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Interview on elearning Paolo Ferri

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Enlish inteview about e-learning
Contatti: paolo.ferri@unimib.it http://paolomferri.blogspot.com/
del.icio.us / Giobbe30 / by Paolo Ferri http://www.paoloferri.net

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Interview on elearning Paolo Ferri

  1. 1. i-AFIEL (Innovative approaches for a full inclusion in eLearning) i-AFIEL Newsletter Number 2 – April 2007 i-AFIEL (Innovate Approaches for a Full Inclusion in eLearning) is the European project started in February 2007 in Valencia to distil, assess and disseminate the most effective methods and processes used in the e-learning to drawing all parts of society into the digital culture age. Seven organisations from Spain, Italy and the UK are working together in the eighteen months project funded by the Education Audiovisual and Cultural Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission. Projects on focus In the first phase of I-AFIEL, a deep analysis is being conducted to tune criteria and methodology based on 10 successfully executed and tested projects, which have been pre-selected by the project’s partners. Title Project Leader Application Country Context INTERNAUTA Stimulation citizens’ interest in intelligent Spain Valencia Region use of Internet, through media literacy training. Very practical interactive course approach successfully adapted to target groups needs. COMPTE TIC Integral ICT programme to improve Spain Valencia Region accessibility to Valencian businesses. SMEs enabled incorporating ICT into productive processing, and enhancing enterprise market visibility. E-LANE Demonstration of eLearning support to EC European project bridge the digital divide in several Latin (@lis) America countries, addressing digital literacy and long life learning. Principles for Regionwide continuous medical education Italy Lombardy Region radiation programme, focused on radiation protection, protection implemented by eLearning to train at large scale the Health personnel. Info and Initiative to devise on-line training process UK Wallsall Region guidance for to help citizens advice counsellors to work Deaf people with Deaf People. IALL Internet for Autonomous Lifelong Learning, Italy, European project promotion of basic English and ICT skill to Romania (Socrates-Grundtvig2) adult autonomous learners through an Internet On-line Resource Centre. eLearning for Provision of information and resources to Italy, European project Adults adults teachers & learners on how to design, Turkey (Socrates-Grundtvig2) develop and implement eLearning courses. ELBA Electronic Book for Adults, with creation of Italy, European project an electronic book on poetry and philosophy Spain (Socrates-Grundtvig2)
  2. 2. i-AFIEL (Innovative approaches for a full inclusion in eLearning) for adults easily accessible from the network. SEE-EU A See EU Tool on sustainable energy for high Romania European project school education. E-tool for science teachers (Socrates-Comenius) to better develop and sustain teaching methodologies; specific CV generated. As highlight of the month, I-AFIEL has chosen and offers to your attention the project INTERNAUTA. INTERNAUTA is a comprehensive digital literacy programme promoted by the Valencian regional government, through the Regional Vice Minister for Telecommunications and Information Society, that aims to increase the knowledge and use of ICT by citizens. It is implemented with the collaboration of the Foundation Valencian Office for the Information Society (www.ovsi.es). The programme has received the support of over 20 sponsors of different kind: financial entities and telecommunications and services providers. The objective of the INTERNAUTA project is to increase the smart use of Internet among the Valencian citizens trying to allocate the Valencian region at the same level that the EU more advanced countries. Furthermore the aim is not only from a quantity point of view, but even from a quality one in the sense that the citizens trained are encouraged to begin interactive-citizens, ready to use ICT in the daily life. The key target group are all the Valencian citizens, especially those more ate risk of digital divide. INTERNAUTA is composed by 3 training levels offering a complete itinerary training curricular. Each of them is followed by the release of the correspondent certificate. The first level was launched last 25th October 2005 and is still running and the second level started last 17th April. These are the characteristics of the trainees according to each level: 1) Basic User of Internet: he/she is able to satisfy a daily need thanks to the smart used of Internet (most of them: elderly people; men over 45 years old; women over 36 years old; groups with special needs, as for instance, handicap people, immigrants, long period patients, etc.). 2) Medium User of Internet: he/she acquires knowledge that allows him/her to manage communication, transactional, information and entertainment operations thanks to Internet. 3) Advanced User of Internet: several objectives and contents of the most advanced level will be defined in co-operation with universities and other agents of the training field. The selection of the target group works according to the level of digital divide risk and this criteria facilitates the implementation and the success of the project from 2 points of view:
