ISOC Community Forum Q4 2017 – Internet & Education

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ISOC Community Forum Q4 2017 – Internet & Education

>>RAUL ECHEVERRIA: Internet in education.
The work is working under the assumption that everybody is connected. Working every day,
buying tickets for a concert, paying taxes, buying clothes, and accessing Internet education
opportunities is something we assume is available for everybody. Half of the world’s population
is not connected yet. This is something that requires actions.
We have our global Internet report that was launched in September, and the — we see this
as opportunities. Half of the population of the world is not connected to the Internet,
they’re not having access not only to the Internet itself, not having to all of the
opportunities that are on the Internet, education, it is one of those things. Why is this important?
Why this topic that we’re discussing today is very important for the Internet Society,
as I said before, we’re looking for different approaches to connect the people that are
not connected yet. Of course, the market which connects more people, more people, we will
have them connected next year and the year after that. It is not enough.
So when we think about the improvement of national programs for introducing the Internet
in the public innovation systems, we have to think about the people that are connected
being part of the — of the national programs in connecting the connected would be very
huge. Very huge. It is not only that they will not only target the children bop have
a part in the families, families that we have the opportunity to be in touch with Internet
and all the other related benefits. The second reason, because this is very important.
The first reason, as I say, the huge impact. The second thing, a specific thing about the
goals, the goals that have been developed by — adopted by the international community,
by the U.N. in 2015, it is reported that those are the goals for the whole world. The goal
number 4 is about location, it is about inclusive equality education, and education being the
foundation to improve people’s lives. If we really want to have an impact on technologies
improving the life of the people that’s something that’s in the genes of the Internet Society,
so this is important to use the technologies for really improving the quality of the location
or making the education. The third reason, it is that when we talk
about the challenging work and how the Internet and technologies have changed the world and
presenting a very challenging work for the future generations, creating digital experiences
in the children, it is a key issue for giving them the tools to take advantage of the revolution
of the technology in the world and being successful in this, in facing the challenges that the
evolving world is presenting. Those are some of the reasons. We really are
worried — not worried — we care about those things. We have invited prestigious speakers
to discuss this topic today. I’ll pass the floor to them. I thank you very much. He’s
been with the Internet of Institute of America, IC, a, he was policy adviser to the general
Secretariat to the ITU and a member of the UNICT and he’s well recognized in Latin America
for Digital Environment and he’s played a significant part of the in the evolution and
development of America and the Caribbeans. We’re really proud to have you in here.
The floor is yours. Thank you very much.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you, Raul. Thank
you for the presentation. It is an honor to me to moderate this panel. The topic is extremely
important for the present and the future of our societies.
The panelists you managed to bring to the table are of excellent and top quality. It
will be a pleasure to moderate this session. We’ll try to make this session as fluid, flexible
and interesting as possible, therefore we will do only one brief presentation and then
we’ll moving on to discussions and questions with the speakers. We will do the presentation
by research recently carried on by Dirk Hastedt’s institution and later I’ll introduce the speakers
and we’ll start with the discussions, questions, answers by the speakers.
For those participating from the community, as was indicated before, for those joining
now, we encourage you to post questions in the chat and to raise your hand if you want
to make any comments or participate in any way.
With that said, I will introduce Dirk Hastedt, he has an interesting
research to share with us. Please, Dirk, the floor is yours.
>>DIRK HASTEDT: Thank you. I think we all share the opinion that Internet
is an important area of expertise that we need, and digital literacy is important for
the world and not only that half of the world is not connected as was said but for the other
half it is questionable if they can operate in that area.
I would like to share some results of our studies which can give you some input on that.
Here is my short intervention that I would like to give.
We have a computer information literacy that we conducted in 2013 and we conducted that
in 21 educational systems across the world. I’ll show you some findings. There is a myth
that computer — that schools with computers need more innovative teaching methods than
teaching methods. What we actually saw in our study is that in schools, computers were
mostly used while presenting presentations, computerbased information or in tutorial software,
replacing traditional methods. The more complex applications, simulations and modeling softwares,
concept matter software was rarely used in schools by the teachers, although it was 3
to 4% of the teachers reported that they used it in the countries, but we had 18% of the
schools being equipped with the software as reported by the coordinators and principles.
From what we saw actually, it is a major obstacle as reported by teachers, principals and also
students is that the teachers didn’t feel confident in using and teaching ICT literacy
skills, so the software efficacy was a major obstacle. The lack of ICT resources in schools
didn’t play any role as an obstacle for contributing users.
I would also like to share some results of the cross study that we just released yesterday
with UNESCO to shed light on the Sustainable Development Goals.
We had 15 countries participating, assessing how grade 4 students can work in an Internet
environment and these other 14 countries and two benchmark entities that we have participating
and they presented students with a simulated Internet environment and a teacher avatar
is tasked to respond to some questions and maneuver within the Internet that we provided.
We saw that Singapore was the top performing country followed by Norway and Ireland, the
students were good to excellent readers and also reported a high degree of efficacy of
computers. One thing I found very interesting is not the amount of time that students used
computers, but what they used them for or what played a major role. The students, students
reported for schoolwork, it was at least 30 minutes a day. Neural achievement in reading
was much higher than those who have spent last time. Actually the usage for other purposes
did not play a major role. We also saw that a high access of digital
devices at home had a high impact on students’ ability who work effectively in the Internet
environment.>>Sorry to interrupt.
