the voices of the respondents. An English version is forthcoming.

Ronda 1: ¿Podrían nombrar IDEAS “audaces” e “innovadoras” para aprovechar mejor las nuevas tecnologías en la educación primaria en Uruguay?

Las conversaciones se centraron en la utilidad de las TIC. Usar las computadoras como “cuadernos digitales” sea para escribir a mano alzada, utilizando la pantalla táctil y/o utilizando el teclado; habilitando un uso virtual del registro diario del alumno en formato digital.  Cuidar el medio ambiente usando menos libros y cuadernolas en formato papel. “Que la computadora les avise cuándo tienen un error ortográfico pero que no les dé la solución, que les permita pensar, razonar”.

  • Usar pizarras digitales y táctilesMesas inteligentesSillas “flotantes” que permitan desplazamientos en el espacio.
  • Permitir el uso de celulares como herramienta de estudio. Buscar “utilidades” de los nuevos celulares en el aula, para digitar y producir mejores aprendizajes.
  • Crear soluciones a problemas con la tecnología por ejemplo con la robótica y la programación. Usar la fotografía artística: producción, edición y montaje.
  • Buscar maneras de llevar adelante tareas usando la computadora. “Haría más didáctica la clase y ayudaría a que los niños le quedarán mejor los temas a estudiar tanto por vista, oído, etc.”
  • Realizar más inventos, utilizar la tecnología para estudiar y aprender más. Tener siempre información disponible. Utilizar las computadoras para que los niños creen su propio contenido y lo compartan.
  • Crear libros, programas, grabaciones, películas, hacer cortos, trabajar con plataformas, juegos online, mirar películas, infografías, realizar dibujos, buscar relaciones entre conceptos, escribir y dibujar cuentos en la computadora o tablet, entre otras. Que adquieran conocimientos a través de la música, canciones educativas, idiomas diferentes. Trabajar el diseño de ropa por medio de las computadoras. Además aplicarlo en la práctica y buscar manualidades en la web y luego realizarlos y trabajar con juegos que se puedan bajar a la realidad. Juegos matemáticos. Pintura digital y en soporte papel. Trabajar por medio de la música.
  • “Implementar sitios, aplicaciones para usar en horario de clase y así aprender cosas nuevas”.
  • Compartir opiniones a través de las computadoras que sirvan para futuras investigaciones. Comunicarse, interactuar y socializar con diferentes escuelas.
  • Implementar un grupo entre el docente y alumnos que posibilite la comunicación en red y poder contar con el programa diario en línea (tareas, ideas, etc.). “Padres e hijos aprendiendo juntos a través de la web, la computadora, clases abiertas”.

Los participantes conversan sobre la ampliación de la participación, especialmente la familia y la comunidad. Expresan la necesidad de unirse como comunidad para un cambio, como una red de comunicación y aprendizaje entre alumnos, padres, familia, actores sociales, involucrando a todos, enseñando unos a los otros.

Proponen realizar más actividades con las tecnologías, por ejemplo, talleres colectivos con los padres, docentes, vecinos, integrando a la comunidad, no solo aquellos que tengan vínculos con la escuela.

  • Proponen realizar más actividades con las tecnologías, por ejemplo, talleres colectivos con los padres, docentes, vecinos, integrando a la comunidad, no solo aquellos que tengan vínculos con la escuela.
  • Realizar videoconferencias con los padres, crear escuelas de padres y alumnos donde la tecnología sea para uso comunitario.
  • Facilitar el ingreso a distintas plataformas educativas a la comunidad en general.
  • Crear grupos de apoyo de familia y escuela para aclarar dudas o ideas. Contar con más personas capacitadas para entender la tecnología.

Que el niño le dé mejor uso a la tecnología para ello es necesario que la familia, comunidad y adultos colaboren en esta tarea.

  • “Acompañamiento de lo XXX que hace a la esencia humana”.
  • “Incluir a la familia, acompañar, aprender juntos con ellos.”

“Ofrecer una capacitación constante a niños, familias y docentes para que todos podamos acompañar el aprendizaje de todos – traer el hogar a la escuela y al revés, tener un mundo feliz todos unidos”.

El intercambio de conocimiento surge como otra temática en respuesta de esta primera ronda. Compartir experiencias y trabajar en red con otras escuelas en todo el país.

Favorecer el intercambio de niños y maestros de diferentes tipos de escuelas, por ejemplo rurales y urbanas.

  • Favorecer el intercambio de niños y maestros de diferentes tipos de escuelas, por ejemplo rurales y urbanas.
  • Que los niños pequeños se puedan conectar con los niños más grandes como por ejemplo ayudarse en los deberes.
  • Generar intercambios con otros estudiantes que hablen otro idioma para aplicar activamente lo aprendido por ejemplo hablar con niños de lengua inglesa que quieran hablar español. Integrar “cultura” a través de intercambios tecnológicos. Formación (capacitación y seguimiento). Compartir y construir conocimiento. “Si estoy aburrida, me queda el internet, pero igual aprendemos de todo el mundo”.

Aprovechamiento del recurso de videoconferencia para establecer comunicación con otros niños, escuelas, especialistas, etc., compartiendo proyectos y trabajando juntos.

Y específicamente se conversa sobre el intercambio intergeneracional, del diálogo entre niños, docentes y familias.

  • “Que los niños pequeños se puedan conectar con los niños más grandes como por ejemplo ayudarse en los deberes”.
  • Favorecer los “foros” entre los alumnos y padres, para opinar, debatir sobre los temas tratados en clase.
  • Compartir ideas con los adultos mayores, compartir aplicaciones de transporte y de salud, programas con primaria y secundaria para que sea posible el acceso de inicial a sexto año.

Los participantes nombraron específicamente el aprovechamiento del recurso de videoconferencia para establecer comunicación con otros niños, escuelas, especialistas, etc., compartiendo proyectos y trabajando juntos.

