Case Study on Collaborative Work Experiences with Web 2.0 in Spanish Primary Schools with the Highest Institutional Accreditation Level

Case Study on Collaborative Work Experiences with Web 2.0 in Spanish Primary Schools with the Highest Institutional Accreditation Level

Ana Iglesias Rodríguez (University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain), María Cruz Sánchez Gómez (University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain) and Concepción Pedrero Muñoz (University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/jcit.2014070104

Abstract

ICT constitutes a suitable tool for the generation of joint communicative spaces where manifold variables may converge and a wide range of methodologies and strategies can be activated, thus fostering richer levels of interaction and swift communication between its users. This case describes and analyses the collaborative work experiences with ICT that are being implemented in the third cycle of Primary Education in schools located in north-western Spain (Region of Castile and León). The results evince that teachers hold a positive view once they have used such technology-based approaches, although they demand a better provision of infrastructures and more institutional support, including specific aids for life-long learning schemes. Conclusions of this study have been drawn both to help and to offer some guidance to teachers engaged in innovative, collaborative, and technologically-assisted curricular processes within 2.0 school settings.
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Introduction And Current Situation

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are acquiring a status of increasing relevance in the Spanish education system in terms of teacher and student training, to the point where they are currently one of the content blocks around which the curriculum is determined.

The Spanish government has recently approved Organic Law 8/2013, of 9 December, for the Improvement of Educational Quality (LOMCE), which emphasizes information and communication technologies as a crucial area for the transformation of the educational system, arguing that technologies have always been and still are part of the education system. This Law states that it is essential to make intensive use of technologies to achieve personalized and universal learning, facilitating training in the development of non-cognitive skills, attitude building and learning based on practice.

Accordingly, current learning theories state the importance of social relations and interaction in knowledge acquisition. In professional environments, including the field of education, team-work has become a key factor for the achievement of common goals. This has been enhanced by the use of digital technologies, which, as regards education, has led to worldwide improvement in student-teacher communication.

Already 18 years ago, Harasim, Hiltz, Teles and Turoff gave this the name of learning networks. This system encouraged student communities to work collaboratively in virtual environments, regardless of their physical location at the time, so long as they remained interconnected. The main purpose at the time was to pursue and build knowledge in an asynchronous world.

Collaboration among different educators fosters the collaborative method, where team members learn from each other together through a reflective, critical and autonomous learning method aimed at improving the shared acquisition of knowledge. The role of ICT in this regard becomes perfect to establish real-time shared communication spaces where a great variety of people can interact in contexts and situations involving multiple variables (Oliveira-Bueno & De Oliveira, 2008; Sancho & Correa, 2010). It also facilitates the implementation of different strategies and methods to ensure rapid and efficient interaction among users.

The introduction and implementation of ICT in the education system is ever increasing, evidence of which is the growing number proposals for programmes aimed at the inclusion if ICT in schools as part of the daily educational activities with children, both from the institutional and the curricular point of view (Bustos, 2012; De Pablos Pons, Colás & González, 2010).

“The Escuela 2.0 Programme” was created in Spain with the aim of integrating ICT in educational centres. Its main purpose was to provide centres with technology and connectivity infrastructure for the implementation of digital classrooms fit for the 21st century. “The Escuela 2.0 programme” is based on several lines of action:

  • Provision of ICT resources to centres and students (digital classrooms and laptops);

  • Guaranteeing Internet connectivity and interconnectivity among all the computers within the classroom;

  • Promotion of teacher training in technological, methodological and social aspects for the integration of these resources in their everyday teaching practices;

  • Production and facilitation of access, both for teachers and students, to educational material adapted to the curricula;

  • Involving students and their families in the acquisition, care and use of these resources.

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