I wondered if you were meant to be sharing some slides? We can’t see your slides and
I just wanted to check if you were meant to be sharing those?
>>DIRK HASTEDT: Sorry. I was not sharing them.
Thank you very much for that.>>That’s okay. Do you see anything now? I
think you just need to select the PowerPoint screen when you click share screen. Yes. Then
the PowerPoint slide show on the right, I think that’s the one you’re meant to be sharing.
I did that before. We can see your main desktop at the moment.
There it is. It that’s it. Thank you. I’m sorry you can’t see the slides and I think
we can provide it them later on. What we found actual is that the major obstacle of students
in schools using computers and the teachers, they don’t feel confident in using and teaching
computer digital literacy skills that was reported throughout all participating countries
and we are seeing that it is a topic that can be taught and we also see that students
who are not taught these skills in schools were not taught at all. There is a big risk
of a digital divide. Thank you.
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you for the presentation. Interesting, useful. I think it will trigger
a number of questions from the audience. It is a valuable contribution to understanding
a number of these things related to the digital solutions for the educational environment.
For the audience, Dirk, as I mentioned before, the Executive Director of the international
association for educational achievements. He’s from Hamburg, Germany, he has a doctor
degree from the University and extended experience on international research studying the role
of education and literacy in a large number of countries around the world.
Thank you very much. We will be back to you with questions in a
few minutes. I would like now to move to the next speaker.
I will introduce speakers as we move on and I will pose questions to allow them to elaborate
on the issues that we are discussing today. Our next speaker, he was a successful executive
businessman in the IT field in Uruguay until he decided to devote his days to bring in
education, digital solutions to education. In 2005 he resigned all executive positions
and became the director of the technology agency and later became patent of the initiative
that today has a major national policy and planning the education.
Please welcome Miguel Brechner. Miguel, as these issues start to unfold, there is a number
of studies similar to one that was just presented that has started to point to the fact that
the I went gracious of digital solutions to the suggest is not enough.
What are your views based on this and your knowledge from international experience and
how technology can accelerate learning in today’s educational systems?
>>MIGUEL BRECHNER: Thank you, good morning, everybody.
I think that the first thing we need to understand is that technology has to adapted to the teachers,
not the other way around. This is how we envision technology because technology has not been
able to influence very much in education. In Uruguay we accept clearly things that technology
can do that have nothing to do with technology and it is pure technology. When you put books
or tablets in, it is technology, it is technology, you allow people to have devices with insight
material. That’s — when you put — (indiscernible) — technology is homework. It is nothing to do with one another. We have separated
thoroughly the technology to help the access of books you have and other anxious and what
we expect to do with the technology side. On the technology side, we want technology
to be — there is — there is not the main issue, it is not to be — (audio issue) — for
us it is very important and we can discuss that later, it is that — we want to build
the robot and you have to put a sensor, you have to do other things, use a camera, but
not — not how do we push technology, we have to push the programs and you start at the
end of the day, you have the physics, chemistry, all of that will be mixed with robotics, with
sensors, that’s basically how we envision. It is a secure technology issue and then we’ll
have the conference equipment in all the public schools that are urban and we’re teaching
80,000 students a week in libraries. This is done with teachers all over the world.
With that, you need fiberoptics, highquality video conference and then the teacher can
be in the Philippines and the students in Uruguay and the dialogue is perfect. That
doesn’t include the technology. It improves that you learn English. You still have to
teach and you have the teacher remote. We have to separate very clearly about how technology
is simple and accessible.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you very much, Miguel
Brechner. An interesting contribution in that sense.
Let’s move to another part of the world, let me move to Jordan. We have Shireen Yacoub,
the chief zone officer of EDRAAK. She’s leading this initiative in the Arab world with online
learning platforms so we will let her explain a bit more of what is EDRAAK and what it does.
Let me say that Shireen is a certified instructional designer from the association for talent and
development and holds several certificates from Harvard University and Georgetown east
University and Georgetown institute. Tell us a little bit more about EDRAAK, the
purpose, vision, achievements, why is often educational digital content in Arabic so important
in that region? I’m not sure if, Shireen —
>>SHIREEN YACOUB: Can you hear me now?>>BEN PETRAZZINI: I can hear you now. Yes.
Not before. Hello. Welcome!>>SHIREEN YACOUB: Thank you very much.
Hello, everyone. I’m very happy to be here with you today. I look forward to an exciting
discussion. EDRAAK is an initiative for educational development in Jordan and it is a platform
that offers free high quality online courses in Arabic for learners across the region.
In 2014 when we launched the platform, we have set out to revolutionize access and delivery
of education in the Arab world to enable Arab societies to seize their potential through
providing them with highquality online and also blended opportunities. Since the launch
we have had massive online courses and we have reached to date 1.5 million learners
from across the region and we’re proud of our learners who use the platform to either
bridge the skills gap they have, they use it for continuous and lifelong learning and
it is also leveraged to serve refugees in disadvantaged communities and we can maybe
touch on that shortly when we talk about surpassing limitations related to access. Recently — or
you have — you wanted me to maybe touch upon the importance of Arabic content online. Digital
Arabic content is less than 3% while online and on the other hand, around 70% of the population,
they don’t speak English, that leaves them with no way to benefit from the various resources
that are available and other MOOKS such as platforms like EDIX, CRUSARIA, so on, so forth.
