ICT in educational curricula

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RealidadVirtual

The social, political, and educational reality that exists today in the world and affects students and teachers themselves is forcing educational institutions to try to adapt their teaching and learning processes to the divergent situations that society presents to politicians, theorists, and practitioners of education. Thus, the development of digital resources aimed at improving the didactic act has rapidly increased. This is evidenced by the articles found in journals such as EDMETIC, which has recently published a monograph discussing experiences in the development of content learning mediated by augmented reality and pointing out its great possibilities. Similarly, there is an article by Cabero, Fernández, and Marín, published in the journal RIED, on the use of rich notes that allow us to see the potential that this technology offers for the learning of contents that students may find difficult to understand. Also, in journals such as Bordón, we find monographs that link ICT and inclusive education to augmented reality and educational inclusion and expound the benefits of their use in socially diverse environments; for example, the article by Cámara, Díaz, and Ortega shows how digitally mediated service-learning applied in primary schools not only improved students’ content acquisition but also made these resources available to future teachers.

All the articles published have the same starting point, which is none other than to present classroom experiences in the curricular development of content using digital resources, reflecting the benefits this brings to the whole community. But the underlying question here is whether that binomial—that marriage between ICT and curriculum—is of convenience or for love. Sometimes such relationship has been imposed by the social demand that children, adolescents, and young people should be digitally competent, without considering the social or economic context of the educational system or the student’s family. As a result, the classroom may diverge and create or accentuate the so-called “digital divide.” In other cases, “love” between curricular development and ICT has been born, is reciprocal, and has been subordinated by the “matchmaker,” that is, the teacher, who has caused both sides of the binomial to come together and walk together along the path of unity so that their knowledge and resources ensure a fruitful relationship.  At some point it has been explicitly stated that ICT per se does not improve teaching or learning; the proof of this is the coining of a non-trivial concept such as digital divide. If the digital resources that are created day by day are truly available to all, why have articles such as “Posibilidades de uso de la realidad aumentada en la educación inclusiva. Estudio de caso,” “The Relationships between Augmented Reality and Inclusive Education in Higher Education,” and “The Augmented Reality In The Educational Sphere Of Student Of Degree In Childhood Education. Case Study” highlighted the fact that it is difficult to use augmented reality with low-vision subjects? and I am referring to a technology that the Horizon Report 2016 regards as emerging and to be naturally adopted by educational institutions by 2020. Consequently, the dissonance between them is real, and we speak of convenience since all the students, except the visually impaired, will be able to benefit from this technology.

We also find works such as that by Reche, Martín, and Vilches who, under the title “La competencia literaria y comunicativa en la formación inicial del docente. Presentación de una experiencia,” emphasize the necessary link that exists between digital and other competences such as literary competence.

Furthermore, as in Spain, to give just one example, we find that educational policies claim that primary and secondary school students should be digitally competent once they complete their education. Oddly, there is no suggestion on how teachers should do it. In my opinion, it is not enough to teach them how to use a computer or a tablet; a digital training that leads to achieving the underlying competence must necessarily pass through an open education supported by values that allow students to have a critical attitude toward all the information they will find. In this way, the role of the teacher becomes the backbone of all this and, therefore, the link between ICT and curriculum, as pointed out above. Going a little further, we should think about the responsibility that professors have in this regard since they are the ones who train the teachers of these educational levels and transmit their values and opinions on ICT and curriculum; therefore, they train the future teacher in a line of thought that accepts or rejects digital resources as a precursor to their use in the classroom.

In any case, the digitalization of society in general and education in particular requires that all education professionals put in all our effort to introduce what, in our opinion, can improve content acquisition, that is, ICT. Hence, the training process is continuous, which may cause a situation of permanent stress leading to exhaustion of the educational system and a setback in the methodological process.

In short, a curriculum is adapted by the teaching staff to the historical, technological, and social moment that is being lived, so it is necessary to create, take, and strengthen actions that improve the conditions under which the training they all want to provide is fostered.

Verónica Marín-Díaz

PhD in Pedagogy from the University of Granada and is a full professor at the University of Córdoba (Spain). Chief editor of the digital journal EDMETIC. Her teaching and research career revolves around ICT.

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