  • Hacer aulas compartidas y simultáneas con otras clases a través de la videoconferencia. Utilizar las videollamadas y videoconferencias para compartir con otros centros educativos y otras comunidades. Videoconferencia para interactuar con diferentes escuelas de distintos países. Incluir sistemas de videoconferencias con escuelas de distintas partes del país o inclusive con escuelas de otros países. Intercambiar ideas mediante videoconferencias para conocer la experiencia de otras instituciones.
  • Recibir clases a través de videoconferencia.
  • Y la posibilidad de utilizar la videoconferencia con el hogar cuando el alumno no puede asistir a clase.

Afirman la necesidad de usar las TIC como recurso educativo. Trabajar programas que sean productivos para el niño.

  • Crear y compartir libros digitales. Implementar sitios, aplicaciones para usar en horario de clase y así aprender cosas nuevas.
  • Utilización del celular para buscar materiales, definiciones, etc. en el momento de la clase usar una “Wikipedia Ceibal”.
  • Computadoras con “cuaderno digital” como una de las aplicaciones, escribiendo a mano sobre la pantalla táctil y/o utilizar un teclado (según la propuesta).
  • Se propone utilizar más vídeos de los temas a estudiar para que “queden más en la mente”.
  • Crear un bus (ómnibus) escolar volador.

Señalan un aspecto físico de las TIC, como el hecho de incorporar una computadora en la mesa de trabajo o mesas con tablets “encastradas”. Poder escribir a mano sobre la pantalla táctil, tener tablet en vez de cuadernos, usar pizarras digitales y táctiles, tener sillas “flotantes” que permitan desplazamientos en el espacio.

  • Poder escribir a mano sobre la pantalla táctil, tener tablet en vez de cuadernos, usar pizarras digitales y táctiles, tener sillas “flotantes” que permitan desplazamientos en el espacio.
  • También conversan sobre tener espacios para el uso de la tecnología con determinada frecuencia semanal. Contar con salas de informática abierta a la comunidad educativa con docentes especializados.
  • Así como aulas adecuados a la nueva tecnología, equipadas con tecnología necesaria para uso diario (cañón, parlantes, pantalla, equipo de audio).

Ideas relacionadas con la imaginación y la creatividad estuvieron presentes; “lo mejor de ser niño es tener imaginación”. Plantean la necesidad de expresar las ideas a través del arte.

  • Mejorar los para q juegos que planteen desafíos creativos para el niño.
  • Crear libros, programas, trabajar con plataformas, juegos online, mirar películas, infografías, realizar dibujos, buscar relaciones entre conceptos.
  • Realizar fotografía artística: producción, edición y montaje. Álbum de fotos a lo largo del año.
  • Incluir aprendizajes de diseño gráfico, caricaturas, personajes, animación.
  • Filmar con el celular, crear grabaciones, películas, hacer cortos. Hacer teatro.
  • Usar la videoconferencia.
  • Realizar reuniones comunitarias periódicas y clases abiertas.

También la virtualidad aparece en el diálogo. Hablan de maestros enseñando en forma virtual a niños que aprenden desde sus hogares e interactúan a través de la red. Aprovechando el recurso de videoconferencia para establecer comunicación con otros niños, escuelas, especialistas, etc., compartiendo proyectos y trabajando juntos. Está presente la educación virtual con el maestro en la pantalla.

Se conversa sobre la necesidad de que la tecnología virtual llegue a todas las clases para poder implementar algún tipo de seguimiento de las familias a partir del uso de plataformas virtuales. Un ejemplo donde se plantea el tema de la virtualidad es: “recordar virtualmente próceres, que sean ellos quienes nos cuenten la historia, sus hechos y lugares”.

Los participantes solicitan formación y capacitación. Formación, en cuanto a capacitación y seguimiento. Capacitación, con inclusión de las familias. “Ofrecer una capacitación constante a niños, familias y docentes para que todos podamos acompañar el aprendizaje de todos; traer el hogar a la escuela y al revés, tener un mundo feliz todos unidos”.

  • Formación, en cuanto a capacitación y seguimiento.
  • Capacitación, con inclusión de las familias.
  • “Ofrecer una capacitación constante a niños, familias y docentes para que todos podamos acompañar el aprendizaje de todos; traer el hogar a la escuela y al revés, tener un mundo feliz todos unidos”.
  • Mostrar a través de tecnología los beneficios y las carencias.
  • Implementar a todos los centros con recursos tecnológicos.
  • Reflexionar con una breve guía educativa.

También se conversa sobre la necesidad del intercambio intercultural y la necesidad de incluir sistemas de videoconferencias con otras escuelas de distintas partes del país o inclusive con escuelas de otros países.

  • “Conocer la realidad de otros lugares, de qué forma se aprende, por ejemplo a través de Skype o videoconferencias”.
  • Generar intercambios con otros estudiantes que hablen otro idioma para aplicar activamente lo aprendido por ejemplo hablar con niños de lengua inglesa que quieran hablar español. También la idea de generar intercambios entre docentes a nivel mundial.
  • Y la posibilidad de implementar algún tipo de seguimiento de las familias a partir del uso de plataformas virtuales.

Ronda 2: ¿Qué posibles ACCIONES podemos identificar para que todos los miembros de la comunidad (maestros, padres, alumnos, directivos, vecinos, …) colaboremos en la creación de un futuro positivo para la escuela primaria en Uruguay?

La solicitud de los participantes al momento de conversar en esta ronda, es la de ampliar el acceso y/o la participación. Hacer participar a todos los actores para tomar decisiones en conjunto.

  • “Generar participación e involucramiento en la comunidad educativa. Creer en los docentes.” “Tenemos una comunidad complicada para lograr la unión. Tenemos que plantear un cambio a nivel de la sociedad.”
  • “Involucrar a la comunidad con la idea de que el Estado somos todos y debemos hacernos cargo.”

