For many years there was almost tacit agreement that what people needed where computers were involved was ‘training up’. This usually involved organisations offering a set menu of courses, starting with basic user skills and hardware familiarisation then advancing through word processing, spreadsheets, databases and so on in a progression of knowledge and skills which seemed to follow an almost predictable path. At each stage you attempted to learn all there was to know about your chosen application or you undertook beginners, intermediate or advanced courses – a fine example of the mastery learning model. For some people this proved to be a reasonable way of doing things – provided they had the time available to dedicate to their training.
The problem is that life just isn’t like that for most of us. Teachers are required to make use of ICT but have limited time to spare to absorb the required knowledge and skills.
A friend emailed me his impressions recently:
teachers [here] are keen to technology in
their teaching. However, most seem to believe that TEL (Technology
Enhanced Learning) requires buying into extravagant computer systems
and software packages. That said, many people are beginning to discover
the virtues of Open Source and ‘HiTech DIY’ TEL, for example, blogging
Moodle.org tells me there are 173 Moodle sites registered in Japan, of which slightly less than 30 are in Japanese.
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