  3. 3. i-AFIEL (Innovative approaches for a full inclusion in eLearning) It allows to adapt the training materials to the concrete interests of the trainees, - in this way the training is more attractive and effective. It allows to call, in a more heterogeneous way, the target groups with common - interests facilitating the access to the training. The basic level, entails a new challenge: to define ‘what do we mean with a training on Internet’, something apparently simple is more difficult than it seems. For this level were created ten training modules that learn about the use of the mouse and the navigator, the most frequents uses of Internet, as well as a module regarding ethic and security in the Net. These training modules are explained during an intensive course of 6 days (2 hours session): module 1: Use of the mouse; module 2: To know the navigator; module 3: Search tool; module 4: Inter-personnel communication; module 5 : Your first e-mail; (the citizen is provide of an e-mail account of the Valencian region); module 6: Business on Internet; module 7: Keep updated yourself: media; module 8: eBank; module 9: eGovernment (to learn the citizen to process with the public administration and the use of the digital certificate, provide by the Valencian Certification Authority to each trainee); module 10: Ethic and security in the Net A very good added value has been the contribution of the private sector through the programme ayuda.net created by the Generalitat and where the private sector participates offering to the trainees a grant of 120 € to acquire harward, the called ‘INTERNAUTA cheque’, as well as offering connectivity facilities. INTERNAUTA is a non-stop evolving project: it is continuously improving thanks to the trainees’ inputs, the trainer’s suggestions and the ideas of every agent who joins INTERNAUTA. The medium level (UMI) was launched last 17th April 2007 and is addressed to those who have already got a basic knowledge about the use of Internet and would like to keep improving and taking more and more advantage from every new arrived into Internet through new utilities that provide advantages, for instance, to learn to use IP voice in order to save money when calling, to know and to share pictures and music, to create a blog in order to let know your opinions or to manage administrative procedures. Some interesting indicators of the Basic User of Internet (data updated on 26.4.2007): o 38.953 citizens registered (30.089 have already done the course) o 1.775 ‘INTERNAUTA cheque’ requested o 401 classrooms (total number along the region) Regarding the interim indicators obtained in the Medium User of Internet Internet (data updated on 26.4.2007), since the launch last 17th have been registered in the programme 1.261 citizens registered. The contents of this level are, among others: a review of the contents of the basic level; the security in Internet; surfing in Internet; advanced research; Internet multimedia; advanced e-mail; IP voice; eGovernment; WEB 2.0; blogs; etc.
  4. 4. i-AFIEL (Innovative approaches for a full inclusion in eLearning) One of the key success factor of the programme is the approach to the citizens: to make the training more friendly and comfortable have been use television actors. For the basic level was use the image of a famous Valencian actor and for the second level a ‘TV family’. These characters are the virtual trainers of citizens, with whom they feel closer. Further info: www.internauta.gva.es satsi@gva.es i-AFIEL: What does an on-line teacher need to be effective? Can Interview of the month any teacher become an on-line teacher? The Italian I-AFIEL team has met at the EIPA-CEFASS offices in Milan Paolo Ferri, The on-line teacher should have four Vice-Director Multimedia Production essential attributes: centre and Associate Professor at the a) Basic competences in CMC Faculty of Educational Sciences of (Computer Mediated Communication) University of Milano Bicocca- Dept. of management and capacities to integrate Epistemology and Hermeneutics of the traditional and multimedia forms of Education (Disciplinar sector M-PED/03- teaching. The current problem is that Eductional studies). Active member of on-line teaching is seen just a simple more international academic boards downloading of materials to the learner’s centred on educational enhancements, PC. So the crucial question is: which and author of several books traditional contents should be put on- (www.paoloferri.net/english.htm). line? And how the new on-line tools I-AFIEL had the opportunity to raise could be used for traditional contents? stimulating Q&A on interesting current The strategic element seems to be the and evolving eLearning issues. capacity for integration of on-line and traditional teaching methodologies. b) Capacity to manage the on-line environment. It was shown that sometimes on-line communication could be launched using also the sync communication tools (ie. Video), that help the interaction. It is important to know the managerial tools for on-line groupware via audio, video etc. For example it is desirable that a chat or sync communication could be inserted every 15/20 days during on-line course; this would help the participants to interact and integrate their work better. Written chat, sometimes being problematic, can be alternated with Prof. Paolo Ferri interviewed by Paola Novellini audio and video tools. c) Tutor training is essential for a successful on-line course. Representing the central actor of the on-line process,
