jueves, 10 de septiembre de 2015

´Congreso Internacional de Educación, Santa Fe, Septiembre 2015

I´m going to start with one the last day´s plenaries, not because of that phrase: "The last shall be first", but because I was startled to know these figures.  In Argentina every given day 12,358,248 students and 758,522 teachers get moving during a normal school day.  Luz Pearson showed us these numbers during her joint presentation with Pablo Bongiovani.  Luz and Pablo shared with us their experience of collaborative work with students who are studying the same thing.  They called it "Aula Red" in Spanish, (something like networked classroom?)  In Spanish we say "Hay Señal" when we want to say that there is wifi connection that enables us to use our devices to communicate.  They showed a slide with the following: "Hay Señal Humana" (There is Human Connection?).  I particularly liked this play on words because I´m constantly experiencing the human touch in my daily contact with teachers from whom I learn every day.  It has been happening on a regular basis since I started interacting online back in 2012.  Today we are not constrained by space and time, they said, on the contrary these boundaries are blurred by the use of technology.  I was happily surprised to see Mariana Fossatti, a dear Uruguayan teacher who led me during those early times of web use in one of their slides.  Small world!
I met another person from Uruguay: Jose Miguel Garcia who was responsible for my tears on this congress (I always cry at congresses at some point) when he showed a video made by students who were invited to re-imagine schools.  I was delighted to hear his story of how collective knowledge is constructed within the Plan Ceibal, a scheme I have heard of first regarding the distance teaching of English, via Grahan Stanley. 
Several speakers stressed the importance of reflective practice, and the need to create opportunities for critical analysis of media in a country where there are more screens per family than books and magazines.  
I was attracted by the slogan of the congress and I hope that what the speakers shared during these days catch up in Argentinian classrooms.  I am already looking forward to next year´s edition.