Incluir y dar más participación a la comunidad,  tener mayor acercamiento entre la escuela y la familia. Se nombran una y otra vez las palabras: integración, invitación, participación, concientización, unión.

  • “Es fundamental amalgamar el hogar, la escuela, los docentes y las familias.”
  • “Se necesita mayor participación de las familias en la escuela de forma presencial, que vengan a hacer carteleras para la escuela, trabajen con los niños, etc.” “Lograr un mayor acercamiento de las familias y los diversos miembros de la sociedad a la escuela. Realizando charlas, actividades lúdicas y deportivas, talleres que involucren tanto a especialistas como a miembros de la comunidad en ambos roles.” “Un lugar gratis para poder convocar y participar.”
  • “Fomentar la comunicación haciendo más partícipe a la comunidad (por ej. vecinos) en la educación de los niños (jornadas y talleres).”

Desde esa perspectiva, los participantes proponen formación y seguimiento, con ejemplos concretos, donde las TIC se hacen presentes. Realizar talleres, encuentros, reuniones, eventos, muestras culturales, entre otras. Involucrar más la tecnología en clase y en el hogar. Involucrar la educación artística para contemplar otras disciplinas. Crear un “Taller de Ideas” con el fin de consensuar una única idea.

  • Realizar talleres, encuentros, reuniones, eventos, muestras culturales, entre otras. Involucrar más la tecnología en clase y en el hogar.
  • Involucrar la educación artística para contemplar otras disciplinas.
  • Crear un “Taller de Ideas” con el fin de consensuar una única idea.
  • “Realizar jornadas en las que los niños enseñan a los adultos, especialmente abuelos, a usar la tecnología.”
  • “Incluir capacitación a familias, vecinos, maestros para acompañar procesos de avances y aprendizajes en los niños en cuanto a tecnología.” “Capacitaciones a padres, niños y docentes, en diálogo, con disciplina y organización.”
  • “Integrar la formación del ser humano con la tecnología atendiendo las distintas generaciones.”

Enseñar a todos considerando las diferencias personales, por ejemplo: ciegos, sordos, dificultades motoras. También enseñar a padres que no sepan leer y escribir. Contar con edificios adaptados a las necesidades especiales de cada persona. Bibliotecas digitales con audio, para Sistema Braille, por ej. “Poner en práctica un mecanismo que permita aceptar las distintas realidades para poder abarcarlas”.

Se realizan planteos concretos de cómo realizar el trabajo en talleres, jornadas, y encuentros en las escuelas. Los participantes proponen distintos aspectos en cuanto a la forma y el contenido de los mismos. Talleres participativos, informativos, donde exista un intercambio entre padres, alumnos, maestros y comunidad. Trabajando de manera integrada y colaborativa en el local escolar con el alumno como centro de la actividad educativa.

  • “Que la realización de talleres sea dinámica y el saber circule entre niños, docentes y familia. El niño puede ser visto desde lo que puede proponer y enseñar.”

Surgen propuestas como: realizar talleres abiertos sobre el uso de la tecnología para aprender (búsqueda de información, participación ciudadana a través de internet y uso de plataformas; jornadas en las que los niños enseñan a los adultos, especialmente abuelos, a usar la tecnología; talleres que sirvan para integrar a los niños más pequeños, con aparatos que sean fáciles de manejar para ellos.

  • Crear cursos para los papás para ayudar y apoyar más a sus hijos. Crear una página o foro (grupo) en el que participen padres, docentes, etc. abierto a la comunidad para compartir dudas, propuestas e ideas.
  • Generar grupos de ayuda (padres, vecinos…) que se propongan motivar y despertar el interés de otros. Talleres para informar. Talleres de actualización a las nuevas formas de aprender.
  • “Integrar la formación del ser humano con la tecnología atendiendo las distintas generaciones.”

Los participantes hacen explícito en todo momento el tema del involucramiento de la comunidad,  abrir las puertas a la comunidad a través de la participación activa. “Lograr un mayor acercamiento de las familias y los diversos miembros de la sociedad a la escuela”.

  • Aportando cada uno sus ideas, desde las bases del sistema educativo (desde abajo) hacia las autoridades (hacia arriba).
  • Realizando de talleres que involucren tanto a especialistas como a miembros de la comunidad donde todos puedan llevar a cabo la actividad y luego se puedan evaluar los resultados.
  • Proponen juntarse padres y vecinos una vez al mes y hacer “kermés” para recaudar fondos para la escuela; organizar muestras, exposiciones para la comunidad educativa; celebrar los acontecimientos de la escuela como forma de promover los encuentros entre comunidad y escuela; realizar charlas, actividades lúdicas y deportivas, talleres que involucren tanto a especialistas como a miembros de la comunidad en ambos roles.

Dialogando en instancias de talleres como este World Café, entre padres, vecinos, maestros para conocerse, intercambiar opiniones y abordar temas específicos de la comunidad. “Sistematizando esta experiencia con la comunidad educativa a lo largo del tiempo para generar reflexión.”

Se plantea la necesidad de compartir con otras instituciones tanto a nivel nacional como internacional. Realizar intercambios culturales, con otros países y entre varias escuelas uruguayas (públicas o privadas), entre distintos departamentos y con distintas características (por ej. escuelas urbanas y rurales). También se habla del intercambio con educación secundaria. También se habla del intercambio de conocimientos, opiniones, reflexiones e ideas con educación secundaria.

Es fundamental amalgamar el hogar, la escuela, los docentes y las familias. El involucrar a las familias, fortalecer el vínculo con ellas, generar más instancias de interacción entre los actores mencionados. “Se juntan los maestros y padres un fin de semana para interactuar, colaborar, involucrar más los padres y vecinos, no los podemos dejar al lado, involucramiento de familias en aprendizaje de niños.”

  • “Hacer partícipes de la educación a miembros de la familia.”

