What confined education has stripped
We should not fool ourselves either: many of the limitations uncovered in those months were not only due to the strange circumstances of a confined education, but that critical global incident unearthed, revealed some of the deepest, endemic, chronic pathologies of our teaching system. The emperor suddenly showed himself naked in the eyes of all (Pozo, 2020). The closure of the schools revealed the enormous educational inequalities or the marginal role of families, who were suddenly forced to manage the day-to-day running of the school learning process. We were also able to see the lack of training for teachers in order to deal with this digital education and, what is even worse, the scarce and disorganised digital resources that the administration could make available to these same teachers. These made it necessary to implement multiple support initiatives for teachers, students and families, such as EducamosContigo, a volunteer and advice platform promoted by a group of teachers and students from the Autonomous University of Madrid.
This situation also revealed obsolete forms of teaching and evaluation that do not respond to the training needs of the society we live in (Pozo, 2020). The most frequent teaching activities have been centred on a one-way use of digital spaces: teachers transmitted information to the students who could afterwards return tasks in order to be marked. On the other hand, spaces for interaction and collaboration have been scarce (Devitt et al., 2020; Pozo et al., 2020). In other words, the confined school has perpetuated traditional teaching models: teachers handled the entire flow of information instead of helping students to better manage their interaction with digital technologies in their daily lives.
It is a question of taking advantage of this cultural symbiosis to change the dose of activities, to do less teacher-centred tasks and more student-centred ones, facilitating the opening of the classroom to other physical and social spaces, breaking down the walls that usually surround the school (Fernández-Enguita, 2017), but also the walls of the disciplines, to encourage Project Based Learning or those challenges proposed by Monereo (2020). This requires a change in goals and priorities, rethinking the ways of evaluating (confined education has made it so evident: what is the point of assessing by asking for knowledge that can be retrieved from Google or Socratic instead of evaluating how this knowledge is used to face specific challenges, problems or decisions?) It is also about encouraging cooperation rather than individualism -an endemic evil in our educational culture-, promoting autonomous learning, etc. etc. Principles that are not new but which may become necessary with proper incorporation of digital culture into the classroom.
Hybrid education must lead to a fusion school that, without losing sight of its essential goals, knows how to integrate these possibilities offered by digital technologies, promoting an epistemic use of them (Pozo, 2020). Let’s turn hybridisation into a true crossbreeding, because, let’s remember, only by reconstructing the services of these technologies from the school can we teach students not only to live with them but above all to transform them and themselves.
10 ideas to renew the ways of teaching and learning in a hybrid or mixed education
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