Please introduce yourself.
My fellow students (from all over the world) will be interested in the SCoPE discussions too. I'll let them know about it.
I understand there are international students in the online MA program you are involved in. What kinds of problems do they encounter?
You ask what kind of problems my fellow students encounter, Nellie - I'll perhaps let them speak for themselves if they want to. (I've posted this site as a link on our module and immediately had two responses from people who are finding it interesting and useful.)
But we've been discussing a range of issues relevant to your question, for example: infrastructure, language, prestige, quality of e-learning, equivalence with other courses, education as a right or commodity.
Could they come in and add their ideas or would you like to summarize?
My name's Violeta Cautin. I've participated in some discussions before, especially those referring to blogs which was the tool I was most interested about. I'm really happy you opened this discussion because sometimes when I read about what other people are doing in terms of e-learning, b-learning and m-learning, I feel the digital divide.
I have to give you an excellent piece of news, yesterday the head of the department asked me to come up with a b-learning course in EFL. I'm really nervous since they want this for "yesterday". The students were supposed to start English classes last September, but since they can't find any teacher willing to actually move to that city they remembered me and put me in charge.
Could you please help me? Is it possible to teach English through internet? They will have classes with a teacher that will travel once every 15 days but the rest must be done so they spend one hour studying with the computer.
I'm excited but starting to panic. Do you have any suggestions? I set up a ning community to start and to buy time to start preparing something better. IS it possible to start with all-English if they're absolute beginners?
Well I'll be happy to receive your suggestions. Here's the ning network: http://ehb01arica.ning.com
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You can teach English!!! Outsource is best thing…..go to web….search …you can find good materials for beginners….Some are tailored one!!!!!! You might need few adaptations….but it is a challenge……!!!!!!!!
Here are online platforms for learning English - and other languages.
They are active learning language programs just recently released.
LiveMocha is interesting because students can engage with other online participants in conversation to practice the language they're learning.
In addition, your students may wish to try En101 for a free trial period.
I have taught English online to German students who were beginners. I used a very expernsive virtual classroom called Interwise. You can use Yugma for free.
Just sign up and schedule a session. Students can record the lessons and practice on their own after the lessons, too. Check out the demo and see for yourself.
Hi Violeta,Nellie and everyone,
Glad to be here. I was reading your messages and I thought I should write something myself.
I am Juana Angela Barrientos from Chile. I have been a EF language teacher for more than fifteen years now. While I was in the US as an international teacher I was using online resouces and e-learning a lot. I was fortunate to work for Henrico County Public Schools in VA,where staff, faculty and students had wireless laptops. As a Spanish teacher I used online books and online activities most of the time. Only homework was given in their workbook when there was no project ar research that needed to be done using the internet. I specially remember a computer-based project one of my advanced high school classes did with an elementary ESL class. My students created digital stories after interviewing their small friends and got to know about their culture and traditions.
I took online clases for a post degree on Informatica Educativa here in Chile in 1998-2000 and while in the US, I studied my Master´s degree at the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). I just completed it two months ago. Part of the program was online because I was teaching at the same time I was studying. It was a great experience. Teachers were always there, it looked as if it were a face to face class.
I am convinced we can teach and learn a lot with e-learning. I know sme teachers ares till resistant to use computers but all changes take time.
Thanks for reading , sorry about the delay,
Great to "see" you here. You express my exact feelings when you say that there is a lot of learning with e-learning. Let me know if you come across any research that shows an increase in learning. I need it for my dissertation.
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I am Nalin Abeysekera. Nellie Deutsch and my self now in verge to begin the journey of e-learning in developing countries. I am Sri Lankan. Lecturer at Open University of Sri Lanka. Lecturing International Marketing and Advertising. I am working as an instructional designer for online courses in the faculty of Humanities and social science. Sue and Mark (from Canada)always helping me to develop my courses in Sri Lanka. As a lecturer and marketer I am keen on promoting e-Learning in Sri Lanka.
Great to be facilitating this seminar with you. I just read a very interesting article by G. M. Niel Gunadasa submitted to the development gateway foundation communities for knowledge sharing and collaboration worldwide called ICT in Education Policies in Sri Lanka: Challenges and Opportunities. The article seems to provide a good background of the educational situation in Sri Lanka.
