Building on focus groups and expert interviews organised within two research projects, i.e. BOM-VL (Archiving and Distribution of Multimedia in Flanders1) and MuTable (the Multitouch Multimedia Table), this paper aims to discuss the appropriation of ICTs by young adults contrasts with teachers&apos; attitudes towards using ICTs in classrooms.
The BOM-VL project (Dutch acronym for Archiving and Distribution of Multimedia in Flanders) aimed to find sustainable solutions for obstacles to processes of archiving, preserving and distributing digital audiovisual content. The educational sector was one particular target group within the project. I conducted a number of expert interviews on the needs and visions on the distribution of digital materials in Flemish education.
A very important aspect is Flemish policy. Since 2007, ICT attainment targets focussing on functional ICT skills (acces Inet, using computers, building websites). As of 1 September 2010 a new cross-curricular attainment target will be introduced in secondary education in Flanders. ‘Media Wisdom’ is supported by both the Flemish policy plan Media and the Flemish policy plan Education and focusses on more generic skills when dealing with ICTs and media content and learnes pupils how to actively, critically and consciously engage in digital spheres. So, we can conclude there is a growing willingness and awareness of the need to incorporate digital media and content in a meaningful educational manner.
Next to these policy efforts, we also notice some infrastructural efforts. Report results indicate that ICTs are by and large in place (relating to computers and broadband) or gradually (when it comes to digital whiteboards) introduced in Flemish secondary schools and classrooms. So, we expect the image on the left to make place for a more interactive ICT equipped classroom, such as on the right. Unfortunately, the report has not examined attitudes towards integrating and using such technologies in classroom settings.
Teachers’ willingness to integrate ICTs in classrooms and didactics was brought to the fore in BOM-VL and MuTable. Interviews in both projects have indicated that working with digital content and appears to be challenging. MuTable informants have pointed to the need to refashion teaching methods and adapt teaching materials when it comes to dealing with interactive technologies. In BOM-VL, experts pointed to the involvement of teachers when it comes to the contextualisation and findability of educational content. So, we see a challenging gap between (1) policy and infrastructural evolutions and (2) the willingness of teachers to integrate ICT’s in their teaching.
The digitisation of educational settings has been a growing point of interest within policy spheres. With that, efforts to provide adequate infrastructure have been noticed. Computers have become widespread in secondary education in Flanders, and other ICTs are gradually making their way. At the same time, it has been noted that teachers’ attitude to adopting and integrating them into their teaching is lagging. However, from the public tests in the MuTable project we can postulate the hypothesis that multitouch technology can offer new opportunities for both formal and informal learning, not only because of the multi-user aspects relating to interaction, but also in light of the opportunity of creating in a collaborative and communicative way. Therefore, we would like to end this talk by postulating that the role of technology is to support collaboration by providing media of communication and stimulating productive interaction between learners.
Raise Your Hands or Hands-On?
Raise your hands or hands-on?
The meaning and implications of interactive
technologies for educational processes
21 July 2010, IAMCR, Braga, Portugal
Lien Mostmans, Stijn Bannier & Chris Vleugels