Description and context
One of the most interesting projects that I can see in the Open Book of Educational Innovation is “Blended Learning courses Implemented via Virtual Worlds” which is developed in Greece.
In order to improve teacher training, an online seminar was created with the name “Internet Safety”. This seminar uses the the platform known as Moodle where they published a lot of materials and activities. In addition, a software called “Opensimulator” was developed and thanks to this initiative, teachers could design a 3D virtual educational island.
During the meetings, teachers have the opportunity to work through avatars with other co-workers and move through different rooms, each of them with a different topic. In addition, they can receive feedback and plan their own school lessons within the application.
The use of this virtual environment showed that adults carry out a better assignments if they work together as a team. Also this app was useful to bring teachers new ideas and tools that they can subsequently implement in the classroom in their day-to-day.
Why is it relevant?
The “Internet Safety” project is relevant since this initiative try to promote the use of secure internet. Internet can be a very useful tool if we know how to handle it correctly. In the same way, this application has been adapted to the needs that we can find today in our society. Another aspect to highlight is the fact that it has been added 3D images.
And finally, one of the basic skills of any teacher is to know how to work with all kind of people and this application empowers it. The really important and valuable part of this type of work is that teachers can benefit from the ideas of others. The initiative gives the option to perform brainstormings about new educational and innovative tools, methodologies and applications.
Comparison with other projects
I have chosen the “Webathon on Learning Active Networked Methodologies” of Spain to compare the “Opensimulator” project. Both projects are focus on educators and their purpose is to look for new ways to develop professional skills. Like the Greek project, the Spanish ones established an online space where teachers could share their experiences, work with other classmates and learn about the latest practices. They use the new technologies as a tool to change educational systems.
Regarding the main differences, it should be noted that the Spanish project consisted only of a single active experience, as an event, which it lasted 8 uninterrupted hours. Teachers around the world could connect via Twitter through #DirectoINTEF. On the contrary, the Greek project had a longer duration.
My personal opinion
From my point of view, I consider that a teacher in the 21st century must be trained in new methodologies, forms of learning, technologies and advances according to our currently society. Educational quality and students’ academic level depends directly on the teacher’s training. It is not enough to have a well structured and complete educational curriculum, you have to know how to apply and transmit that knowledge and values to your pupils. For this, I like to see that innovation projects are developing formative courses.
As a disadvantage to the first project, it would be interesting to say that the “Opensimulator” platform should be open to the participation of the rest of the educational community in order to achieve greater feedback. And about the Webathon, it would be interesting to not making the event at a specific time because probably some people could not be available to connect themselves to Internet in that moment. For instance, they could establish several days per month to perform the Webathon and each day it could be focus on a different thematic.
As a future teacher that you are…
- Do you think is it important to encourage educators to have basic knowledge about new technologies?
- If so, which is the best way to do it?
Lastly, most people think that online platforms such as “Opensimulator” and “Webathon” can help us and they are useful in order to improve our abilities.
- What do you reckon about it?
Licht, A., Tasiopoulou, E., & Wastiau, P. (2017). Open Book of Educational Innovation. Roger Blamire, Ed Prosser. Recovered from http://www.eun.org/documents/411753/817341/Open_book_of_Innovational_Education.pdf/c1044658-5793-408c-8acb-a041338111ef