Saturday, October 17, 2015

New technologies for teaching – Le Devoir (Subscription)

On 19 October, the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) will launch an open online courses and massive (OLMC) for teachers in developing countries. This course, named CERTICE SCOL, aims to further reduce the digital divide between North and South, with training on the use of information technology and communications (ICT) in education.

This CLOM particular address, for nine weeks, the political knowledge in ICT in education and the integration of these technologies in pedagogy. This really is not a mainstream CLOM, prevents the other end Jean-Pierre Loiret, Digital Projects Coordinator education for the AUF. There is a very specific target. In this case, teachers in primary and secondary education in developing countries. Specifically, the distance training was designed for teachers in sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean, although it can also meet the needs of education professionals practicing in areas of the Maghreb or of Southeast Asia.

We know that there are more and more available equipment, mobile phones, smartphones and now tablets, particularly in Africa, he adds. The development of technology has meant that more and more teachers are equipped and that the question of the use of these tools arises. And we know very well that making available technological tools, it’s not enough to create educational applications. This CLOM very specific goal is to teach teachers such uses.

In addition to teaching, the course also linger in the organization and administration. We see more and more initiatives to multiply in African countries on the use of phones to trace information to the ministries , either on the number of teachers or students, for example, says Loiret . There are software programs that are increasingly used in this logic, and CERTICE SCOL is at the crossroads of the educational use and strengthening of institutional capacity.

The idea first emerged through the French initiative for distance training of teachers (IFADEM), a conventional distance education program co-driven by the AUF and International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF). African institutions have expressed their educational needs with ICT, an aspect that was not treated with IFADEM. The OLMC was then developed by the AUF, UNESCO, the University of Cergy-Pontoise, France, and the Francophone International Network of trainers training institutions (RIFEFF), based at the University of Montreal. This project is part of the current four-year program of the AUF, one of the major focuses is to promote the training and development of teachers.

Fifteen training schools for teachers and teachers in twelve various African countries have become partners to give the online courses to their students. These institutions will provide credit to their students who will attend and pass the OLMC in question. It is important for us that it be fully integrated into the training courses , says Loiret. This is an audience that is less equipped than university teachers. That’s why there are partnerships with training institutions.

In order to reach the desired students in developing countries, the OLMC was developed another approach. Video presentations, which provided an update on the matter, are deliberately very short, either a two or three minutes at most. One of the challenges in Africa, is being able to see the videos due to the weak capacity of the Internet connection , says Loiret. In addition, all presentations will be downloadable. A transcript will be available on paper, in addition to an audio recording. An audio version is easily searchable on a cell phone , he said. All resources, thanks to the partnership with institutions, will also be offered locally, ie accessible via a small server in training institutions to enable watch them without Internet connection.

At the time of writing, 2500 registrations were recorded CERTICE SCOL. The AUF is nearly 6,000 registrations in 2016 or 3000 entries for each of the two sessions are planned this year. Students will go through six weeks and an online test to complete the first level. The second level, more interactive, concludes at the end of nine weeks needed to complete the course.

Another CLOM for developing countries was developed by the AUF alongside CERTICE SCOL, that one intended for PhD students and young teachers to graduate. A first version of this online course will be piloted from 2016 in Côte d’Ivoire, in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education of that country. The AUF has invested between $ 115,000 and $ 150,000 (between 80 000 and 100 000 euros) for the joint creation of these two online courses.


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