Las conversaciones dan cuenta de una visión pragmática sobre la tecnología. Ideas sobre cómo eliminar las cuadernolas y cambiarlas por las tablets para preservar el medio ambiente e instalar salas de computación en la escuela, entre otras. Ven la tecnología como un recurso o herramienta, no como “la vida misma”. “La escuela tiene como objetivo ENSEÑAR en este caso el uso de la tecnología a favor de su desarrollo propiciando el conocimiento y los límites que son necesarios.” “De modo de nos convertirnos en autómatas mecanizados detrás de las demandas del mercado.”

Reflexionando sobre el uso y lugar de la tecnología surge el tema de aprender jugando y actividades lúdicas. Considerando que la interacción es fundamental para el aprendizaje, solicitan mantener el tiempo del juego con otros niños y con la computadora.

  • “Los niños piden tiempo de “juego”, allí se aprende a convivir, colaborar, sea con otros niños o con la compu.”
  • “Se consideró relevante el hecho de COMUNICAR, en el acto educativo. Es importante que la tarea sea COLABORATIVA y COLECTIVA, haciendo que todos (no solo niños y maestros) sean RESPONSABLES. La TECNOLOGÍA es una herramienta fundamental. El JUEGO también.”

Otra necesidad que se surge, es la de conectar con otras habilidades y valores, por ejemplo, involucrar la educación artística para contemplar otras disciplinas. Promover vínculos sanos de convivencias y hacer talleres con la familia para fomentar valores. Establecer trabajos con prioridad de la enseñanza de procedimientos de resolución de problemas de la vida cotidiana. “Además de aprender en la escuela, poder expresar lo que quieren y sienten a través del arte y la tecnología.”

 Los participantes proponen institucionalizar espacios para compartir actividades formativas, para democratizar el aprendizaje, la educación, compartir vivencias, puntos de vista, que se supone, colaboraría en positivo, para la escuela primaria en el Uruguay.

  • Contar con espacios o talleres de libre circulación para dibujar, pintar, expresarse fuera de la escuela. Por ejemplo, “poder ingresar y visitar talleres de artistas y personas con diferentes conocimientos que puedan ayudarnos con las dudas”; “poder interactuar con otros compañeros y ser tutores unos de los otros.”
  • Contando con implementos tecnológicos que se puedan utilizar para investigar y expresarse (pantallas led, sala de videoconferencias, impresoras 3D, etc.).

Para llevar a cabo acciones en colaboración también es necesario mejorar la comunicación entre los padres y la escuela. “Lograr una comunicación directa padre-escuela para conocer las problemáticas y actividades del niño.” Se conversa sobre el tema de fortalecer el vínculo con las familias, para ello; realizar encuestas a los padres y a los vecinos; realizar salas de la “Red Global” con padres; crear una comisión de padres para apoyar los cambios que realice la escuela; entre otras ideas.

Ronda 3: Entre todos, ¿podemos unirnos como comunidad para transformar el aprendizaje? ¿Por qué? ¿Por qué no? ¿Cómo pueden los líderes facilitar el crecimiento de una capacidad colectiva?

Las respuestas a esta pregunta fueron uniformemente por la positiva. Los participantes creían que “si” podemos unirnos como comunidad para transformar la educación. Surgieron diferencias, sin embargo, en sus pensamientos acerca de cómo hacerlo.

La temática más recurrente en esta ronda fue la de comunicar/intercambiar experiencias. Piensan que es posible unirse como comunidad para transformar el aprendizaje pero es necesario comunicar los logros y compartir el trabajo, fomentando el interés común.

  • “Siempre y cuando se tenga apoyo y confianza de las autoridades.”
  • “Respetando la posición del otro, escuchándonos, aceptando las diferencias.”
  • “Promover el diálogo, la expresión de distintas ideas, promover el respeto y la unidad.”

También generando instancias de encuentro y trabajo colectivo, entre todos los actores involucrados con el fin de compartir experiencias y conocimiento; acompañar de forma certera; apoyar a la educación: desde la familia y el contexto. Piensan que una capacidad colectiva se crea escuchando las opiniones de todos, aportando y colaborando. Es posible porque somos una comunidad y para avanzar precisamos el aporte de todos.

  • “Es importante romper la “verticalidad”, pues niños, padres, miembros de la comunidad, todos somos responsables, teniendo derechos y deberes, pudiendo aprender y enseñar.”

Afirman que la participación es posible siempre que se generen espacios comunitarios, donde la gente se reúna y pueda aprender a participar, se escuchen ideas, se hagan acuerdos, se busquen estrategias y se compartan experiencias y proyectos de todos.

  • Compartiendo las ideas entre toda la escuela, padres, vecinos, docentes, auxiliares, etc. Otorgando tiempo pedagógico para establecer vínculos y mayor comunicación entre docentes y familias para conocer, acordar o complementar formas de enseñanza. “Porque el aprendizaje nos compete a todos, cada quién desde su espacio.”

La misma comunidad pide un cambio. Los líderes pueden lograrlo escuchando a las comunidades: “Necesitamos un espacio de reflexión donde seamos escuchados. Donde haya voluntad, compromiso, diálogo, respeto y escucha.”

Los participantes conversan sobre involucrar a la comunidad generando y promoviendo instancias de diálogo y participación. Espacios comunitarios donde la gente se reúna y pueda aprender a participar. Espacios donde se escuchen ideas y proyectos de todos los actores involucrados en la escuela, padres, vecinos, docentes, auxiliares, etc.

  • “Sin buenas raíces, es difícil lograr resultados. Se necesita “comunidad”. Se necesita apoyo gubernamental hacia los docentes. Involucrar a los niños en la elaboración de planes de trabajo (y a sus familias).” 

Unirse como comunidad y buscar soluciones sobre el aprendizaje de los alumnos entre las escuelas y las familias. Intervenir en las actividades propuestas por escuela y Ceibal.