It is nice to hear that you have obtained some back ground knowledge on ICT in Education in Sri Lanka after reading my article. Specially, dveloping countries need systematic method (mechanism) to implement ICT in Education in order to achieve the reasonable out come and out put. In order to have that, my personal idea is that developing countries must have "National ICT Policy and the Master Plan" which provide strategic frame work to uplift ICT related "everything" with sustainable model. But unfortunately most of developing countries are not handling the "ICT" carefully with a view of long term plan and their own identity.
Thank you for responding. The workshop is over but the discussions are not. Please join at IT4ALL and see what we are doing to promote free e-learning around the globe.
Thanks for the participation.Nice to hearing from you.It is indded a great need to have a National Policy for IT.But i think we can bring this discussion at national level.Beacuse we had a very informative input from our frends @ Scope.Even i feel we can prepare a policy paper by using this comments(information)!!! Thanks to scope!!!
My name is Ken Udas. I serve at Penn State World Campus, which is Penn State’s online campus. I also spent time in Central Europe in the mid-90’s as an educator and in Central Asia in 2002 & 2003 involved in coalition building to develop elearning capacity in the region. I am very interested in this dialog.
I have been doing a bit of work recently in Open Educational Resources (OER), Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and Libre Knowledge. These topics seem to have some important implications for education in economically developing regions.
Great to have you here. Can you provide some updates on the implications of OER, FOSS, and Libre Knowledge for e-learning in economically developing regions?
Hi Julia!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
I think you are the most wanted person for this seminar. Coordinating is a tough task. I am coordinating the level 6 (final year) of the Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) at Open University of Sri Lanka. These days we have to finalize the convocation list. As you said beyond our human capacity…!!!! I totally agree with you…..I think this is same for every one in this world!!!!! No matter where you are….But this is only applicable for the people who are working hard….!!!!! It is a challenge!!!!!! Any way your experience and contribution to this seminar will add value…. ……
Keep in touch. Thank you…..
Good to have you near by. I was in the Surrey area this summer visiting my daughter and traveling in and out of Victoria. I had no idea that there was a shortage of man power in implementing technology within the schools in BC. I will be there again next summer. Let me know if I can be of help.
That's sounds great! I will be there before or after my 3 year doctoral residency. Keep me updated on the dates. I already know when I am scheduled to be in Phoenix.
I'm Emma Duke-Williams. I'm currently working at the University of Portsmouth, in the UK. My role is part lecturer in the school of Computing, and part eLearning co-ordinator for the faculty of technology, though the latter is pretty new, as I only started on Monday (which was the start of the academic year for us, so quite a hectic time anyway!)
My experience of working in the Majority world is quite old now. In 1995-7 I spent two years working in Papua New Guinea (I'd gone through VSO - Voluntary Service Overseas). I'd gone as a Special Education Teacher, and my role was to co-ordinate the setting up of Special Needs services for Community Schools (Grades 1-6) in the Province. It was a combination of working with two teachers who were working in schools, and two more who were in the centre setting up an integrated pre-school.
Distance Education didn't feature at all - it was primary children after all; and computers not much, though we did have one computer in the centre that we used to create symbol based resources.
However, many of the issues were, I suspect much the same as they are still in the Majority world; large classes, many children not in school at all (due, in no small part to the fact that they had to pay fees), very limited resources, schools closing due to lack of money/ the weather/ whatever, teachers often having to go home and work in the fields after school; yet, the kids were always enthusiastic, and clearly enjoyed school. The teachers, like teachers the world over, ranged from those who were very enthusiastic, to those who were less so - all of them, though, felt that the paperwork & bureaucracy took over from the time that they'd like to have spent teaching.
Since getting back, I've remained interested in development issues, and I'm also working with VSO to start to create a moodle site for Volunteers who are going out to volunteer - and to support them in the field.
Good to have you here. I am sure we can learn a great deal from your experiences as an e-learning coordinator. I came across a website called Canadian Crossroads International for volunteers that you may find of interest.
My interests include educational design, physics education, online stuff, leadership, community, LMS theory (How to make Moodle do what it was not designed to do), coffee and active learning.
I have just read "The Hackers Ethic" which argues for a new approach to life in terms of work/leisure/play and creativity.