  5. 5. i-AFIEL (Innovative approaches for a full inclusion in eLearning) the role of the tutor is often undervalued the unique instrument allowing the in comparison with the other project exchange of knowledge between the staff. The tutor should be re-considered students. as a mentor, the guide that becomes the Thus, what is becoming strategic is not central pivot in eLearning. the technology, but the methodology by which the technology is being used. This d) Capacity to evaluate and monitor has led to the emergence of the so the e-learning process. It is important to called ’knowledge technology’. be able to trace the (quantitative) analysis of students on-line, even if we use the mixed approach (qualitative- i-AFIEL: Which educative quantitative). We use the on-line methodolo-gies could make the on- (quantitative) tests, the focus groups line learning experience innovative (qualitative) and short video and effective for adult learners? presentations. In my view, the training methods that i-AFIEL: Which instruments can be could make the on-line learning used to monitor the ongoing experience innovative and efficient for development of on-line courses? adult people are the “Communicative What standards are used to Methodologies” rather then “Training measure course effectiveness? How Methodologies”. The blended projects, have those standards evolved? by including on-line training and traditional in-class training, show the There are international standards for most successful approach. delivery, and standards for Regarding the on-line methodology, one interoperability (called SCORM based on can move from Peer Tutoring to Project METADATA, originally used in the U.S. Work, when project evolves through the Navy), which allow specific contents to creation of small working groups. be hosted on each platform. As already Usually such projects start up with a mentioned, tracking analysis is used for sync chat. The blended model supposes monitoring eLearning courses, which the launch of the course in the presence shows the type of on-line access to the of the tutor, and subsequently the phase students’ platform. of the active on-line work. Social research has shown that users need to i-AFIEL: Which are the innovative e- have a more active role during the learning components to be fostered training process, for both the on-line in order to make the learning and also for the traditional training. experience effective and to create Current on-line courses do not offer awareness among citizens? concrete elements of activity, but there are elements for achieving on-line The innovative aspects of eLearning for visibility of the community (ie. Blogs, an effective learning experience consist Etune et.c). Such visibility has today of integrating traditional and on-line become one of the crucial elements to work methodologies, but not in a total motivate active on-line participation. substitution of the former with the One speaks about “Digital Native”, about latter. In this way the on-line tool young people and Multi-Screen Society, becomes really efficient. Some in which the modality of representing examples: the world changes, thus consequently -Social Network instruments (ex. the modality to learn changes. In the Wikipedia) society of today and the future, the -Creation of distance interaction “Digital Migrants” (those who have through dialogue, discussion. In this transferred from real into digital case the presence of the on-line tutor is context) should cohabit with the “Digital
  6. 6. i-AFIEL (Innovative approaches for a full inclusion in eLearning) Native” (those who are born in the i-AFIEL: What are your positive & digital era). Nowadays we are already negative experiences in on-line confronted with people coming from teaching/learning? What did you different cultures. learn and what recommendations do Some English research has shown that you have for an on-line direct knowledge of world forms the tutor/teacher/trainer for the future “cultural imprinting”, so it is possible of eLearning? that virtual knowledge progressively distorts the real world. As a I consider the ECDL (European consequence, different new ways of Computer Digital Licence) as the worst learning may develop, representing for on-line experience, as procedural self- the current teenagers a necessity to training experience which has failed the learn from a screen for example, and expectations. not just from simple reality. The minimum certified standards were in For this reason, the future of the an auto-instruction CD-ROM, and the extended learning environment may abandon rate was about 90%. require that this necessity is taken into The most successful experiences have account (This is also connected the next been those of the business management topic). and school training where traditional and virtual training has been integrated i-AFIEL: What does a student need and/or blended. to learn on-line? Could all students From my own experience I have learn on-line? understood the importance for the in- The Gutemberg’s knowledge should class tutor to learn about on-line transferred into the new codes (in teaching, as well as for the on-line tutor presence and on-line) of the didactic to learn more the dynamic of in-class environment, otherwise there is a risk teaching: both are essential. It is also of losing the arena of different training much more difficult to master the on- activities. line training process, which is more Research conducted in the United States challenging than the in-presence one. in 2006 evidences one additional Succeeding in coaching the students, problem: the internet represents the and managing the balance between the essential source for students in Science, control of the process and the freedom also for carrying out research. This fact of the learner is crucial. underlines the problem of Home Made, Technology sometimes has its dark driving to the Social Fragmentation of sides; such as the impression that it is the common connective texture: sub- the instant solution to satisfy all the cultures are created through a self- needs. The same phenomenon occurs in training process, and isolated cultural on-line training, family, and business, islands are reproduced autonomously. wherever time is of the essence. There will be a lack of a shared minimum standard because of the speed i-AFIEL: Do you think that the of access and dissemination of Italian SMEs are ready to invest in information. eLearning? In my view the Italian SME are not yet ready to invest in e-learning due to two reasons: - they have not yet acquired a training culture; - the large enterprises have dominated in 2002-2003 with WBT (Web Based
