Food for thought

I went to ITworldedu7 yesterday and today and it was such a pleasure to listen to people like Roger Blamire, Richard Gerver, Jordi Adell and Boris Mir. They gave us some food for thought that we will now have to “digest” and translate into real practices.

Something that all these people have said to us is that the tool is not the answer, technology won’t transform education. Educators will. There is actually no correlation between the presence of technology in schools and its use. We should be looking for pedagogies that personalize and produce authentic collaborative learning. The problem is that most of us have not been trained to think, but to give the right answer to questions. And it is often the case that we use that same model with the people we educate as parents or teachers. It is also true that there is now as much pressure as never before on teachers, who hardly survive their jobs. Not many really have the push to innovate.

There are more expectations on schools nowadays. In the past kids went to school to learn maths, language, history, science… Today most people expect schools to help kids be happy, develop self-confidence, resilience, choose a healthy diet, be respectful and, of course, digitally literate. It may well be that many teens are actually learning more out of schools than in schools. It is urgent to overcome a pedagogical tradition of knowledge delivery. In active learning approaches the teacher does not deliver knowledge, the learner constructs knowledge. What is more, teachers become learners too. Hard as it may sound for content lovers, it is note about what kids learn any more: it is about how they learn. It is possible (and arguable) that what they learn is virtually irrelevant…

We have to re-think the role of teachers and apply deeper learning approaches. But, wait a minute! It is not like you change one peace and the rest of the building stays untouched. That is precisely what many initiatives of tech introduction in education have tried to do: add technology as if it was an innocent ingredient. In education, if you add or remove something, I think, you have to rethink the entire process: roles, methodology, assessment… This is really a challenging job and here is the fun: we like it!

As Richard said, lets act as professionals: professionals do not stop at problems, they solve them. Thanks ITworldedu panel speakers and key notes for the inspiring ideas. It was a real pelasure listening to you!


February 26, 2015 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

Accepted for publication =)

Hi there!!!

This morning the first mail was of good news: a paper my colleague and friend Eliana had been working for a long time was finally accepted for publication. It is so cool to see the work you have done become public. Sharing is an important part of the job and a very important one if we are talking about improving our won teaching and teacher education too. I will leave you with the abstract and add the reference to my list of publishing as soon as it is available.

Early childhood student teachers’ observation and experimentation of creative practices as a design processes.

Janaina Minelli de Oliveira, Eliana E. Gallardo-Echenique

NAER, New Approaches in Educational Research

Accepted for publication =)

In this paper, we address the guidance of student teachers in initial training in schools as an invaluable opportunity to raise creative learning awareness. The objective of this present research is to develop guidance strategies in the identification of creative practices and in the analysis of that moment as a “way of knowing”. We analyze how to mentor future teachers so they feel willing to promote student engagement and creative thinking through their own practices.  We adopted a case study approach guided by multimodal principles. We found that a triangulation of individual interviews, focus group discussions and diary of class observation was a useful strategy in the guidance of student teachers in initial training in schools. Results show these strategies allowed them to become more accepting of unpredicted or undesired results, as they approached their sessions’ designs as forms of experimentation. We argue it is essential to guide future educators in the critical analysis of the “standard classroom”, helping them design creative alternatives through collaborative experimentation.

February 20, 2015 at 8:03 am Leave a comment

Keep the good job

On Monday 26/1 it was held the assessment commission  in the Serra Húnter program  for the position COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUES at the University Rovira i Virgili.

I am thrilled to share here this new stage of my academic career: I am an Associate Teacher, Profesor Agregado. I am proud of the work I’ve done so far, but especially grateful to my colleagues from my research group ARGET, my colleagues at the Faculty of Education and Psychology, and my students.

I would like to share the presentation I made to the assessment commission. I will go on working with the same or greater happiness. I love my work in general and teaching in particular. I do not understand teaching as something dissociated from research, and I cannot think of research that does not produce teaching improvement. In ARGET and CLict, I will continue contributing with my vision of education: learning as representation and representation and learning. I do my professional activities at the intersection of education, technology and social semiotics, being interested in anything that can make this world a better place to learn, live and love. by emaze

February 2, 2015 at 8:37 am Leave a comment

Knowledge production dynamics and communicative practices

The temptation to see the educational landscape of the digital age as presenting us with communication practices that redefine social relations is powerful. In classrooms and at home, in institutions and in private, in the professional and personal spheres, in static/designed learning spaces or on the go, or locally and globally, people can now interact more often, faster, with more people at once. They can interact through different media and making use of more modes of communication. In such an all-encompassing context, educators are challenged to make sense of the participation, interaction and collaboration practices that are pushing us forward. Thanks to digital technology, there are emerging models of knowledge construction taking place. Teaching and learning practices and knowledge production are interdependent processes, though we do not always acknowledge that in our everyday educational experiences.