  • Promover el diálogo, la expresión de distintas ideas, el respeto y la unidad, escuchando y aceptando las diferencias.
  • “Creemos que sí es posible (unirse como comunidad para transformar el aprendizaje) a través del trabajo en equipo dirigido por líderes positivos que transmitan adecuadamente los valores perdidos.”
  • “Una capacidad colectiva se crea escuchando las opiniones de todos, aportando y colaborando. Es posible porque somos una comunidad y para avanzar precisamos el aporte de todos.”

Se afirma que todos podemos unirnos, “deberíamos”…, buscar intereses comunes, acuerdos, caminos para construir juntos.

  • “Porque la unión hace la fuerza y todos juntos podemos.”

Es posible unirnos, porque el aprendizaje es responsabilidad de todos y los roles cambian con el tiempo. Generar espacios de participación; con trabajo en conjunto, en equipo entre niños, niños – familia y niños – comunidad. Involucrar a la familia capacitándola en el uso de la herramienta tecnológica, para acompañar a los niños a través de talleres.

  • “Acompañar desde el mundo adulto el uso responsable de la tecnología.”

Establecer vínculos de mayor comunicación entre docentes y familias para conocer, acordar o complementar formas de enseñanza. Darle mayor valorización al docente. Mejorar el conocimiento y las prácticas de los docentes con capacitación para que puedan enseñar mejor. Si el discurso familia – escuela es compartido se enriquece mucho el aprendizaje de los alumnos.

  • “Más aprendizaje y menos horas de aula.”

Es necesario el compromiso de todos los actores sociales. Utilizando propuestas motivadoras que incluyan a todos los miembros de la comunidad.

Se conversa sobre cambiar paradigmas, la necesidad de “traer” nuevas propuestas, apostando a la colaboración, disponibilidad, compromiso y responsabilidad. Es necesario el compromiso de todos los actores sociales. Utilizando propuestas motivadoras que incluyan a todos los miembros de la comunidad. “Modelos, ejemplos y perseguir un fin común. Educación democratizadora.”

  • Aportar entre todos para poder colaborar en las mejoras de la escuela. Aceptando los cambios que nos brinda la tecnología. “Aportar nuevas ideas para que el aprendizaje sea más profundo”. Abrir el campo de aprendizaje a nuevas actividades, nuevas tecnologías y ayudando a que eso suceda”.

También apostar por el desarrollo integral del alumno ya que actualmente se están perdiendo de algunas cosas.

  • “El niño incorpora conocimientos diferentes desde su contacto con el mundo, lo que habilita a intercambiar, interactuar y enseñar a padres, docentes, pares y comunidad. Es cambiar los paradigmas de la educación”.

Integrar a las familias, con la escuela y con el aprendizaje de los niños. “Hacer equipos, donde el maestro sea el líder pedagógico y el padre un facilitador de la tarea; porque la unión hace la fuerza; porque el aprendizaje es responsabilidad de todos y los roles cambian con el tiempo.”

  • Se necesita generar espacios de participación; con trabajo en conjunto, en equipo entre niños, niños – familia, niños – comunidad.

Involucrar a la familia capacitándola, escuchándola y dándole prioridad a los padres para participar en la escuela. “Porque la unión hace la fuerza y todos juntos podemos.”

  • Compartir experiencias y conocimiento. Apoyar las prácticas de los docentes con capacitación para que puedan enseñarnos mejor. “Más aprendizaje y menos horas de aula.”

Los participantes conversan sobre cómo utilizar TICs desde una perspectiva de futuro. “Sí podemos unirnos porque eso cambiaría el futuro.” “Podemos enseñar de una manera más didáctica, con más tecnología con aportes hacia el futuro.” Aceptando los cambios que nos proponen (que la tecnología nos brinda).

  • Aprendiendo nueva información y de otras personas. Investigando y enseñando a las maestras para que informen a su vez al estudiante y así aprenderlo en el futuro.
  • Acompañando desde el mundo adulto el uso responsable de la tecnología.
  • Estableciendo vínculos de mayor comunicación entre docentes y familias para conocer, acordar o complementar formas de enseñanza.
  • Usar el celular como herramienta de trabajo.
  • Utilizar proyectores a través de la tecnología para ver películas didácticas. Comunicarse por skype/videoconferencia cuando el maestro o algún alumno, no puede asistir a clase o con especialistas sobre diferentes temas.
  • Teniendo Internet accesible y aprendiendo con las computadoras.
  • Acceder mediante un blog que permita el acceso a padres, hijos, vecinos, etc. a la información que se maneja en la escuela.

La unión y la acción se plantean, siempre y cuando, se puedan involucrar a las autoridades y si se tiene su apoyo y confianza. Intercambiando ideas para mejores aprendizajes y para ayudar en cada propuesta educativa. Interviniendo en las actividades propuestas por escuela y por Ceibal.

  • “La comunidad puede unirse para lograr muchas cosas, muchos avances. Pero necesitamos la transformación de parte de las autoridades, de los líderes, de las políticas educativas.”

Necesitamos la visión/liderazgo, los líderes deberán trabajar aunando esfuerzo y actuando en sub grupos con responsabilidad y compromiso. Es importante la visión del o los líderes para detectar capacidades y delegar, guiar, aunar criterios, llegar a acuerdos y realizar monitoreos constantes de situación. Líderes positivos que transmitan adecuadamente los valores perdidos con proyectos participativos de una escuela y sumarla a la de otras escuelas de distintos contextos.

  • “Un líder con apertura puede facilitar el crecimiento y la capacidad de aprender y enseñar entre todos los actores.”
  • “Tenemos la necesidad, las ganas, la capacidad y el compromiso para generar el cambio.”
  • “La propuesta de unirnos está en el presente para el futuro.”

También se necesita cambiar las estrategias de enseñanza, enseñar de una manera más didáctica, con más tecnología, con juegos, deportes y con aportes hacia el futuro.