  7. 7. i-AFIEL (Innovative approaches for a full inclusion in eLearning) Training) discovering that all those tools don’t work for the on-line training. SMEs need to develop knowledge of CMC literacy, e-mail for business administration and the right initial choice of technological tools. The conclusion of the interesting interview was driving the de-briefing to the reflection of reaffirming once again the priority of the content (knowledge) over the form (mediatization), with a particular attention to the human being’s evolution, and to the inherent value of the gratification achieved when the effort done is compensated at the end by the attended results. Events EUROPEAN DISTANCE and eLEARNING NETWORK EDEN 2007 ANNUAL CONFERENCE Naples, 13-16 June 2007 The annual event of this over 15 years Eruropean initiative for distant eLearninng is titled ”New Learning 2.0?” addressing Emerging digital territorie, Developing continuities and New divides. The event taking place in Naples is sponsored by ISFOL and the Italian Ministry for Work and Social affairs. (http://www.eden-online.org/eden.php?menuId=333) In connection with the annual EDEN conference, the 6th HELIOS survey on eLearning and innovation of eLearning systems has been launched, being the last one of the thematic surveys whose results are available on its website (http://www.education- observatories.net/helios/reports). Input ti the survey are open till to 25 April 2007.
  8. 8. i-AFIEL (Innovative approaches for a full inclusion in eLearning) Event INTERNAUTA Valencia, 27th March 2007 Last 27th March was held in Valencia one of the several meetings organised by the Valencia region to join with citizens their experience after the Internauta training. The direct contact with citizens is very important to keep their interest and to have a direct feedback from them. During the event around 150 citizens received their training certificate, had the opportunity to speak with some regional representatives and to know closer the new medium user level. In fact, the regional Vice Ministry for Telecommunications and Information Society, Blanca Martinez de Vallejo Fuster, with the support of a group of Valencian actors (the image of this second user level) explained that thanks to this upper level citizens have the opportunity to discover a larger world full of advantages. During her speech the regional Vice Ministry explained the involvement of Internauta in the i-AFIEL and the SPreaD projects, both co-funded by the eLearning programme within which Internauta is explored, studied and analysed from different points of view (innovative approaches by one hand, and management of digital literacy initiatives, be other one). Around 135 citizens fulfilled an anonymous brief questionnaire about their experience in Internauta. This feedback will be taken into account in the research made by the i-AFIEL consortium. Most of the citizens’ inputs are very interesting: “I had never imagined a world so much rich of information”, “I am very happy because I am able to do a lot of things saving time and without moving”; “I have the possibility to keep in touch easier with part of my family that live far from here”; “It has improved my relationships”, “Now I can chat on-line!”; “Now I can buy on-line”; “With Internet I brig the world into my home”; “I can read the newspaper in Flemish” (Dutchman, 80 years old); “With Internet boredom does not exist!”… The I-AFIEL Forum This monthly newsletter will keep you in touch with our project as it develops, to enable you to share information and experiences with us to enrich our research and our journey of discovery. You can participate by sending your contribution (article, event, new, initiatives, project, etc.) to iafiel@gva.es. Contributions shall have a maximum length of 900 words and should be written in English, Italian or Spanish. Also included photos/images, and your e.mail/telephone coordinates. For more information please visit www.iafiel.gva.es
  9. 9. i-AFIEL (Innovative approaches for a full inclusion in eLearning) i-AFIEL Secretariat EU affairs Office Vice Ministry Telecommunications and Information Society Generalitat de la Comunitat Valenciana C/Colon 66 – 3° 46004 Valencia (E) Tel. +34 96 196 1050 Fax. +34 96 1961084 iafiel@gva.es For further info about the eLearning programme and the eLearning projects of the call 2006 you can visit: www.elearningeuropa.info http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/static/en/elearning/compendia2006/index.htm Notice: This Newsletter is sent on behalf and for the dissemination scope of the European i-AFIEL project, co-funded by the Community Programme eLearning. The information herein contained and their use are not of any responsibility of the European Commission nor of the EACEA Agency.

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