Becoming a teacher who uses ICT in a classroom isn’t a decision, it’s a process.
With this document I would like to explain the evolution over the the last few years that led me to the use of ICT and electronic devices in the educational field. And from this point on, how it should make us rethink education in the 21st Century.
Some time ago, seeing mobile phones in a classroom gave me a headache. Today, however, I find it indispensible for the students, seeing as, in my case, ICT has turned into an essential tool for their education, both inside and outside the classroom.
The other aspect that completly changed my educational style was understanding and applying the methodology of “flipped classroom” or reverse class, which you’ll see I prefer calling “flipped learning” or flipside education.
Four years ago, when I had just started hearing talk about “flipped classroom” and the creation of videos for students to learn at home, I was having dinner in Valencia with a group of friends, and the Venus of Willendorf came up in conversation which I discovered was unknown to them. It was then that I thought: “Why don’t I create a video that explains the artwork to them?”. And that’s how my first educational video was born. My friends liked it so I shared it with my students. It was these last few years that pressured me to make more, during which I started creating videos about artwork that appears in the art history syllabus and in the University Entrance exam. This directed me toward the “flipped classroom” dynamic, which consisted in doing more theory outside the class, instead of practical exercises, and allowing the students to be more active participants in class.
Understanding ICT as an educational tool allowed me to do activities outside the classroom with the important use of mobile phones (geolocation outings):
- Girona “Questinsitu”: https://goo.gl/fUCEV7 (TV3 County news)
– The outing’s Storify https://goo.gl/ZoQXeS
- Vic “Questinsitu” https://goo.gl/HpGEAl (activity summary)
- Mataró, with the use of the EDULOC tool (for geolocating) and others, such as Twitter, Remind and Socrative.
-Storify: #eduARTpiracy hook 2015 https://goo.gl/zgl5As
The happy acceptance by the students of the introduction of “screens” in their education brought me to investigate the potencial for social networks (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook…) as educational tools. This has been useful for me to learn applications with schooling abilities such as Remind, an educational Whatsapp used in the US, which I have been using ever since as a basic tool for communicating with my students.
Having the students coninue working outside the classroom was an aspect I was able to improve after discovering Edpuzzle, a tool that allows modifications to the videos, adding questions, links, comments, assessments… and allows the teacher to see the students’ data (their answers, participation, times they’ve seen a video…). Seeing as this tool deactivates after a certain amount of time, I created a youtube channel where I posted the same videos, although without the questions and links.
-1st Trimester: https://goo.gl/CBX4Rg
-2nd Trimester: https://goo.gl/pSkOZV
So that each student can watch them as many times as needed for their individual learning pace. I also posted the scripts of each video for those who find written support easier.
I realised that as you enter this technological field there is no going back. Neither the students nor I are prepared to relinquish it.
I have always tried to introduce games in the classroom to be used as an educational tool. In this aspect technology has provided an invaluable improvement. Known as “gamification”, I use it to review content, strenghten it… and, if needed, to “gift” points. I have been using this system for a number of years, of doing activities in small groups before each written exam in which there would be a competition with a prize. The discovery of tools like Kahoot, Socrative, Quizlet or Quizizz have provided a level of excitement to this dynamic activity.
Working with teenagers means that most of them have mobile phones and they love having them in the classroom and learn to value them as an educational tool. I think they feel more understood because we’re speaking their “language”. In any case, most of the programs I use in class can be used on any electronic device (tablet, computer, notebook…) and therefore, whether the student has a mobile phone or not, shouldn’t be a limiting factor.
Another concept that has been changing my way of thinking is about the classroom as the only educational space. The introduction of technology and social networks allow the material I prepare for the students to be available to other people, which makes my work even more gratifying. After contacting other teachers around the world, I got the idea for “online” debates between interesting people and my students. This is how I started experimenting with Google Hangout and Skype inside the clasroom. With these activities I’ve managed to make them see the use of studying languages like English and opening their minds to other ways of thinking and acting.
The last “adquisition” was using Versal, an online platform where I post course material and where I apply the concept of blended learning so that there is not only basic information, but also additional material and reinforcement exercices each student can decide whether to do or not, depending on their study pace and their interest for the subject, in such a way that I achieve a learning that adapts to each student.
This is the point at which I am now, but I am convinced that there are many more tools out there to be discovered, and always room for innovation.
As a summary of the ICT tools I use in 2nd of Bachillerat with my students I leave you this link:
“The ICTs I use” via Pinterest: https://goo.gl/g5qkP7
This is the story of my last four years as a teacher, starting from the complete absence of technology to believing the ICTs to be completely indispensible in 21st Century education.
(Translated into English by Inéz Sardín Clarke)