  • Incluir en la educación a niños con capacidades diferentes para aprender otros lenguajes y formas de comunicarnos.

Se necesitan escuelas abiertas a la comunidad, para ello, las escuelas deben planificar su integración. Por ejemplo, se pueden realizar asambleas escolares abiertas a la comunidad donde los que quieran integrar pueden aportar. También colocar la escuela en exposición, por ejemplo, el “último viernes de cada mes”, la comunidad ya sabe y concurre si quiere.

Generar espacios de participación; con trabajo en conjunto, en equipo entre niños, niños – familia y niños – comunidad. Involucrar a los niños, involucrar a la familia capacitándola en el uso de las herramientas TIC, para acompañar a los niños a través de talleres.

  • Empoderando a los alumnos, por ejemplo: involucrando a los niños en la elaboración de planes de trabajo; ayudando a la maestra a explicar a otros alumnos porque a veces no se le entiende. “El aprendizaje es responsabilidad de todos, los roles cambian con el tiempo.”
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Discussion

One school headmaster greeted us with the world’s warmest smile and hug: Welcome to our school. We do not have much, but what we do have is beautiful.

If there was any moment that could illustrate the “spirit” and “feel” of this research project, that was it. Plan Ceibal was not conceived as a means to transform education dramatically, but rather to provide equitable access to the digital world. And, in this sense, its implementation was successful: A distribution system was realized, Internet connectivity was expanded to all schools, and accompanying initiatives are being rolled out (i.e., Ceibal en Inglés). In many cases, the hardware provided was not the “best,” and the quality of Internet service was not reliable, but the initiative was embraced by the schools we visited. It provided a significant step toward providing greater digital equity.

While the effectiveness of Plan Ceibal and the use of ICTs in the classroom have been questioned by government, media, and academic community, we found that, at the level of primary schools and their communities, the conversation was very positive. Study participants provided a wealth of insight regarding their perceived “next steps” for the use of technologies in primary education, including sharing ideas for pedagogical approaches, community education, connecting with parents, and new software and applications.

This study revealed a growing need for further developing participation, perhaps with a similar lens of equity. This emerged in two distinct, but interrelated themes:

  1. A desire to consider how ICTs can be used to broaden community participation; and,
  2. A desire to broaden participation with school-based ICTs in the community.

At the core of many conversations that we analyzed, a desire to use technology to connect people emerged. A desire was expressed to use technologies to connect stakeholders in more-horizontalized sharing and decision making. No intentions were expressed to delegate responsibilities or hold authorities accountable.

Participants expressed an interest in expanding the use ICTs and the decision-making possibilities associated with all stakeholders: Teachers, parents, students, and other interested members of the community. A common vision was one that is comprised of interwoven elements between the school, the community, and families, where intergenerational, intercultural, and other exchanges can emerge (e.g. through videoconferencing). Workshops and community learning were proposed for parents and community members, including “Ceibal after school.”

Finally, creative uses and new inventions related to ICTs were desired, but what was needed to be invented or developed was less clear. As broadened participation is considered, developmental guidance on creativity and innovation may be built into programming to address this need.

Unexpected impacts

Since we started to publicize the project through social networks, beyond the information about it, we were a part of exchanges, reflections, contributions, and discussions. At the public level, the social network with the greatest impact was Facebook. This was used not only to share information on a personal level, but also brought together the participation of two groups of teachers around themes of technology and education. Teachers not involved in the project requested from us, through private and public messages, reading materials, our accounts of the experience, and requested to join the project. Participating teachers shared their experiences and published photos of the World Cafés that attracted much attention in the networks. It was common to see a 9-year-old student explain the future to a school inspector, or a parent, in front of a large group, propose dynamics of participation to the school director.

Another level of impact was presented at the schools that participated. Apart that all schools showed appreciation and enthusiasm for the novelty of the project and the visibility of achievements during working hours; they requested that we provide materials and photographs to publish on the school websites and blogs. Several teachers, principals, and inspectors shared that it was unprecedented to have students, parents, teachers, principals, assistant services, representatives of other neighboring educational institutions, and neighborhood health center representatives sit and talk – reviewing, proposing, and reflecting together on education, in an atmosphere of dialogue. Specifically, one education center that participated in our intervention systemized the involvement of the community by creating a space for permanent action.

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World Café #7 – Flor de Maroñas

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Conclusions and recommendations

This study focused on listening carefully to the voices of all those involved in the educational system (officials, administrators, teachers, students, parents, and other community members interested in education), taking as a sample some schools that belong to the Red Global de Aprendizajes. We addressed the following questions: Are we using ICTs in a meaningful way for our students, their families, and their communities? Can we share our views on the future of education that leverages technology in a positive way and build a capacity to act? What if we were to build a “collective capacity” with all stakeholders in the education system to innovate with technologies in education?

We familiarized ourselves with various schools with very different realities, but all with a degree of integration and appropriation of ICTs that enables and generates new learning environments through digital technology – and the ability to imagine possible futures with ICTs in Uruguay. We found that, yes, there is a belief that we can build a collective capacity to transform learning through educational technologies, and that there is a desire to interweave participation from the communities primary schools serve. We recommend the pursuit of three policy approaches to realize this vision.

  1. Develop strategies for how ICTs can be used to broaden community participation. This calls for an active and intervening participation in pedagogical practices, where all actors involved in the education system to make decisions collaborate and build new learning together:
    1. Expand the scope of Plan Ceibal’s mission to mandate more comprehensive community integration, expanding from a focus on primary and secondary-level learners.
    2. Expand curricula and school activities on interpersonal, intercultural, and intergenerational sharing – horizontalize approaches to education away from traditional teacher-down learning approaches, integrating community stakeholders on a more flat level.
  2. Develop policies to broaden participation within school-based ICTs in the community:
    1. Establish a “Ceibal después de la escuela” program with an intent to expand community knowledge and sharing through the use of ICTs.
    2. Develop opportunities to use technologies at school to connect the community with others (e.g. intercultural exchange through videoconferencing)
  3. Develop educational policies that promote greater applied creativity and innovation that can help build more inventive applications of educational technologies:
    1. Provide members of the school’s extended community with workshops and other training on the use of ICTs
    2. Provide pathways to develop leadership skills to create and implement visions for innovative uses of ICTs, not just for leaders, but for all stakeholders.