It is very important that we focus as a region on enriching open educational contents and
also digital content in Arabic so that we provide access to those that need the resources
to leverage them in different ways as I mentioned. I also would like to touch upon the expansion
into the K to 12 space. We have recently received a grant from and we are upgrading
our technology to offer new learning modes in addition to the sequential learning mode
and we will also have searchbased mode that will enable inquirybased learning. We are
creating open education and resources in Arabic that are aligned with national curriculum
in different parts of the Arab world, we’re piloting with that, so starting January, 2018
we’ll start releasing content for teachers, students and also parents to have access to
highquality learning objects in response to the national curriculum.
I can see some questions on the discussion board. Would you like me to take them or should
we keep going?>>BEN PETRAZZINI: No. We’ll stop here and
give the words to others and then I’ll come back to you.
>>SHIREEN YACOUB: Sure.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: With more questions and
we’ll take questions from the audience directed to you.
>>SHIREEN YACOUB: Sounds good.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you very much, Shireen.
Excellent. We start to have — to get a flavor that there is no one solution that fits all,
certainly education solutions need to be — there’s global learnings but there is local solutions
we have to pay attention to. Having said that, let’s move to Slovania where
we have Tomi Dolenc. Tomi Dolenc is in computer science, he’s the head of the users communication
at ARNES. ARNES is the academic and research network of Slovenia offering research to institutions
in the country. With the ARNES team Tomi takes part in managing a service portfolio, maintaining
contact with user community and engaging in national projects and strategies, particularly
those related to the introduction of ICTs to school.
Welcome, Tomi. Let me ask you: You know, people generally
refer to children and young people as digital natives. They certainly will live in a world
in which artificial intelligence, automation, online work, transforming work as we know
it today. So what in your views and in those of people in Slovenia, think — what are the
skills that can and should they master to driving such a digitalized world? There is
a password that we often hear these days in — related to computational thinking and do
you think it is an important skill for the 21st Century?
>>TOMI DOLENC: Hello. Can you hear me?>>BEN PETRAZZINI: We can hear you.
>>TOMI DOLENC: Thank you for inviting me. I’m honored to speak at this forum.
As you mentioned, Ben, I work for national academic and social networks. We have been
bringing services to schools and we have been facing frustrations of the users and the pupils
and the teachers and that’s my viewpoint of which I’m speaking.
Speaking of digital natives, I have been hearing this term over the past 20 years or more and
then it is the — I soften the misconception, I provide the quote you provided to me, to
them technology is like the air. I say yes, but it is in a sense they don’t have to think
how to breathe. They may not know a lot of what the area is composed and do they have
anyways to detect whether it is full or so on if I take that analogy further.
I’m thinking this way, in any place and time, a young place person is prepared to find their
way in the world and interact with it and this is happening in school, to the education,
it means to learn to survive, to be successful in the world meaning everything from crossing
the street, to shopping, to the foremost social interaction with the information in the world.
So in essence, learning is something we do, we learn from ex earns, from the advice of
teachers and parents, this is suddenly happening through the Internet. What does it mean, yes,
we do still cross the street on our two feet? Even that, we’re doing with navigation apps
in our hands and engaging in the online interaction and by the way not paying attention to the
street very much. By the way, the whole world is watching what street we’re crossing right
now and this information is being used to shape the information that we’re getting next
on our device. To me, the term digital skills or digital
literacy suddenly includes common understanding of the full phenomenon of how the world is
functioning through the digitized environment that we’re facing.
As I mentioned, school has always been a very natural place for young person to learn social
interaction. And then all of a sudden, it is online. It is still there, same mechanism,
supply, different medium. Somehow teachers and schools may be afraid of it, it is something
new, this is technology, we don’t understand it.
Yet, we’re the experience, they have the experience of the social interactions so why things go
wrong, why this person hates me, why he bullies before me, before it was in the chore deer
and now it is on Facebook and we’re facing same mechanisms.
On one hand, schools or teachers, they already have the experience to transfer this knowledge
to the children and it is also part of the digital online skills.
On the other hands, of course, they have to had learn something new and the adults, they’re
still learning, are still facing this reshaping of the world. We’re learning a new social
skills that we thought were learned. Think of human behavior online. It is somehow different
than what we’re used to, we’re facing the benefits and challenges of unregulated social
interaction. We’re all learning and the essential thing for education, finding the information
online, everywhere, it means online and critical revelation of it, all of a sudden, it includes
all of the knowledge of the filters and the fake news and when I was a child, I didn’t
— I didn’t have to know about these issues and now, at the early stage, you have to face
this, you have to know something about it. As you mentioned, the population of the thinking,
that’s possibly another misconception. It includes a set of problem solving and cognitive
skills too that says analyzes and represents the problem, breaking it into small parts,
solving it, developing project — a lot of my stuff in the 21st Century was useful then,
I believe I learned even to build my arguments in interaction. It is an important skill,
yes. It is also important I believe to recognize
that not all, in fact, a minority of realtime problems can be completely analyzed in this
manner because life contains many complex and unknowns. Our brain operates this way,
sometimes not very logical but it drew better recognition to trying out what works and what
doesn’t work. Nowadays, artificial intelligence is starting
mimicking this behavior operating in the same way, we hear things like big data and analysis
and that’s the magic — there is a magic behind the fact that Google and Facebook can now
predict your behavior through analytics. I believe it is an important part of the digital
literacy to understand how this works.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: We’ll move now to Uganda
where we have Patrick Muinda. Patrick Muinda works with the Government of Uganda, specifically
in the Ministry of Education and sports. He’s the head of the communication and information
management division of the ministry and he’s passionate about the use of technology to
the teaching and learning. Patrick has a computer science — a computer scientist by training,
he has vast experience in the use of technology for education. Welcome, Patrick.
