Tuesday, 16 March 2010

1 x 1: A reality

OMG 1 x 1, what the hell is it!!!

Did you know that no other educational system in the world uses digital books? Well that's right, what most of these systems have, such as USA, UK, Norway etc, are digital objectives, whereas Catalunya will have the first educational system in the world ever to have students in1st and 2nd Secondary education using digital books. It's incredible I know! This could be great publicity for Catalunya, finally putting it on the map. The whole world will be looking to this small corner of the world and seeing exceptional European educational excellence (excuse the alliteration). Now is the time to make a difference. And what a difference!!!

We are heading into unchartered territory, an unprecedented journey. We can take it in a number of ways: a burden, an obligation imposed on us by over paid, power seeking politicians looking for re-election, or we can embrace it for what it is: innovation. The current climate is unstable, when I say the current climate I mean today 16th March 2010, tomorrow is another day. We are uncertain of platforms, digital books, 1x1, licences, paper books, internet connections etc, and we are only uncertain due to the lack of information from the big cheese. As all the big cheeses tend to do, we have been lavished with promises: classrooms equiped with digital whiteboards, laptops for every student, wi-fi points in every classroom, 15mbs internet connection everywhere in Catalunya and of course an interactive whiteboard in every classroom. So it's just a matter of time, waiting to see if the promises will be fulfilled. I think there will be some kind of teething problem, it's inevitable, let's just hope that there isn't any bad breath to go with it because that could really put you off, you wouldn't want to touch it with a barge pole. In the mean time however we can prepare ourselves and choose the right material to help us make this transition.

The great thing about thing about this project is that we're not alone, we're all jumping into the deep end together. We can laugh, cry, shout, jump up and down together, share it all; this gives us our comfort zone. A great sigh of relief comes from the publishing houses who are creating all our materials for us to make this pass bearable. In fact the change shouldn't have to be so great. With the help from the publishing houses we are still teaching the same contents from the same books only they are in a digital format and not paper. Check out this link and you'll see what I mean. Web Book, an interactive web book using the same contents from a text book, only this web book has videos, interactive activities, animations, resources, links etc all at the click of the button.

All I can say is don't be scared. Yes of course our students will know more about facebook, twitter, tuenti, blogging, 2.0, myspace, chat, RSS, embeding, picassa, chrome, firefox, audacity, podcasts, youtube, lip dub, ipod, ipad, tablets and digital underpants, but they don't know about contents, they don't know about the knowledge of the English language that you have, and you're going to continue teaching it to them as you always have done, but only this time coming from a screen and not from a paper book.

Good luck!!

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