Blog Archives

Del aula aumentada a la sociedad aumentada: TIC, TAC, TEP

Me parece muy interesante lo que plantea Dolores en la conferencia. Nuestra meta debe ser ir hacia un uso de las nuevas tecnología que propicie la participación de los ciudadanos acompañado de un pensamiento crítico (TEP). Dejar de lado el rol pasivo de mero receptor de información (TIC). Es por esto que en la escuela debemos proveer a nuestros alumnos con las herramientas para alcanzar este fin que por ahora suena un poco utópico. Para esto, es necesario corrernos de la posición de la escuela como mera transmisora de conocimiento. Hoy la información esta en todos lados. Podemos acceder a ella rápidamente y a veces de forma mucho más completa que como la obtenemos en la escuela. En su lugar, debemos empezar a enseñar a nuestros alumnos cómo manejar todo ese caudal de informacion, cómo pensar críticamente acerca de lo que leemos, cómo crear su propio contenido online, cómo trabajar colaborativamente, etc. Es decir, cómo usar el internet en todo su potencial. Sólo podremos alcanzar este objetivo poniendo manos a la obra y guiándolos en estos procesos en la escuela. Dándoles libertad para trabajar y aprender de sus propios errores.

NOTE: If you want to know what I have to say about this in English go to: https://sabridv.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/critical-thinking-we-aim-at-it/

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Let’s start thinking outside the box!

I think this video to be totally self-explanatory. I believe that the most important conclusion we can derive from it is not to let the fear of the unknown paralised us. We should open our minds, explore, stop complaining and try to find a way out. Sometimes the most implausible of the solutions is the key that will get us out of the box. Narrowmindess emprisons us, let’s liberate our minds and our students’ too.

” You are out of jail, out of the cage; you can open your wings and the whole sky is yours. All the stars and the moon and the sun belong to you. You can disappear into the blueness of the beyond….Just drop clinging to this cage, move out of the cage and the whole sky is yours. Open your wings and fly across the sun like an eagle.” Osho Christianity, the Deadliest Poison and Zen… Chapter 6

Understanding  that the cage has always been open, or that the world has always been there outside the box  for us to explore, can make us feel a little shaky at first. It’s fine, and natural to feel like that, but we shouldn’t let it prevent us from enjoying all the blessings living outside the box has to offer us.

A few questions to reflect about this: what are the implications of this video for education? And for the use of new technologies in education? And most important of all, how can we apply it to life in general?. I have already talked about the importance of developing critical thinking and thinking outside the box in this post, if you want to keep on reading. Your opinions in Spanish or English will be more than welcome… Have a nice weekend!

Critical Thinking, we aim at it…

Writing in answer to Karenne’s challenge Nº 9 after having read Diarmuid Fogarty’s contribution: This is a critical update, seems to be more like an impossible mission. What else can I add? Anyway, I will give it a try… Here’s my humble attempt at it.

Let's start thinking out of the box...

 

I believe critical thinking to be one of the most important aims of education. As I have already said in this post we should not be just English teachers, we should become EDUCATORS. As @ddeubel pointed in his  post: Teachers- who needs them?: “After hearing the line the film, it dawned on me that it should be updated to, “I just thought it was a big waste of money for something I could learn online”.  The internet has allowed us, the amateur, to prosper.” I’m not saying that we should do away with schools, but a paradigm shift is peremptory.

We, teachers, cannot continue being just transmitters of knowleadge (encyclopeadic information). The internet will always defeat us, if  we choose that path. Today, information is everywhere, we can acces it quite quickly (and more complete and thorough that what we get at school). Maybe, we should start teaching/guiding our students on how to access that information, what to do with all the information we have in our hands, how to be critical with what we read, how to create their own content online, how to learn collaboratelly, and so on and so forth. To sum up, we should show them how to use internet to its full potential and not eating up everything they are told.

But what does it mean to be critical? Can we achieve it? Obviously, we cannot in every single class (we are human beings after all), but it can happen… According to @thornburyscott in Dogme: nothing if not critical a critical pedagogy:

1. is transformative, and seeks social change
2. foregrounds social inquiry and critique
3. challenges the status quo and problematizes ‘givens’
4. devolves agency to the learner
5. is participatory and collaborative
6. is dialogic
7. is locally-situated, and socially-mediated
8. is non-essentialist, i.e. it doesn’t reduce learners to stereotypes, but rather legitimizes individual identities
9. is self-reflexive

It happened to me once, that with my business students we were reading a text about the role of women in society. We end up discussing weather things are equal or not between men and women. They all had quite a traditional point of view around the issue: (should point out at this moment that they were three men and ME =) ) we are all for equality, but at the end of the day, I want to go back home and have everything spotless clean and the children ready to play with me, of course I may HELP with the dishes. Does it sound familiar?

I won’t define myself as a feminist, but I go for choice. It is ok is some women choose to be devoted housewives, but what if that is not their choice? I started posing them lots of questions, to make them realise that we are far from being equal. What happens if a couple agrees on the woman being the breadwinner and the man staying at home doing the housework and looking after the children? Their first reaction was, I would feel guilty if that was my case. They looked at me even with greater astonishment when I played the devil advocate and said: “I’d love to have that kind of agreement. I hate cleaning, cooking, etc. And I love my job” Why isn’t that possible? Who decides that? Not happy with that, I retorted: what happens when a woman says she doesn’t want to be a mother? Why is it ok when a man says that and we cannot accept it in a woman?

We concluded that there is nothing wrong with traditional families and we can take our own decisions, however, we shouldn’t criticise other people’s choices. My students left the room wondering. At least I have shown them that there is not one-fit-for-all answer for certain issues, and we should become more tolerant and respectful. Is this what you would call critical thinking? What happens in your classrooms?