Patrick, you know, we are — we have heard from several of the speakers that the challenges
revolve certainly on technologies, certainly on infrastructure, a number of other resources.
A lot of it on how the Internet and digital solutions lead to a different kind of learning
and teaching. Schools are designed based on the system of the industrial revolution and
some say new models need to be tested, flip the classroom models or real-life experience,
the learning labs, the projectbased learning. Anyway, there are a number of potential technological
solutions to this. What would you suggest are the new ways in
which teaching and learning should take place in the context of digital education?
We cannot hear you, Patrick. I don’t know if you are —
>>PATRICK MUINDA: Can you hear — I’m hoping you can hear now?
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Now, yes, we can hear you now. And see you!
>>PATRICK MUINDA: Thank you very much, Mr. Moderator! Good morning!
Our situation here in Uganda is very, very interesting. We have taken on new technologies
to begin teaching students and for teachers to learn and we have experienced quite a number
of challenges. A few of which I would just like to share with you.
Ever since we started the digital learning project in schools, we realized that technology
by itself does not help in this situation at all. We got to the realize that we had
to go back and begin training our teachers on how technology could be used to actually
carry out actual learning in classrooms. When we did this, we realize that the grades of
the children started to change, not significantly, but especially the same subjects that they
began to realize it changed. For instance, when it came to teaching over
complex subjects, complex topics, automation motion for instance. You find that using a
chalk board, writing on a blackboard and trying to bring out issues and concepts that are
complex in nature are made much, much more simpler when using digital science and learning
using the technology. I would just like to stress that if the teachers
don’t really understand how to use the technology, most probably learning may not happen as effectively
as we thought it would, that’s our case in Uganda and we’re working towards increasing
the use of ICT during that teacher training process so that when the teachers get back
to their schools they can then go ahead to teacher effectively.
Children and students at schools also allowed to access this computer and we have policy
issues where use of budgets like mobile be hand devices, use of a computer laptop in
school, it is a policy issue. This is something we’re working through. We hope that very school
that there will be policies allowing students to have the technology. I’m a firm believer
in technology for education and use of technology to teach and to learn. That’s what I’ll say
for now and I’ll wait for further questions.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you very much. Excellent
contributions. Thank you. Let me go back to Dirk who opened up the presentation
with the study. It Dirk, there is a significant problem in the way the education system is
currently designed. So much that most stupid in most countries suffer from a lack of interest,
a lack of moderation, it is one of the drivers of deficient learning and significant dropout
in secondary school. Do you think the Internet can make a contribution to change the situation,
to simulate motivation, interest, curiosity so that students will engage more genuinely
in their own learning process?>>DIRK HASTEDT: Thank you.
I think that’s a very good question. What we found actually is clearly that in
our assessment, if we have the computer use and we have the assessment in the computer
environment you will be much more motivated to do the assessments. From that perspective
I would assume that if we use technology and education in a better way, we’ll be able to
motivate. In that sense, I think it is a clear yes. Actually the feedback we conduct when
we got our studies in the countries and more, it is that the students really appreciated
and have fun doing the assessments. Can you imagine, a paper and pencil world, it is very
different, in a computer environment, I think it is engaging for students, and if we use
this, I think we can make a big step ahead in terms of education too.
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you very much. An excellent contribution to this very important
issue. Let me move on now to Shireen and Miguel both.
You have been responsible in several ways to initiatives that went from small scale
interventions to largescale deployments. There is essentially a big challenge in moving small
solutions, digital solutions to very large interventions.
My question to both of you, and let’s start with Shireen first and then move to Miguel,
what would you identify as a key element for a successful scaling of a digital integration,
what are the factors that you have identified as prerequisites or crucial elements for successful
scaling?>>SHIREEN YACOUB: That’s a very powerful
question. I think it is all about starting with the
needs, whether we’re talking about teachers or students. It is not about just injecting
technology and building products and assuming that they will just work and serve the purpose.
It has to be very designed and has to have the learner or the student in mind or if it
started — the teachers, it needs to have them at the center of the design from our
experience. We have gone from, you know, 0 to a million in less than three years. It
has shown us, if anything, it has shown us that there is a huge appetite for open online
education, at least in the region that I’m speaking about. I guess it is pretty safe
to assume that the situation is similar in other regions. From our experience, it is
about how to build the product in terms of thinking through the product and content development,
roadmaps, building the right teams, and piloting with minimum viable products before investing
too heavily in solutions. You pilot with an MVP and then you keep iterating based on the
feedback you get, and with technology you can get access to data analytics. We have
leveraged the data we have been gathering for three years to better understand the needs
of both our teachers and students who are using the platform. We have made so many changes
whether to the content that we offer or the technology itself through integrating these
needs and responding to them.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you very much, Shireen.
