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The report Learning With Technology (Col. Fundación Telefónica / Ariel) defines technology-based training models capable of generating quality educational programs in the near future, between 2015 and 2020.
Barcelona, 11 July 2012.- Fundación Telefónica proposes future educational models for six countries in its latest report, entitled Learning with Technology. International Research on educational models of the future (Col. Fundación Telefónica / Ariel), a rigorous field work carried out in the five continents that seeks to promote the integration of ICTs in each region in a uniform way, taking into consideration the educational and socio-cultural context of each geographical area.
The book was presented at Torre Telefónica auditorium in Barcelona, and in an event attended by José de la Peña, Director of Education and Online Knowledge at Fundación Telefónica, and Guillermo Recarte and Víctor Serrano, Directors of Fundación Creafutur.
The study, which has been produced with the collaboration of Fundación Creafutur and a sizeable group of international education and technology experts, provides an outline of the needs and shortcomings that affect students, parents and teachers in the current educational environment of the United States, South Africa, Japan, Spain, Germany and Brazil –chosen for the weight of their GDP–, and how technology appears to meet the majority of these educational needs.
Thus, the proposed models are: the challenge – with its solution of stimulating interdisciplinary challenges instead of passing subjects -, encouraged learning – motivating students by supporting their autonomous learning processes -, the school and the community, the enhancing networked environments - with network nodes that support the education process - and network autonomy - where the school is replaced by a global education network.
Far from importing successful models from societies with very different values and traditions, afteranalyzing the more 4,000+ interviews with students aged 6 to 18, and also the in-depth ethnographic interviews with over 30 families and school principals, the report studies the needs and shortages affecting students, teachers, and families, and the way in which ICTs can help develop new capacities, knowledge, and competencies in the future. On the other hand, the report analyzes the social trends that have the greatest impact on the development of current educational models: Contribution, hybridization, hyperstimulation, and experimentation, macrotrends that outline different future scenarios.
Six international scenarios: The United States, South Africa, Japan, Spain, Germany and Brazil
Fundación Telefónica's report addresses several possible development scenarios for each country, taking its particular needs into account and the short-term coverage of each one of the recommended models, so that finally only the most appropriate ones are selected for each country.
In the case of Japan, its educational system is highly centralized, and parent involvement in their children's education is low; it follows a hierarchical approach, where the teacher takes the central role, and is based on content memorization. The low use of ICT in schools contrasts with the level of popularity they enjoy outside of them. The pedagogical model proposed by Fundación Telefónica is of the "challenging" type, based mainly on the transfer of knowledge, but student motivation will need to be boosted and enhanced to optimize performance rates, as this will continue to be one of the key concerns of Japanese families. An educational model capable of capturing the attention of students, and engaging them by means of an "instructivist" approach may prove successful.
In Brazil, where educational program standardization and parent involvement is limited due to social imbalances, the proposal is to develop a school and community based model, that guarantees access to a high quality education for all levels of society and promotes community involvement in education in order to ensure a more fluid relationship between parents and teachers, allowing students to gain real world experience and interact with people external to the school.
In South Africa, schools still bear the funding and infrastructure differences based on the school type from Apartheid times. Community involvement in schools is significant; in fact, a large percentage of parents believe teachers should have the opportunity to offer their services to students from different schools. Following this approach, technology would facilitate communication between students and teachers while they are not at school, and their involvement in the extended community would also make it easier to incorporate real-world experiences.
In Spain which has a decentralized educational model, the models that are capable of motivating the student, getting parents involved and encouraging teachers to use ICT will be more likely to succeed. The school/community model - due to the need to establish a more direct relationship with the school, and open it up, in order to cut failure rates - would succeed, in combination with another networked environment model, as most parents consider that the curriculum should be more flexible to ensure that students explore and experience the broadest range of subjects possible, in order to help them decide as soon as possible what it is that they would like to do in the future.
In Germany, where the educational system is extremely decentralized, and where parent associations are highly involved at all levels, the most pressing concern of parents is to raise children that are independent and are able to experiment in order to help them decide, as soon as possible, what it is they would like to do in the future; in this sense, network environment and autonomy models could be potentially successful, with a certain level of customization of the student's education and performance. these models would allow teachers to use ICTs to focus on the students and their individual needs.
In the United States, due to their flexibility and experience in the use of ICTs, schools, the community and network environments would be able to apply encouraged learning type models. In the US, the extended classroom is highly valued, and parents consider that technology allows their children to continue learning away from school. Practical approaches are also highly regarded, and community involvement allows students to bring real-world experience into their education, and interact with people external to the school. Also, e-learning technologies are widely used, and there is a large trend towards supporting personal education through the support of the parents, who think that students should receive a tailored education, that fits their capacities and learning pace.