I'm off to China in December, where among other things I will be presenting some workshops on active learning in Physics classes. (A subject by the way where I think teaching is MOST the same the world over) (Physics syllabi's are often identical whether in a rain forest or a city) (In general)
I like this particular forum. The people I find here are quite helpful, go the second mile and posts some stimulating stuff. I will not be seriously present, just a fringe participant for this topic. Thanks Nellie.
This arrived in my intray from the POD list this morning:
I am beginning to consider research topics for a dissertation that
incorporates student development, teaching and learning in higher
education, and internationalization.
I am wondering if anyone can recommend research that explores
(directly or indirectly) ways in which preferred pedagogies in
teaching and learning vary according to differences in culture.
I may have the opportunity to make an exploratory trip to investigate
the feasibility of such a study, so I would be very interested in any
research that involves teaching, learning, and cultural differences
either domestically or internationally.
Thank you very much.
All us countries have quirks.
I struggle a bit to think about this topic.
Thank you for your kind words. I feel very close to Christchurch. In fact, I felt like I lived there for three years while one of my daughters studied for her undergrad in sports science at the University of Canterbury. However, I had to send my mother to her graduation because I was busy with school.
I share your thoughts on trying to make moodle do more than is possible. I belong to a forum that tries to do just that. I am waiting for a Cuban cyber friend to continue our work on upgrading WebQuests for Moodle.
Keep us posted on your experiences in e-learning/teaching in China. It should be interesting. One of my instructors is invited every year to teach about Western education. Apparently, the Chinese want to combine the best of both worlds.
The graduate student may find his blog on Telecollaboration: http://dfm.unileon.es/telecollaboration/ of interest, too. There is a conference scheduled soon in Hungary on the subject. I believe Robert is very involved.
What's great about these online conferences is that you get a chance to interact with people from all over the world. Knowing where everyone is from makes the discussions even more exciting.
Apologies for my late arrival. Although late, I'm pleased to be here and I'm enjoying catching up.
I retired from the UK Open University three years ago and since then I've been having even more fun as:
an adviser to UNESCO on ICT in Education
working with different NGOs on implementing Moodle based systems
advising the Ethiopian Government on the design of medical equipment
coaching rowing - and developing online coaching support systems
A late arrival wants to join up with you all. I was at a conference in Canada which was intense, hence the late response.
I am the coordinator of eLearning for the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium. We have partnerships with developing countries around the world and one of our priorities is capacity building.
My main speciality is social media and mobile learning, both connected to low resource settings.
At the moment I am involved in eLearning programs in Uganda, India and Marocco.
Glad to join you all!
Although I have been following the forum with interest I was unable to participate and contribute until now for absolute lack of time. Just wanted to introduce myself and say I am interested and will pop in when I can.
I'm Barbara Dieu (a.k.a Bee) and have been involved in ELT (English Language Teaching) for more that 30 years (retiring this year). I presently teach at the Franco-Brazilian school in Sao Paulo and have been participating in collaborative projects online since 1997 both with students (classes) and organizing PD workshops for teachers.
When I started 10 years ago, our school had two disconnected computers in the teacher's room and all the work I did with students was from home on a dial-up connection. Now, we are all on ADSL with one computer per class and 4 computer labs with 17 computers and yet, in ten years we have had only 1 pedagogical ICT workshop which lasted a week. There have been 2 or three focused on how to use Word or Excel.
Many teachers are self-taught like me and have gone outside the system to learn or to develop their work. Most do not have the basic skills and refuse to work with technology with their students or use pedagogical CDs. The school board does not seem to be concerned and does not offer much support.
This is however the situation in my particular school, which is a bit of an ET in the local educational area. Brazil has two systems running parallel: private and public. In most private schools you can find cutting edge expensive platforms and resources and the latest gadgets. They work however in assembly line mode inside LMS. Training is imposed on teachers, who refuse it as this extends their work beyond paid hours (for which they earn very little). In the public sector, open source software and social tools are making its way and I have seen some good projects happening. There are a lot of ICT workshops for public school teachers happening in the universities coordinated by the Education faculties.
Projects are mostly conducted by NGOs or sponsored by foundations or corporations coupled with government incentives.