Miguel, your experience?>>MIGUEL BRECHNER: I would summarize in a
couple of different points. First of all, to make it clear for everybody,
Uruguay was around 700,000 students. We had lab tops, tablets with Internet in all the
schools with fiberoptics in all of the urban areas. The first thing we have to understand
is you need to separate the institutional design, separate the invited institutions
to do this. This is a very complex thing and one of the mistakes that many countries do,
they put it into the Minister of education. It is like building airplanes in a Minister
of education, it is a very, very complex issue. A good thing is Tobago have a had separate
institution. We’re an agency for innovation in pedagogy and technology for educational
assistance, our purpose is to serve. It is very similar in a way to what is done in Korea.
We need to first have a different design. Second thing, you have to be very clear what
you have to do and what you don’t have to do.
I mean, if the first objective is the programme of technology, you have to deploy technology
without promising anything in education. If the second objective is after deploying
technology, we do platforms for education, we do pedagogy, we have to be very clear,
in the past, the biggest problem has been to promise a silver bullet that does not exist.
It is very important to put the objective for this institution for the rural areas.
The fourth area that’s important, to be sustainable sustainable. You have to understand how much
does it cost. In Uruguay the student in public education costs around $2,000 a year. Our
programme costs $100 per year. That’s 5% of the cost of the student. That’s feasible to
do a programme like ours. Of course, the 10,000, it would be impossible.
It is very difficult for to us do it for less than 100 including the laptops, repair of
the laptops, all of the platforms and keyboards. Last but not least, the government mentality
of what they call it now, clean management, you do things, you make mistakes, you have
to correct them. We go back to the first point of a different organization, it is very difficult
in traditional educational systems with thousands and thousands of people that when you make
a mistake, you correct it the same day. You cannot deploy technology without making mistakes,
you cannot do platforms and you cannot intro does technology without making mistakes if
you want to change things.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you, Miguel.
Excellent points that will certainly contribute to how we’re learning on this issue.
Let me now move back to Patrick. Patrick, you know, a lot of the global debate and digital
education is concentrating on new pedagogies and a number of those issues. Certainly many
Developing Countries still suffer from challenges in the infrastructure, communication, electricity
mainly, unlimited budgets for schools. So in the experience of Uganda, maybe other
countries in Africa that you know of, what are the possible ways in which this can be
addressed, changes in government priorities, attention and resources for education or there
are questions also of what is the role of the private sector in education.
Should some public policies open the door for increased publicprivate partnerships.
What is the experience in countries in Africa with supporting lowcost private solutions
for education.>>PATRICK MUINDA: Can you hear me now?
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Now we can hear you. Yes.>>PATRICK MUINDA: Thank you very much.
I start with the last question. We believe very, very strongly that the private
sector should be part of the education enhancement and use of technology in schools. We are actually
partnering with the private people, with the private sector to partner together with the
Ministry of Education in order to reach out to students and schools.
You mentioned something very, very key and very important, that is the part that we have
infrastructural type challenges, especially at schools which are deep — far away from
the city in rural areas. What we have done here in Uganda, we have used renewable energy
sources for supply for power supply for computing devices. We have partnered with various companies
and organizations that have worked with us to provide computers which require very, very
minimal amount of power and this has been used together with battery it’s and this takes
us back to the issue of sustainability. We realize that maintaining solar batteries and
panels, it is a very expensive venture. The question you asked about, partnering with
the private sector. We partner with the private sector and various education development departments
that support us in using funds from various sources in order for this sustainability of
use of solar panel equipment, batteries and the like, to people participating in the computers
in the schools. This goes back to what I mentioned earlier.
When all of this technology was taken to the schools initially, we got to realize that
the technology wasn’t being used, it wasn’t being used by the students, they didn’t know
how to do effectively because the teacher, students it, they couldn’t help them because
the teachers didn’t know what to do. My advice is, I would like to emphasize that
the teachers must be properly trained to use this technology.
That’s something that I really, really stress from experience because we have had disasterous
investments where so much money was put in ICT and education and the computers are left
in the boxes and not even set up to be used because there is nobody that’s willing to
get embarrassed, the students would simply laugh at the teacher, if the teacher can’t
use the computer. The teachers want to save face and don’t want to lose out on how the
students perceive them. They simply try to shun the technology and stick to using the
blackboard and chalk. This is something we’re really working through
and we hope and trust that ICT in schools, in education, will be something that will
be embraced effectively after we have succeeded in the current strategy of training the teachers
be so that ICT may be used very effectively for pedagogy, both teaching and for online.
Thank you.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you, Patrick.
An excellent contribution. Thank you. We’ll go to Tomi for the last question
posed by the moderation: Tomi, there are a number of studies recently that have started
to point out to the issue that maybe technology in the classroom might be undermining the
learning process of students. I understand that you are also quite interested in the
role of cellphones in education, smart phones, what would you reexpand or react to this issue?
Do you think it is good to have technology in the classroom? Do you think that the classrooms
should concentrate on technology environment that the technology can be used before or
after the classroom? Please.>>TOMI DOLENC: Thank you.
This is by no means trivial discussion. I much would like to learn from my fellow panelists
what they think about it. We’re currently having a hard discussion here among teachers
themselves about this very issue because it is the same story of what do we need of technology
in the classroom to make teaching better. There is no easy answer to this. I have seen
some teachers doing wonder things with chat and simple pages and now it is every available
technology. I am no expert in pedagogy, I can’t speak much of learning matters, I read
and I understand that what you mentioned, that the device itself, it is a distraction.