The creation of a collective capacity needs support from the entire system. If these three policy approaches are not implemented, Uruguay risks losing an opportunity to build greater collective capacity to transform learning through ICTs, both at the school-level and in the communities schools serve in more meaningful ways. If policies that follow these approaches are implemented, however, Uruguay stands to improve its position in providing for an equitable, positive education.

Recommendations for future research

The three approaches we recommend present actions that can be taken to meet the purposive needs identified in the communities studied. Policies must be drafted to meet these principles that can guide actions to be conducted by various agencies (e.g., Plan Ceibal), together with plans for effectiveness monitoring.

The initial questions of our research project found some answers and pose some new questions. This study was limited by the generally accepted bounds of qualitative research. As it was conducted with a sample of volunteers, we are interested in knowing the responses from others that were outside of this sample. This could come from a representative sample of primary education or perhaps a sample with other features, such as a rural population or lower-secondary education.

At this point in our research, we believe we have heard and collected ideas, actions, and interests from participants interested forming a collective, together with other “voices” from various stakeholders in the educational process. We are left with how? And perhaps when?

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Appendix 1: Participating orgnaizations

Education Futures LLC is a global education research and development agency with experience in collaborating with creatives, thought leaders, innovators, and learning organizations to create new opportunities for human capital development. Education Futures works with schools, universities, and nations to develop research, policies, and innovative solutions for problems that face education today – with an eye for the future. Areas of expertise include: futures-oriented research, invisible learning, democratic education, non-formal and informal learning, education for underrepresented communities, national policy development, and educational change. Recent, relevant partners and clients include: Inter-American Development Bank, Consejo de Educación Superior (Ecuador), M.I. Municipalidad de Guayaquil (Ecuador), Minnesota Association of School Administrators (USA), and the European Democratic Education Community.

Universidad ORT Uruguay is the largest private university in Uruguay, with over 12,00 students across five faculties and institutes. It was recognized as a university by the Ministry of Education and Culture on September 17, 1996. The mission of Universidad ORT Uruguay is to provide excellent higher education in disciplines relevant to the country’s development, training professionals to be prepared for the challenges of reality presents, nationally and internationally. Its commitment is to provide an education that combines knowledge, skills, and values that enable students to develop their full potential, achieve their personal and professional goals, and provide leadership and service to society. Its educational philosophy combines two core values: academic quality and equal opportunity.

The university values the production of knowledge as a contribution to the quality of its educational work and to better understand the problems of the country. Research activities strengthen the development of the university community, and enrich the learning process, allowing a wider call for academics, providing training research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, inserting the university in international academic networks, stimulating continuous updating of teaching methods and curriculum content, and relating the institution toward a productive environment and society in general.

Publishable scientific production at the international level requires highly specialized human resources, especially in doctoral studies. Thus, currently more than 130 doctors or doctoral candidates are part of the faculty of the Universidad ORT Uruguay, many of whom are highly dedicated. In recent years the University ORT Uruguay has developed a development policy that supports academic accreditation in research projects for teachers and graduate students.


Appendix 2: Team members

The project research team is comprised of two research professionals recognized for their expertise in innovative approaches to using ICTs in education in Uruguay and abroad.

John Moravec, Ph.D.: Desde Minneapolis (EE.UU), as a global mentor, Dr. Moravec researches the future of work and education. Creator of the knowmad concept and founder of Education Futures LLC (https://www.educationfutures.com). In previous years, he was a researcher and teacher at the University of Minnesota. Today, his academic agenda, as an entrepreneur, is focused on exploring the convergence of globalization, innovation society, accelerating change, and the emergence of a knowmadic society. He mentors organizations around the world regarding new paradigms for professional leadership and human capital development. Consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank. Researcher of the Minnevate! project (http://minnevate.mnasa.org). Creator of Manifesto 15 (http://manifesto15.org). Author of Knowmad Society (2013), and, with Dr. Cristóbal Cobo, is co-author of Aprendizaje Invisible: Hacia una nueva ecología de la educación (2011). Web profile: http://john.moravec.us/about

Verónica Zorrilla de San Martín (Master of Education): Is a teacher of primary education for ANEP (Uruguay) and a practitioner of direct teaching for 12 years. In that period, Plan Ceibal has begun, and this became the reason she joined in her previous educational experience as an engineer. Committed to continuous professional development through refresher courses for teachers in 1-1 models and through ICTs, her Master of Education from Universidad ORT Uruguay emphasizes on research and teaching in learning, and she is beginning her Ph.D. in education (June, 2015). Her master’s thesis (July, 2012) focuses on the interactions generated in primary school classrooms with a high endowment of technological capacity provided by the inclusion of Web 2.0 (https://bibliotecas.ort.edu.uy/bibid/73125). Her current work is focused on the impact of digital technologies in education, both in the primary and university levels. She was part of the team at KidBox (http://kidbox.net), which develops educational software for families, institutions, and governments. She works at Universidad ORT Uruguay’s Institutie of Educaiton (http://ie.ort.edu.uy), providing postgraduate teaching in the area of ICTs (http://docentes.ort.edu.uy/perfil.jsp?docenteId=38732)  and is the editor of the refereed academic journal, Cuadernos de Investigación Educativa (http://revistas.ort.edu.uy/cuadernos-de-investigacion-educativa/).

