This week I assisted to the iCERI2012 conference as a speeker.
There were very interesting presentations in the sessions and as a speeker I presented the ‘Scientific Output Portal Project’. In my case, the aim of the presentation was to illustrate the work that is necessary to get show the scientific output of a university and to link with the open access repository of the institution, in the specific case of the SIGMA’s consortium product PPC (encode, migration and data merge from different sources, databases data depuration, standardization and so on). And that it’s not only about developing software, research experts are needed both in SIGMA and in the universities to archive this goal. It’s a complex collaboration project but which allows to archive very good and engaging results for the university.
In general, caught my attention moreover, to be aware of the globalization: different people from different countries talking about the same problems and needs and of the same or similar tools that they support to. So, nowadays there is one global problem: ‘digital divide’, in this case, applied to the educational environment.
Digital immigrant Teachers face to face with native digital Students. Some people saw this as a thread, but fortunately most saw this as an opportunity. An opportunity to use digital tools in class to learn, and a close collaboration between teachers and students. Initiatives as use of wikis, e-portfolios, social media, with tablets and other digital devices in classroom or on-line, are very very interesting, and I think that there was cool initiatives about this. Is a clear way to engage the new students both in the on-site classes or on-line classes.
Also spoke of other topics like the learning models, I mean: on-site, blended or on-line learning. They showed some studies about this. I think, after see this studies, that blended-learning (half on-site, half on-line), is the best option nowadays.
Also they talked about MOOCS and other current initiatives very interesting. For example, the use of the physical distribution of classrooms, to engage the students to work collaborative, with circular tables and without front classes. Others talked about the intellectual protection of the research results. And about some e-learning platforms (Moodle, Sakai, Its…)
Finally, I want to highlight one presentation that I liked so much. An African professor from a little village, that teaches his students with tablets, and how he makes it. And then, sowed us the real life of this little boys and girls outside the school. They live in poor houses and they get up in the morning and milked his cow or take care of other farm animals (like goats…). Then they take their tablet and go to school, to learn about new technologies and know about the rest of, for them, very different world. It impressed me greatly.
In short, a really exciting two days experience in a really well organized congress!, Although I am sure that I missed other many interesting presentations. Engaging!