It is sometimes very intuitive and speaking of these devices and constant online presence,
of course, there are both, they are useful tools and there are distractions. The way
to use it, there is a set of questions, so how to — for example, how to control it if
you’re talking smartphones or mobile devices in the classroom, you know, apart from being
to — in sitting with the information out, they also use it to do other stuff or to cheat
with the answers, so how to control it. Do you want to control it? So there is a question
of digital device. Some people have smart phones, some don’t. Is the school the right
place to bridge this gap? I believe yes. On the other hand, teachers cry out please, let
them work for a little while without the devices, let them learn not being dependent all the
time on the devices. It is really not a trivial discussion.
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you, Tomi. Thank you, excellent.
We’ll stop here, we’ll move to raise questions from the chat and from the audience.
In that sense, unless the question that was posed has a specific person to respond, the
floor is open for any of the panelists to respond.
Let’s pose the question that was just raised, it is an extremely important one, it is how
to enable and promote access to ICT and eLiteracy for girls. The whole issue of gender equity
and gender integration and mechanisms, policies and strategies to raise the opportunities
for girls to be educated and to be part of society in a more equal manner.
The floor is open for anyone in the panel that might want to respond. If no one responds,
then I’ll take the prerogative of picking one of you for the response.
Please, go ahead.>>DIRK HASTEDT: I think this is a very good
question. What we found in our studies, in a lot of
questions, we have 22 countries participating in that and we have seen that in all but one
country the girls outperform the boys in terms of computer literacy skills. I think it is
also one of these myths that computers are a boy’s domain. It is clear that we have in
a lot of countries still the issue that girls are sometimes left out of the education system,
but I think as soon as girls are included in the education system their achievement
in terms of computer literacy is rather high and they out perform their male counterparts.
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Any other panelist that wants to take the challenge of responding
to this?>>MIGUEL BRECHNER: I think that — I mean,
in our experience, when motivated, everything works fantastic. Still there’s a big boost
that we have to do to encourage girls to be more participatory.
We are doing that, we are promoting that, we’re pushing more and more girls into robotics
and programming and could you terrible thinking. It has to be a collective work to show that
this is not a man thing, quote, unquote, and that at the same time it is very, very important
that we have to go and understand what the tests look like, if there is not biased against
the girls instead of men. It has to be — — we have to (audio issue).
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you, Miguel. One more panelist that may want to comment
on this? Shireen Yacoub, I don’t know if you have any
experience in that region? You want to add anything or we move to the next question?
We can — if you’re speaking. We cannot hear you.
Do we have a question from — Paula?>>Paula: Can you hear me?
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: I can.>>Paula: I was asking if any women wanted
to talk about it, we’re talking about the gender issue. We have men talking about it,
I was wondering if any women wanted to say something about this.
That’s me I think. Anyway. The thing is, I think we need to develop
a conscience in girls that ICTs are — we are really used to seeing men, all the way,
like in every — if you see, like, not only in universities, but men are used because
of this whole concept that we have from long, long time ago that we’re still — that we’re
still fighting against it. I think women should feel comfortable by using technology and by
really learning that because sometimes people say to us that this is not for us, that we’re
not capable of that, and I really think that we should start to change it from the base.
When you are a young girl, no one can say to you that you can do that. I mean, I’m a
lawyer now. When I was younger, everyone would say, hey, you shouldn’t do anything related
to ICTs because that’s not your field, you’re not going to be good at it. So starting with
girls at really young age for them to feel comfortable with that, to feel constant and
to try to bridge the gender gap. We do have the general thinking that women
are not capable and that is definitely not true. I think a lot of people, a lot of really
great women, and we need more women to feel like represented to see them talking about
it, to see them showing to other girls, to other women that we are capable.
The whole educational from young women, young girls, seeing them get empowered and to feel
comfortable with it. I’m sorry if I — I think it was —
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you. Thank you, Paula. Thank you very much for your intervention.
Let me say that this is not a women’s problem, it is a social problem, it is a problem that
we all need to address. Men and women. Women and men. It is a gender, not a women’s
issue. We completely agree with your contribution and intervention. And we have the contributions
of men because of –>>Paula: Of course. Nothing that’s not social.
I’m — nothing that’s not everyone to work on it. We do have to work on it, everyone,
man, woman, I do understand that. The thing I’m saying, me as a woman, I would like to
see a lot of women that you canning about it, feeling under represented to — it is
just a feeling. I do know that we have to work, everyone has to work on that. It is
a social problem. It is a world’s problem. When you see a women —
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Yes. It is more than a feeling, Paula. It is more than a feeling,
it is misrepresentation and we completely agree with you.
>>Paula: That that’s what I meant.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you very much for
that. We’ll move to other questions that have been
posed on the chat. There is a concern from several of you on
issues related to Open Source technology and openness.
There is a question from Indiana asks does ISON in education recognize the need to promote
and emphasize opensourced technology, platforms and openness. The question is not for ISOC,
it is for the panelist it is. What do you think should Open Source technology on the
platforms and openness, what’s the role it should play in digital education? Anyone?
>>SHIREEN YACOUB: We built the open platform created by the Harvard consortium. When we
have done that, we have also — we have looked at the technology and contributed our RTL
support back to open and now it can be used by others.
