Is it Possible to Transform Education?

We all know that technology is changing our lives for a long time now. In the personal and work areas almost nothing is like before. In most cases, the transformations that technology is driving are tremendously positive: we can now unrestrictedly access a vast world of knowledge, interact with other people, and perform multiple tasks in our daily lives more easily and simply.

transforming education

However, there is an area in which technology is not yet promoting a true transformation and where the potential for improvement that it offers are not yet being fully exploited in a generalized way. This area is that of education.

A paradox that illustrates this situation well and that is widely used in the educational world is the following: if we could travel back in time and bring a 19th-century surgeon to a current operating room, he would probably have no idea how to operate. Not only because of the technology present in the operating room but also because of the techniques and methodologies used. However, if we did the same with a teacher, in most cases he would not encounter too many difficulties, since the way of teaching has barely changed and is still based on the same lecture methodology.

Even in some schools where technology has already arrived in the form of computers and interactive whiteboards, this transformation has not occurred either, since technology alone is not enough. A change in methodology is necessary.

From Fundación Telefónica we have chosen education as one of our causes and one of the projects through which we try to achieve this transformation is the Educational Innovation Award. With this project, we want to contribute our grain of sand to advance the goal of achieving a better education for all, which takes full advantage of the creativity and innovation of teachers driven by technology.

We try to make it not just another award, but to serve as an engine of change by working hard on the following aspects:

  • We value the figure of the teacher who innovates in the classroom to get him out of the anonymity of his school and take him to the front pages of the newspapers. We would like them to be examples of inspiration for the rest.
  • We are generating an accessible knowledge base on various platforms, which brings together all the winning works so that any teacher anywhere in the world can learn from them and use them in their classroom.
  • We promote the creation of a community of teachers who can share knowledge and connect directly with other innovators to share experiences and work collaboratively on Facebook, Twitter and in the Working Groups on the Award website itself.
  • We have the best teachers to be leaders of transformation and help us extend innovation to the rest of the education system. Through our Referring Teachers program, many of them collaborate with us by training and supporting those who are just starting out.
  • The call for this year has just closed in July and we are currently evaluating all the works, a process that will end in September with the decision of the jury that will announce the 2012 winners. In addition, starting today, we are preparing the activities in the Learning Community that will last from September 2012 to the March 2013 call so that we can accompany all teachers in the preparation of their work.

I leave you with the presentation we made of the project at the TEDxTelefonica that was held recently in Madrid where we summarized the philosophy of the project and we had the testimonies of some of the participating teachers. For us, his words are proof that great things can be achieved with effort and passion for change.

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