Great to "see" you. I know you have a lot to share with us on e-learning in developing countries. I see we have a great deal in common. I have been involved in teaching EFL/ESL in the public school system for over 30 years. I also learned how to build my website (html) and ICT skills on my own at the advice of my husband who said it's all a matter of reading comprehension. I believed him which goes to show how far determination can get you. Israel may be a very developed country with 51% Internet users, but unfortunately the public school system does not encourage the use of blended learning. It seems to me that both developing and developed countries lack the motivation to implement e-learning. What do you think?
That's a very valid point, and one that I think that people have alluded to throughout this discussion - that educational establishments the world over are reluctant to embed e-learning. Clearly in some countries the infrastructure can be limiting - though projects like the One Laptop Per Child are trying to look at (relatively) affordable solutions that are best suited to the environment.
I have recently started to work as a Faculty eLearning co-ordinator; it's a Faculty of Technology. In a Faculty of Technology one might reasonably expect staff to be supportive of elearning, but there is significant resistance. Some, I understand totally. The University has decided that we should all use a VLE. Bee's already commented about Private schools in Brazil:
They work however in assembly line mode inside LMS.
Many see the VLE behemoth as an assembly line approach to education - and want to develop more open source, student centred, innovative approaches. As eLearning co-ordinators, we want to encourage that, not discourage it. So we have to work with the central VLE people to get them to see that the two can be used in parallel.
However, another group of staff just don't see the point in eLearning. Many see eLearning as a replacement for face to face tuition - to work with them to see that the two can run in parallel is essential I think.
Several people have mentioned "blended learning" - which is, I think, a very valuable tool; it enables students to have the face to face contact, which I think that the vast majority of students value, yet be able to have a good online experience when they are elsewhere.
Bee also mentioned the natural reluctance of staff to work extra hours - especially when they aren't getting much pay. Again, that's a worldwide phenomenon. Students want to study in the evenings, when they have done other things. Staff want to have some time for themselves.
There are also well founded fears, students (and staff for that matter) worry about the loss of personal contact, staff also worry that they might lose their jobs if "the computer can do it". If we're really going to look at opening up education for as many people as possible, we have to find a way to ensure that students get the support that they need, staff the rewards they deserve - and that those fears don't happen. It doesn't matter what country you're in.
The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.
Hello Nellie and all:
My name is Gladys Ledwith, I've taught English in different private schools in Buenos Aires for more than 30 years. At present I coordinate the English Dept in a bilingual school just outside our capital city.
Next year we are will have interactive whiteboards in some of our classroom and students with wireless tablet PCs. I am very enthusiastic about the challenge we have ahead and looking forward to sharing experiences.
I agree with what you point out in relation to teacher's resistance, some plunge into the idea while others think "this is not for me". I personally believe that sooner or later we will all be working with technology in some way; support groups, teamwork and collaboration are the only way we will be able to take this challenge!
Looking forward to working and sharing with you all!
Hi Nellie, Gladys & All,
My name is Maggie Verster and I am currently doing my masters on an online communities of practice for maths literacy teachers. The situation in South Africa is pretty dire. I feel if though the "digial divide" (I hate hat phrase) is getting bigger and bigger over here. The Government has been instituting various projects to encourage the incorporation of Ict in the classrooms, but most schools still do not have computers (Some do not have running water or electricity even). Projects go as far as giving teachers crash courses on how to use computers - you might as well pour water in the desert.
The reason why I am so particularly disenchanted today is that I have recently had a phone call from one of the teachers that attended one of my workshops (desert water pouring sessions) asking me to help him with his exam equivalent that he is doing for an accredited University course. I told him to fax me the paper (He told me that he did not have computer access)...then I can talk him through it (Hints discussion, brainstorm, motivate). When I received the fax it had a big circle around the question involving ICT integration, saying...."do this for me" I could not believe my eyes. He phoned back 10 minutes later to give me his school fax where i can "fax the answer to". I very gently (even though I was steaming) asked him if he would be okay with it if one of his learners got someone else to do their assignments for them....he then got very abusive and told me that i am advantaged and that he has no access so how must he do this. I told him I would find him a centre with access and organise for him to go and work there. After a few phone calls I happily found a computer centre about 3 blocks away from his school and organised with the computer manager to assist him with technical hassles that he may have. Needless to say, he never pitched there.....