We’re definitely firm believers in the importance of Open Source, whether it is the technology
or it is the content. In fact, the default license we have on a draft is the creative
comments license and it allows educators to reuse, repurpose noncommercially our content
to leverage them in any way they would like and same goes for learners themselves.
This allows for the best investment of efforts. There is absolutely no need for reinventing
the wheel and for investing in initiatives that are have already been created and are
being used elsewhere. I understand the need for some initiatives
to be selfsustainable, to generate income in order to be able to cover some of the running
expenses, however, there are creative ways we can go about this and what’s at the core
of content, we’re all for open content and open education.
>>MIGUEL BRECHNER: A few comments. We are a full advocate of Open Source, all
the computers in the hands of the kids are Open Sourced, but as I said before, for us,
it is very important what’s our mission. Our mission is to empower the educational system
with good technology and with good software for learning. At one point we were fully Open
Sourced, we had a problem because we had to solve the issue of the blind children, I’m
talking ten years ago. There was a solution that was open and there was a solution that
was private — proprietary. The blind people wanted — the teachers, for the blind children,
the blind community, advocated that the proprietary solution was better than the open solution.
We need to be flexible, we have to understand what’s good. I’m a big, big, big defender
of Open Source, obviously most of the stuff has to be in Open Source, if we find something
that’s incredibly good like a game to learn things in mathematics and it is not in Open
Source, what do you do? You don’t buy it? It is a complicated issue.
Our main mission is to improve learning.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you.
>>KARIM: Thank you very much. I’m from Bangladesh, I’m Karim.
In education, do you have any plan to take place in Bangladesh teaching to the teachers
for the next users, student of a digital world? Can you hear me, sir?
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: We can hear you. I don’t know if the panelists were able to hear you.
If anyone can take the question? I think the question is more directed to ISOC. We don’t
have any ISOC member staff as panelists. I’m not all that sure that they would be — panelists
would be able to answer the question.>>KARIM: Thank you, sir.
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you. Let me ask another question to panelists that
are related to the role of family, parents in this transformation towards digital education.
Karim, can you mute your phone? Your speakers or somebody else? I don’t know who. There.
Thank you. So there’s a very important role I think personally
that family and parents could play or should play.
Is anyone focusing on family context of (audio issue) so siblings and parents can learn together
or from each other, and Joyce is asking how can parents influence the school and teachers
to support digital skills development. Before anyone answers, I would like to bring
a brief anecdote, we support digital education projects around the world. I’m personally
working on several of them. We have one in Colombia where computers are being integrated
into schools of lowincome communities. Parents have been a key part of this process. It was
interesting to learn that they were invited to the University because the local University
that’s involved in the project, they were invited to the University to learn about the
project, to participate and to be taught and so on. Going to the University made them lose
the fear that they had about higher education. They started to see the University as a place
where maybe their children one day could go. That dramatically changed the whole attitude
towards education and learning of the parents. There were interviews of them and they said,
well, I’m not any more afraid of higher education and I want my children to go to the University.
They have been pushing hard, their kids, to study and one day go to University.
My question to the panel posed by a number of those in the chat is what do you think
is the role of parents in this process? In what ways a programme or policy should integrate
into the learning process? Maybe some of those that have not commented before, Tomi, Patrick
–>>PATRICK MUINDA: I’m trying to put up my
hand. I don’t know if you can see it.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Yes. Yes. Now I see you.
Please, go ahead.>>PATRICK MUINDA: Thank you so much.
I would like to say that we as a country already have students receiving work, homework that’s
supposed to be done on a piece of paper, a book, something, to be actually submitted
online where the teachers — where the parents are supposed to work together with their children.
When this happens, a parent then does this and also causes the other children to come
in and want to participate, to learn and see how a sibling is doing work online and then
when this work is done, it is submitted online. I think your question is very pertinent. Families
come in to help a child to appreciate the technology, but also to enjoy doing the work
and the outcome here is better grades because the child is not all by themselves, they’re
actually working together with a parent and with the children around at home with the
siblings and the whole learning process, the process of doing the homework, it is very,
very effective and has a very positive outcome. That’s what I thought I should share with
you as something happening here in Uganda.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you very much, Patrick.
An excellent contribution. I see you want to comment also? Go ahead.
>>SHIREEN YACOUB: Yes. Because we’re launching in January, I won’t be able to share the results
now but I can talk about our vision. We will be launching features for parents to be engaged
with the learning of their children. Oftentimes we hear stories ferry parents struggling with
private tutoring and all the costs that are associated with that, or that they are not
educated especially disadvantaged communities that they are not educated to the level where
they’re able to help their children in certain homeworks and concepts.
In addition to the two segments, we also hear from parents who would like to engage with
their children’s learning, they have — they would like to use the time, the family spends
at home and direct it towards something useful. There is a huge uptick among children nowadays
with the use of technology. It is mainly directed to where it is fun and
entertainment. What we’re trying to do with the new platform
is to do features and to introduce learning objects that are delivered in a fun way. It
is such — it is like an entertainment approach where they can also engage with the content
beyond the classroom work. Obviously, the platform, the content can be
used for remediation and also account for hyper formers that are not satisfied with
their experiences in the classroom. Through this platform we’re able to link the
parents’ account with children’s account so that they can also have a datadriven approach
to assessing where their children are and through using adaptive technology that the
platform would be suggesting content and providing them with additional content that they can
review in the form of play lists to help direct their learning journey.
