As you know, during this week we have been preparing a campaign called “The dark side of text books” for which we had to prepare a series of advertisements based on the reading of 4 texts. Thanks to this lecture, Linda’s explanation and the reflection of all the entire class that we did about each of the ads, fables and speeches we had prepared this reflection. Our group has learned and reflected on many things that were partly covered by the adverts and now I relate.
Education is not neutral even when you try, as it depends on the ideas of the teacher, school and even the textbook. It is also a matter of the publishers, who control the knowledge and thus have the power, although the administration dictates the contents, but the textbook does not have the absolute truth, they are not neutral and may contain errors. Publishers act as experts who provide content and the consumer does nothing, so they have no competition and it just makes your prices higuer, which has enabled this business to be one of the few businesses that have not lost money in recent years. After 3 or 4 years what they do in general is reorganize a bit the content or minimally change a few things to force parents to buy the book again and thus they can not use what they already had of his eldest son, or the one you can borrow from the neighboor or friend. Usually the price tends to rise in the new edition. Many authors criticize the illegality of the use of used books and blame administrations of complicit in piracy by promoting free educational content. In countries like USA the used book market is more popular than here, where students donate or sell them to schools. We think this also should be introduced here in a normal way and we think it should be illegal to take away the opportunity of a family without resources to acquire a book donated free and force them to spend money. The state would also cut spending and subsidies in such families.
Publishers also believe that the properties of the contents are the most important thing. Mr. José Moyano, belonging to the national association of publishing and teaching materials also agrees that publishers should take the lead role in creating digital content adapted to new technologies. In addition, those publishing houses are critical saying that there are not studies that demonstrate that the use of technology enhances the process of teaching, and that the machine (referring to the computer) does not apport knowledge. In response to this man and many others, our group as primary consumer of them replied that it is true that they improve the process and the only thing that make the contents of the books explained and worked from traditional methodologies are repetitive and memory skills. We also have to say that the computer could allow significant savings of paper, efforts to bring children so much weight, economic spending by parents and government.
From our point of view, the knowledge that can bring a group of teachers working together and exchanging ideas can be much richer than that of the publishers. Jordi Adell gives a series of ideas about it saying that the best thing that the government could make is subsidizing the most innovative groups of teachers to share their material free on the net. In fact he says that these groups already exist but are not supported by the government. As shown in one of our ads, in general the methodologies in the classroom have hardly changed and the role of the textbook continues to exist even in digital format. How can we use them as the main tools in school like 500 years ago? How can we want to use them in this era of new technologies in the same way if neither the content you have to transmit nor the available resources nor the context is the same? As Jordi Adell says, digital format that publishers are proposing is almost the same as the book, but only by putting a flash animation. Even many publishers create add-ins cd type or websites where there are some exercises, animations and videos about the topic and that are accessible only with a special code you get when you buy the book. This is a way of increasing the sale price and ensuring the sale.
Finally, after the activity and through our own experience with different teachers we have had throughout our lives is clear that anyone can be a teacher today following the textbook, of course a bad teacher. This use of the textbook as the Bible means the deprofessionalization of teachers, who could be replaced by a machine perfectly. These teachers are those who prefer the use of digital books because they are less innovative and less involved to student learning. Classes do not always have the same type of children and a teacher must be able to explain things in different ways for them not only as coming in the textbook and must be receptive to their students existing a feedback between them. The book can be used as a support for your explanations and methods, not as a bible that will tell you all you have to do. We must not be afraid of the change and we hope that Jordi Adell success in their predictions about the future, about those centers that do not use computers will have to start giving explanations soon and that schools that insist in the extremal use of the textbooks having Internet will not be very well received. We also want to include that a bad teacher is still bad even using new technologies in the classroom.
Reflection of practiceAccording to what we have learned by doing the reflection of the ads, we conclude that we should spend more time doing the brainstrorming as we focus on an idea and what we have to do first is to consider them all and then delve into each one of them. In this way we believe we may have more ideas. Another thing we need to improve is the planning, that although we have not done wrong because we have followed a proper order (brainstorming, script, role distribution, equipment and props ...) we should get together every day after school to organize our time in a natural way without anyone having to be remembering anything.
The truth is that we all were surprised at the amount of time and recordings that requires recording an advertisement. We were more than 4 hours recording, and editing about 12 hours because you have to manage well the program and spend time to view tutorials.We have also realized the importance of not violating copyright by both the use of music and taking care in not showing books for avoiding any problems with the book publishers.We really enjoyed this activity despite the time spent and difficulty. This makes us reflect on the difficulties we encounter in other courses that use a different methodology compared to Linda’s. We have concluded that if you compare the two apporaches for web 1.0 (other subjects) and web 2.0 (Linda's metodology) it is truth that for students using web 2.0 is more difficult at the beggining but then is easier because you are very motivated and have fun with your work. I hope you have learned something like us with these posts. I have uploaded a video which talks a bit about the things we have learned. This is a video of Professor Richard Baraniuk from Rice University. He is a founder and leader of the open education movement, which aims to share knowledge and teaching materials freely over the internet. In this video he explains the vision behind Connexions, his open-source, online education system. It cuts out the textbook, allowing teachers to share and modify course materials freely, anywhere in the world.