When the possibility of obtaining information from books was not so easy (encyclopaedias and books were never free), the person who had access to them and had a broader knowledge of reality became the educational institution, the source of wisdom and enlightenment for the students, who copied their words and memorized them to reproduce them in the exam. This conception of education, in which the teacher was the source of unquestionable wisdom and the students blank pages whose duty it was to write down the information that is provided to them to incorporate it as their own.
The new technologies and the change in the educational institution
Students use the Web in their training provided it is minimally accessible (in countries with extreme poverty levels the priorities will be different to education). Whether to seek information, collaborate with colleagues on a project or send files, access to the Internet is now a necessity so that a student does not leave with a great disadvantage in front of his classmates. However, limiting the use of the Web to ” do the homework ” that the teacher assigned, is to lose a great opportunity to improve the learning process that we could compare with a school that was based exclusively on morality and would not use the literacy.
The Web allows us to consider the possibility of a complete and necessary restructuring of the educational institution to adapt it to the current times and that contributes to promote the values we already mentioned as fundamental to prepare students for the future, while, most likely, It will help to Assignment Writers discard prejudices and negative attitudes both towards the school system and towards the teaching professional. New pedagogical methodologies can, due to new tools, be implemented successfully now, among other changes, one is posed in the role of the student and the teacher.
Impact of Technology
Setting a fixed and immovable schedule for all students (from five years old or earlier) that starts earlier than opening stores, when it is still dark in the winter and weather conditions can be adverse, makes us wonder if the student will rise motivated to learn and if there is any pedagogical reason for the design of such schedule, as it is not to equate the teacher’s schedule with other positions in the administration that have nothing to do with the educational world.
On the other hand, the space where the educational process occurs is another aspect that could be questioned, particularly at higher levels (in primary school, schools often act as nurseries, so that flexibility at this level would be more difficult to apply for the problems that it would cause in the family environment when both the mother and the father have a working schedule to fulfil). There are times when the facilities of the educational institution can be very necessary and relevant, such as the laboratory for chemistry experiments, the gym with its appliances, the computer room. However, the classes at the university, for sticking to the University level where it is more feasible is to establish this space-time flexibility, often consists of a lecture by the teacher explaining something.
Thus, flexibility in schedules and space is possible thanks to the different content management platforms and the many communication services, synchronous (instant messaging) and asynchronous (e-mail) and forums). The explanations can be the same master lectures of the teacher recorded in video and made available to the students so they can see them as many times as they want.
Infrastructure: internet and free software
In order to apply a methodology different from that of previous centuries, which is still in force today, it is necessary to have adequate training by the teaching staff, as we have already mentioned, and with the appropriate infrastructure. However motivated and prepared the teachers are to do their work in an innovative way, if they and their students do not have the necessary tools, there is very little to do. This implies considering several aspects:
- The institution must have a technical team (even if only one person) to supervise and solve technical problems quickly. Without an effective technical service, the technology ends up failing and deteriorating at some point and if the tools are not ready, they end up becoming an obstacle to learning instead of help
- There must be a good internet connection. Modern pedagogical methodologies are based on the social construction of knowledge, student communication and participation and, without access to the world through the Internet; computers are almost like a car without wheels in terms of its pedagogical use
- Computers are the third element that ensures the infrastructure for this type of methodologies with the support of the new technology
- Finally, a relevant concept when we talk about the technological infrastructure of a public school is free software. To understand the importance of this type of software, it is necessary to understand its definition correctly
Openness to society
The classrooms of a university educational institution should never close. A university should open more to society and encourages the participation of citizen groups or cycles of conferences on different topics, although these are not strictly scientific and led by teachers or students. It is not necessary to think that once the professors or the administrative ones of the building leave, this one must remain closed until, the following day in the morning, their “authorized users” arrive again.
On the other hand, it would be very beneficial, both for the academic world and for society, a much closer collaboration between the two. Students would be more motivated if they knew that their work has a practical application or that it will be seen by society. The fact that the students’ work has as sole objective the evaluation of the teacher for the assignment of a note is to lose a great opportunity that the new technology offers to interact with the society in a very close way and carry out real and realistic projects to make the students know the world outside the ‘academic bubble’, which they will have to face sooner or later.
The idea of this opening of the academic institutions, and the education in general to the society, is very linked to the time and temporal flexibility that we mentioned before. Without a doubt, it is not an obvious or easy task to perform because it forces us to rethink the institution very deeply, as well as the bureaucratic procedures that it has followed for hundreds of years, but meaningful learning, in real contexts, would not only help the student to know better the objectives that are intended to reach, but would allow you to better known society and acquire values that are not possible to acquire sitting in a hard chair for five or six hours a day taking notes.