All of that would be done through an approach exciting both parents and children to engage
together in a learning experience. I think you are muted. We can’t hear you.
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Can you hear me now? I was saying anyone else on the panel wanting
to respond to the issue of parents and the role of parents in supporting education?
We have Lillian online and we’ll let her participate and then go to you.
Lillian.>>Lillian: Good afternoon. I’m from ISOC
Cameroon chapter and let me express myself in French because I’m more comfortable in
French. Can I?
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Yes. We’ll do our better to translate.
>>Lillian: Thank you. (Speaking language other than French).
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Are you able to articulate your comments in English? Would it be possible?
>>Lillian: It is possible, but it is slow.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: ISOC colleague, I don’t
know if you –>>Let me try in English and I’ll go slowly.
I will talk about the point that the Paula said about the gender equality in ICT. In
Cameroon we have many — there are many young girls, women who are just — the problem we’re
facing, it is a thing about encouragement, women and they’re not very — how you say
— like, they express themselves, from what you know, they fail to do other things — oh,
this is difficult for me to speak in English. Let me speak French.
>>I will quickly translate what Lillian said summarizing, what sees saying, women are really
needing much more encouragement and motivation to be integrated much more into ICT activities.
The encouragement and education, it is really key in the integration of women.
>>The second point: (Speaking French).>>What Lillian was saying, the use of op
source would be very, very — or openly available. Software is important to integrate in the
system, the system in Cameroon is already very complex in urban situations, it is already
very difficult, but if you move to rural, it is even more complex with very scarcely
equipped schools and so the price, the cost of access to ICT sources with applications
is making it very complex. Open Source approach, it is very important.
>>(Speaking French).>>What Lillian was mentioning, in terms of
parents and ICT, ICT is taking much more space into the life of their children, but the parents
don’t really have the knowledge about ICT. It is difficult for them to guide their children.
We see a lot of parents are illiterate in ICTrelated issues and it is even more difficult
for them to encourage their children or to accompany them on the studying journey. Some
light form of encouragement or education to bring parents to the use of ICT would be important.
>>Thank you, Joyce!>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you! Thank you, Joyce!
Thank you both for excellent contributions. Tommy, we need to start wrapping up.
A very, very short comment from your side.>>May I have the floor briefly?
>>BEN PETRAZZINI: And Lillian, we need you to close the microphone.
Who is asking for the floor?>>Akimbo.
>>Please go ahead briefly. We need to — we have four minutes to go.
>>Based on the time constraint, I would like to go into two brief interjections that I
feel we should take note of. ISOC, I believe should be able to begin to
look at accrediting centers, Internet centers across Africa for a leverage for ISOC in — ISOC
countries in such countries to work together with this particular set of centers and to
be able to make available the Internet if possible at a free charge for the gender issue
that we’re discussing about. Also parents can be encouraged to come to
the centers to learn as they need to and there is a gap between the children or the student
of today and the parents itself and some of the parents, they do not who to you use this
and cannot Tom up on measures. Finally, on the short note. I think there
should be a platform where trust as such as this becomes a rollercoaster to a community
that begins to say we said this, what can with he do moving forward?
Thank you.>>BEN PETRAZZINI: Thank you very much.
Tomi, we ran out of time for further contributions. The topic has been extremely engaging, the
contributions were rich and valuable. I think that ISOC will bring about some briefs
on the learning process that we experienced carrying on this excellent forum.
Let me stop here and pass on the word to Raul for a closing.
Raul, please go ahead.>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Thank you very much.
I have been amazed by about the level of discussion, the level of our panelists, but also the discussion
in the chat and don’t forget that this has been live streamed on several channels and
on our YouTube channel, I’m sure that people have been following the discussion from different
parts of the world. The video will be made available on the website
and we’ll share with you the pointing of the recording for this discussion.
Thank you for the excellent job you did as moderator. That was not an easy task. Really
you provided a very lively discussion and have had very good questions and have had
good question was our excellent panelists. I thank you very much to
our panelists, this would not have been successful without your participation and really I know
that you have a lot more things to share with us, but this is a good thing that all of us
will engage in and want to continue to discuss this, this is what we expected. We expected
to bring some level of inspiration, not only for the people who participated in to the
call but also for the people that are not here. We need to bring this information for
them to really make progress on this issue that’s one of the most important topics of
our times. We’re a player here, we — somebody asked about what do we do with this, we are
working on things, our chapters have mobilized this year, the competition that we organize
every year, we have more chapter, the chapters, they’re based on the communications and public
and we’ll continue to do that, supporting our role in the community. We also can play
a role doing these kinds ever things, being a convener, taking advantage of the multiple
contacts that we have in the multiple levels and all stakeholder groups, governments, policymakers,
education, our community around the world. This is not just about connecting a few schools,
it is no the just about connecting a few, but it is connecting all of the schools in
the world, connecting all of the children in the world for helping the people from all
around the world to really have access to the opportunities that are available on the
Internet and to be prepared for the challenging times we’re facing.
Thank you very much for joining us for this work.
I hope you continue to participate in the future community forums so not only about
Internet and education but also about other important things for our communities.
Thank you, all.

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