Captura de pantalla 2014-11-27 a les 12.40.15

This is the word cloud of the paper we have just presented for the call for papers:  New learning scenarios from a transformative perspective. From global approaches to local proposals

Fingers crossed for this one! It is an honor to co-author a paper with these guys: Danah HenriksenLinda CastañedaMarta MarimonElena BarberáCarles MonereoCésar CollJabari MahiriPunya Mishra =)

December 2, 2014 at 9:38 am 2 comments

Third best poster award to our paper at CIDUI

10446470_10152188073858144_3555719147561733664_n This paper presents an investigation developed under the framework of an initiative of teaching innovation in which pedagogical practices are restructured targetting a challenge: to provide future kindergarten teachers conditions for their own creativity to flourish. Our reasearch questions are: Can we make teacher education at the university following the creative spiral proposed by Resnik ( 2007)? and What difficulties will we face? The main difficulty identified so far is the tension created by the existence a previously detailed teaching planning and the changes of activity order or adition of new activities to adpt the sessions to the creative spiral. The data obtained so far, however, indicates that implementing the creative spiral or just keeping it in mind for the renewal of a previously prepared program is possible and it improves the motivation of both the teacher and the students.

Gallardo Echenique, E. E., de Oliveira, J. M., Lockhart, E., Francesc, E., Camacho, M., Jacas Osborn, A. E., & Del Prete, A. C. (2014). La espiral creativa en la formación de maestros: Dificultades y potencialidades. Comunicación/Poster presentado en el VIII Congreso Internacional de Docencia Universitaria e Innovación (CIDUI). Tarragona.10474864_10152187104733144_1523131626315352107_n


November 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm Leave a comment

Creativity, Technology & Teaching in Contexts of High Complexity

Creativity has been giving us the best of the times rethinking our teaching practices and trying new things. Education in times of instability requires us to welcome creativity in the learning process, taking advantage of the opportunities that new technologies offer for expanding the horizons of learners. Pre-service student teachers deserve and need to be taught through exciting, innovative, engaging and memorable pedagogical models. The learner generation of the digital age needs their teachers to provide them with creative thinking processes in the undergraduate context. They need to explore the up-to-date technological possibilities. Only then will teachers be able to provide alternative answers to resolve conflicts and dilemmas of every day teaching without having to turn to the control and the authority of traditional practices.

This is what will take me tomorrow to the Berkeley University, in Claifornia. I will be presenting the conference

Creativity, Technology Teaching in Contexts of High Complexity

The widespread use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in all areas has a direct effect on how the world is perceived. This scenario has profound consequences for communication and education, forcing researchers and educators to rethink social relations and processes of knowledge production and distribution in the new conditions of the digital age. My teaching and research motivation is structured around the understanding of communicative processes and techniques in a context of high complexity. It does not mean that communication and learning processes that occur without technologies are “simple”, but it is important to acknowledge and understand the added complexity characteristic of technological mediated processes nowadays. Future educators should be guided by their trainers in the understandings and practices that will enable them to create leaning environments in which natural talent is nurtured and new talents can be developed.

I will let you know how it goes =)


October 14, 2014 at 11:42 am Leave a comment

Exploring Student and Teacher’s Perception of E-textbooks in a Primary School

Hello world,


Some time ago I told you my colleague Mar Camacho and I developed a case study in a primary school in Reus.

I’m proud to announce our study has been accepted for publication in the cientific journal Comunicar and is now available as a In Press article. Hope you enjoy it =)


The potential of technology in digital society offers multiple possibilities for learning. E-books constitute one of the technologies to which great attention has to be paid. This article presents a case study on the perceptions held by a teacher and his students on the use of E-textbooks in a primary education classroom. It examines students’ meaningmaking practices and the perceptions that teachers and students have towards their engagement in learning activities in this context. In the analysis of the data generated, the classroom is considered a multimodal learning space, where virtual, physical and cognitive environments overlap, allowing students to negotiate meaning across multiple contexts and reflect upon it. Results show that e-textbook users’ perceptions greatly depend on the institutional culture in which they are embedded. While the adoption of E-textbooks does not necessarily mean a transition from traditional textbooks to E-textbooks, students and teachers may develop a more demanding range of criteria which must be met by e-textbook providers. By doing this, e-books become a real alternative to free internet resources. Although E-textbooks favor a communicatively active style of learning, there are still real challenges to be overcome by publishers so that E-textbooks do not become the next forgotten fad.


November 20, 2013 at 9:33 am 2 comments

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