My starting point

The curriculum online courses have two general objectives: to contribute to the development of the teachers' digital competence and to help to make a pedagogical use of the digital tools in the classroom in accordance with a competencial approach.

The main aim of this introductory module is to interrelate your own teaching practice and the course you are going to hold. It aims, on the one hand, to guide the participants towards the specific objectives of the course and, on the other hand, to assist in being aware of the own starting point and the possible relevant aspects for each person. For this reason we have arranged it around three main lines:

A. Course presentation and my expectations.

B. My starting point regarding to the methodological use of the digital tools in the classroom, school.

C. My starting point with reference to working through competences for learning.


A. Course presentation and my expectations

As you have read before, this course has some general purposes for everyone but, in all likelihood, when each of you have enroled the course, you have thought about new knowledge that may be learnt, new tools or innovative strategies that may be used in the classroom, worries to be shared with other colleagues… So, before starting to develop the modules of the course, we would like to propose you:
a.1. to have a careful look to the introductory page of each module, paying special attention to the exercises and the final project you are expected to do, and
b.1. to raise the following questions to yourself:

  • From the objectives of the course, what can be useful for me and my context?
  • Which module do I think it may be more complicated?


B. My starting point regarding to the methodological use of the digital tools in the classroom, school.

In this section we would like you to reflect on the following questions:


  • Have I worked with the Knowledge and Learning Technologies tools before? How? What for (objectives)?
  • Which advantages do I think they may bring to my daily teaching practise?
  • With reference to the school, what is necessary to do to foster its use?
  • Regarding to my knowledge of the tools, what do I need to improve?



Write down your reflections to be used in the exercise and put your notes away to be checked after the course completion. You may review these purposes to know if your expectations have been satisfied and to analyse the reasons.

Exercise section A and B

Write a short composition, to be uploaded in the Fòrum, answering the preceding questions in this section and take part in it sharing opinions with your course partners.


C. My starting point with reference to working through competences for learning

1. Write down what the Competence word suggests to you in a diagram as the one you have below. Write the results in the “Brainstorming” Fòrum.


2. Choose one activity that you think it is based on competencies and that you have put into practise in your classes with good results. Participate in the Fòrum collecting your “Classroom experience”:

  • Objective of the activity
  • Short analysis of the steps done to help your students to achieve the objective: sequence of the activities, grouping, resources, evaluation
  • Competencies developed through the activities
  • Other aspects


Key competences

We show you next some general considerations that may be useful to be checked with your initial reflections about the meaning of competence and your classroom practises.


If we analyse the compulsory education curricula published in 1992, we can note that the skills that the students have to develop during the schooling appear in a similar way than the ones in the current curricula (Decret 142/2007) and they frame the objectives from which the contents of each subject will be developed.


Although there is still the need for the students to develop the necessary capacities to acquire techniques and knowledge, now there are new premises involved because the students have to be able to develop the contents in a functional meaningful way and the learning acquired should be useful to help solving lifelong learning problems.


The competences appear in the educational field completing the concrete capacities of each subject for the boys and girls to be ready to give a satisfactory answer to the problems, labour, social and personal needs.


There are lots of definitions of competencies given by several authors or curricula depending on the different educational administration, but we are here refering to the one we have in Annex 1 (paràgraf 2) of Decret 142/2007, from which we emphasize, mainly, the will to integrate the cross of learning and the use of the contents in different contexts to solve daily problems, labour, relations, etc.


We show you next the chart that it is useful to visualize the transferable skills that have to be cross worked in the learning process of the students.


eng2.jpg


Information handling and digital competence

When analysing the curriculum we can notice that in the grouping by type of competencies, this competency is within the methodological ones and it clearly has a crosscurriculum character: “no hi ha un tractament de la informació i competència digital al marge dels continguts específics de les àrees”. It is necessary to foresee, when making concrete the programming of contents in any subject, which activities that lead to the acquisition of this competency we are going to programme without forgetting the evaluation. We think that it may be interesting to promote a use of the virtual environment with a competence approach, the relationship that professor Carles Monereo establishes, in the article named in the bibliography section, where he connects competencies and virtual environment.


eng1.jpg
Didactic sequence to include in a cross way the different competencies

After analysing different methodologies about teaching competencies we may reach an agreement saying that there is not an specific or unique methodology and it is necessary to search different strategies to choose the most suitable intervention in each case.