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John Moravec a Verónica Zorrilla de San Martín present at the project launch event


Appendix 3: International advisory group

An international advisory committee was invited as experts and collaborators, framing the project within the reality of international interest, and provides a stamp of international identity with a global interest and concern for the topic. Invited members are: Dr. Francesc Pedró from  UNESCO (Paris); el Dr. Ismael Peña-López from UOC (Barcelona); Dr. Teresa Lugo from IIPE UNESCO Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires); Dr. Alejandro Pisanty from la UNAM and NIC México (Mexico City).

This project, in its initial phase, involved students in the Master of Education program at the Unviersidad ORT Uruguay, who joined this initiative form an early stage to participate in the design of the methodologies, as well as data collection. This benefitted the systemization of the process, and also helps to provide training on this research approach for the medium and longer term.


Appendix 4: Summary of ORT participants’ conversations during three World Café rounds (pilot study).

During the first round on naming ideas that facilitate or lead to a positive future for primary education in Uruguay, the participants thought about the students.

They want the students to know how to share and get involved in the education, to work collaboratively and to participate in teaching tasks. “May your learning be useful!”

  • That they can learn not only in the classroom, but also in the park, in the cinema and virtually. To measure invisible learning, skills such as critical thinking and citizenship.
  • Where technologies are a set of tools, as a means toward an end.
  • Working with robots, “learning by doing.”

Regarding the second question: Looking to the future, is it possible to identify some actions to better involve the different sectors of civil society in order to collaborate in the creation of a positive future for primary school in Uruguay? there was talk of opening schools to the community and weaving networks together. Generate horizontal relationships between the actors involved, create commitment and eliminate standards. Raising common educational objectives and  defining problems jointly. Involving the community to share experiences.

 

“Involve teachers, parents and students to collaborate and share their work.”

In the third round: Can we unite as a community to build a collective capacity to transform learning? Why? Why not? How can leaders encourage or facilitate the growth of a collective capacity? The participants raised the idea of enabling spaces, modes of relationships, and people. They listed the words: “assume, err – be bold – innovate – technology – test – create – invent – learn – connect”.


Appendix 5: Diffusion of findings

The greatest diffusion is made through the website ¿Y ahora qué? at http://y-ahora-que.uy, which is especially dedicated to the sharing of all phases of this project’s plan.

Tasks completed in 2016:

  • One a project evaluation is received, we will prepare a brief or publication with images to upload to the website, announcing the results of this project. Social networks will be used as a means to spread findings.
  • We purchased a month-long subscription of a digital tool to make presentations in video format: VideoScribe http://www.videoscribe.co/. Our goal is to generate multimedia materials that accompany and illustrate the results for dissemination.
  • We have been requested to present a brief talk at Expo learning UY 2016 http://www.expolearning.uy/ on October 5, 2016.
  • This research is intended to be presented through academic articles in both Spanish and English. It is for this reason that we allocate part of the budget to the English translation of this report.

Appendix 6: Selection of photos from World Café meetings

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Project launch event

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Project launch event

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World Café #1 – Cerro Oeste

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World Café #2 – Punta de Rieles

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World Café #3 – Maroñas

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World Café #4 – Buceo

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World Café #5 – San Jacinto

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World Café #6 – La Paz

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World Café #7 – Flor de Maroñas

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World Café #8 – Malvín Norte

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World Café #9 – Colon Sureste


References and recommended reading

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Balaguer, R. (2009). Plan Ceibal: Los ojos del mundo en el primer modelo OLPC a escala nacional. Montevideo: Prentice Hall.

Berg, B. L. (2004). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Brechner, M., Gvirtz, S., Peralta, J. Bedoya, R., & Zuñiga, M. (2015). Políticas educativas en contextos de alta disposición tecnológica en América Latina. La voz de los decisores. In: Seminario Internacional “Educación y políticas TIC: Los Sistemas educativos en contextos de inmersión tecnológica” August 19-20, 2015. IIPE – UNESCO Buenos Aires. Retrieved from

The British Department for Education. (2013). National curriculum in England: computing programmes of study. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-computing-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-computing-programmes-of-study

Buckingham, D. (2013). Beyond Technology: Children’s Learning in the Age of Digital Culture. Wiley. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=5fhhCppd0zQC

Cobo, C. (2013). Skills and competencies for knowmadic workers. In J. W. Moravec (Ed.), Knowmad Society (pp. 57–88). Minneapolis: Education Futures. Retrieved from de http://www.knowmadsociety.com

Cobo, C., & Moravec, J. W. (2011). Aprendizaje Invisible: Hacia una nueva ecología de la educación. Barcelona: Laboratori de Mitjans Interactius / Publicacions i Edicions de la Universitat de Barcelona.

Flores, P. (comp.) (2008). Ceibal en la sociedad del S.XXI. Montevideo: Editor Günther Cyranek. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0016/001627/162710s.pdf

Gibbons, M., Lomoges, C., Nowotny, H., Schwartzman, S., Scott, P., & Trow, M. (1994). The new production of knowledge: The dynamics of science and research in contemporary societies. London: Sage.

Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2013). Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. Harvard Business Review Press. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=ibQTAAAAQBAJ

Jenkins, H., & 1958-, H. J. (2006). Convergence culture where old and new media collide. (American Council of Learned Societies, Ed.). New York: New York University Press.

Machado, A.; Ferrando, M.; Perrazzo, I.; Verengo, A, y Haretche, C. (2010). Una primera evaluación de los efectos del Plan Ceibal en base a datos de panel. Seminario sobre Economía de la Educación. CINVE. FCE. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/seminarioeconomiaeducacion/

Moravec, J. W. (2015). Manifesto 15. Minneapolis, MN: Education Futures.  Retrieved from http://manifesto15.org

Moravec, J. W. (Ed.) (2013). Knowmad Society. Minneapolis: Education Futures.  Retrieved from http://www.knowmadsociety.com

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Woronov, T. (1994). From the Harvard education letter: Myths about the magic of technology in schools. Education Digest, 12, 15.