So yes, teacher resistance is a biggie. The problem is, if we want our disadvantaged learners to get somewhere in their future world where computers and technology will be (are?) a given, then surely WE HAVE TO "get with the programme"???
This ICT activist is totally disheartened
I can relate to every single keyboarding punch you have shared with us. I don't think it's so much a digital divide as it is a natural human tendency to resist what is unfamiliar or difficult to carry out. We become so attached to our comfort zones; it's hard to leave in order to try something new. Don't give up because it's going to be up to you to help disadvantaged learners learn that it's safe to take new steps. I am having the same issues in my ultra modern school where the equipment is available, but the teachers and learners are not.
Maggie, please keep in touch and join us at Facebook for ongoing support and collaborative solutions.
Wow, can I come and teach at your school? I wish my school would implement interactive whiteboards and wireless laptops. Keep in touch and let me know how it goes. I love success stories and your school sounds like a dream come true for me.
I wish you were closer and could come to work with us! I do know it will be an exciting adventure to share with our students! but, believe it or not, we don't have too many enthusiastic teachers around. I think that, among other things, many might feel threatened too that students will know better than they do, teachers used to having all the power and all the answers might feel strange asking a kid how to sthg.
We will be starting with our new classrooms as from March 2008, our school year finishes mid December.
At the moment I'm preparing an in service trainning to show teachers all the tools available in the web today such as internet based projects, webquests, wikis, blogs, podcasts... any suggestions will be most welcome!
I did develop a course for creating WebQuests on one of my Moodle sites because I enjoy building and my students enjoy working with WebQuests. Perhaps you would be interested in collaborating on a blended learning course with me online and you face-to-face with the teachers. I have co-facilitated classes before. Do your teachers speak English?
What you say sounds terribly interesting although I don`t understand too well what this would imply. All our teachers are fluent in English so that wouldn`t be a problem.
The Moodle course sounds like interactive e-learning at its best. Who drives the e-learning initiative in your school setting?
We have an external consultant, who has been carrying out a similar project in her school in Mendoza (the IWB and the tablet PCs). She's also an investigator working with different NGO and in charge of helping us start ours.
But because I'm a busy body, getting my nose in whatever I find interesting I am trying to learn as much as I can. Our consultant will be in charge of the overall project, we as Heads will be in charge of the daily work done in class.
Thank you for clarifying. Can you tell us more about NGO?
I don't really know much. I think she mentioned working for the UN and with different universities in relation to implementing tablet PCs in Latin America. I'm sorry I'm not much help here.
My name is Annemieke Kes
I am Dutch but was born in Kenya, I teach English as a second laguage in secondary education in the Netherlands. I am also involved in teaching through ict, for which I am partly responsible in our school.Having lived in Africa my interests naturally are with the developping countries.
I am always open and looking for new ideas. Through the internet the whole world lies at our feet, To explore new ideas and boldly go where none has gone before in order to advance a new way of educating and making connections worldwide I find extremely worthwhile and also (unfortunately) very time consuming.(no it is my husband who is the startrack fan)
Welcome to SCoPE and e-learning in developing countries. I am glad you were able to join us. I agree with you that e-learning has a huge potential in connecting the world. How can someone from a developed country ,such as yours and mine, contribute to e-learning in developing countries?
This is Barbara Fillip, based in the Washington, D.C. area. I currently work for the Academy for Educational Development, but will very shortly be returning to consulting. In 1999, I first taught a course on information and communication technologies for developing countries in a face-to-face format here in Washington, D.C. and then transformed it into an eLearning course. I wanted to be able to get participants in developing countries to take the course and since I was working out of my basement with limited means, I created a very low tech eLearning course. It involved a CD-ROM with course materials and a yahoo discussion group. It turned out to be highly successful in terms of learning and a huge amount of fun for me, but not particularly sustainable from a financial perspective since I was inclined to give scholarships to participants in developing countries and attempted to collect fees from participants in North America, Europe and Australia.
Eventually, I gave up teaching the course when I took a full time job three years ago, but I put all the course materials online. They're quite outdated now.... http://www.knowledgefordevelopment.com/ICT4D03sp/index.htm.
I would love to return to online teaching.
Knowledge for Development, LLC
Welcome! The site may be outdated but it sure looks promising if you wanted to bring it back to life.