As A. Zabala and L. Arnau say (page 167, Cómo aprender y enseñar competencias. 11 ideas clave): “Las dimensiones o variables que permiten describir cualquier propuesta metodológica incluyen, además de unas actividades o tareas determinadas, una forma de agruparlas y articularlas en secuencias de actividades (…), unas formas de agrupamiento u organización social de la clase, una manera de distribuir el espacio y el tiempo, un sistema de organización de los contenidos, un uso de materiales curriculares, y un procedimiento para la evaluación.”

Teaching-learning by competencies goes through putting into practise units of programming or interdisciplinary projects, with procedure and attitude contents sequenced and articulated in series of activities. They will be programmed in such a way, that the whole didactic sequence includes different types of activites. One activity can be defined with more than one of the items described in the chart below, but the whole didactic sequence of the unit of programming or project has to contain activities of varied typology.

eng3.jpg


Regarding to the evaluation activities, we have to bear in mind that they have to meet the predetermined educational objectives, although some of the learning activities are also likely to be considered evaluation activities, as long as they are useful to register the learning process of the students.

In relation to the elaboration and the critical analysis of sequences or teaching units, the CESIREs (Centres específics de suport a la innovació i la recerca educativa ) have developed a series of questions that can guide teachers to the extent in which the students' competences are considered in their classroom activities. Depending on how an activity is planned, it may be rich in developing the skills of the students, that is, not only its characteristics, but also the way it is managed in the classroom. For this reason, the questions are grouped into two blocks:

Regarding to the approach of the activity, it is interesting to ask ourselves:
  • Is it an activity that aims to answer a question? The question may refer to a daily context, can be framed in a game…?
  • Does it lead to apply already acquired knowledge and to learn anything new?
  • Does it help to relate different knowledge within a subject or with other subjects?
  • Is it an activity that can be developed in different ways and stimulates the curiosity and creativity of the students?
  • Does it involve the use of diverse tools such as manipulative materials, drawing tools, software …?


Regarding to the management of the activity, it is interesting to ask ourselves:
  • Are the autonomy, the initiative and the creativity of the students fostered? (Does the activity help the students to reflect on what they do, to reason it, to plan personal objectives)
  • Teacher's intervention takes place with adequate questions rather than explanations?
  • Are there individual work and effort but also pair work or group work, that involves talking, arguing, persuading, reaching consensus, etc.?
  • Does it involve reasoning about what has been done and to justify the results?
  • Does it progress in the representation in a more precise way every time and uses an specific language more accurate progressively?


((Indicators of rich competences created by CREAMAT and CDEC))


Bibliography

DIRECCIÓ GENERAL DE L'EDUCACIÓ BÀSICA I EL BATXILLERAT. Currículum i organització [En línia]. <http://www.xtec.cat/web/curriculum/curriculum> [Consulta octubre 2012]

COLL, C. "Las competencias en la educación escolar: algo más que una moda y mucho menos que un remedio". Aula de Innovación Educativa (2007), núm.161

MONEREO, C. "Internet un espacio idóneo para desarrollar las competencias básicas". A: Internet y competencias básicas. Barcelona: Graó, 2005

SARRAMONA, J. : "L'aprenentage infinit". Escola catalana, desembre 2007, núm. 445

VIVANCOS, J. Tratamiento de la información y competencia digital. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 2008

ZABALA, A.; ARNAU, L. Cómo aprender y enseñar competencias. 11 ideas clave. Barcelona: Graó, 2008


Exercise section C

After a careful reading of the section "key competences", think about what this new methodological model contributes to your teaching practice. Write a text with this reflection and share it with other partners in the forum.

Keep it until the end of the course to revise it and you will be able to check your progress in the competence approach of your practices.