“We need to change the notion of ’employment for my whole life‘ to ’employability for my whole life‘ because nobody knows where your next chance to succeed will be.” – Ovi Barceló, Spain
To celebrate five years of Daily Edventures, we’re sharing some of our favorite posts. This Daily Edventure was originally published on August 14, 2012.
“I have always seen education in a different way,” says Ovi Barceló. “I have never believed that it was about sitting down (at a desk) and listening. So since the very beginning of my professional life, I tried to listen and learn in order to know how to change that perception.
As a teacher at Julio Verne school in Valencia, Spain, Barceló championed the use of technology in education. When he became IT coordinator in 2005, Barceló decided it was his “chance to learn from the best. I attended many forums and trainings and listened to experts who believed that change was possible.” Most recently, Barceló has been an active part of the Partners in Learning Network. “Because of my training and the information I have gained, I have been able to transmit to my school mates and school leaders how important the changes in technology are for our students.”
Today, Barceló gives his perspective on the need for a common global language, and why technology is such a necessary part of employability and success.
What has changed as a result of your efforts?
The principal change in my school and in the schools around me has been the way of thinking about what education is. I’ve been lucky because I have been able to transmit the passion for changing education to the teachers of Julio Verne and we together have made it a different school. Now we talk about “skills” instead of “content” (we follow the program Leap21). We know that learning is everywhere and we extend our lessons 24/7 through our platforms. We linked Moodle and live@edu, making them a unique learning management system. We understand that mobile devices are a great chance to learn, and unlike other schools, we encourage their use instead of banning them from the school.
Now teachers of Julio Verne want to be leaders in education (we have participated in the Partners in Learning European forum in Moscow 2011 and in Lisbon 2012 (1 and 2), submitting various cases studies (http://www.cjulioverne.com.es/casestudy/ and ShareIT!) We share what we learn. Educaclic is a forum where our teachers share their projects with teachers of other schools around the country. We are a Partners in Learning Mentor School.
I have been invited to become a “Windows in the Classroom” advisor and will soon be attending a training.
We have given a voice to our students. We have created a group called Students2, which works toward improving education and delivering solutions from the students’ point of view, which we believe is as important as ours.
How can others facing similar challenges implement what you’ve learned through your work?
As I say in my blog, “My passion for IT and education innovations makes me share all I learn so I have learnt by what other people shared.” I publish every innovation I create, every idea I learn and every project I create.
I have attended several training sessions this year in different cities, and have collaborated with Microsoft at the National Forum, and in a couple of sessions during the Partners in Learning European Forum.
How have you applied technology in innovative ways to support your work?
Technology is everywhere in my school. But to highlight one, paper is disappearing in Julio Verne and it is being substituted with OneNote. No matter if teachers are older or younger, technology in Julio Verne is a tool that improves the processes. That’s why we use it.
What my department is trying to do is to make it as transparent as we can. SSO (single sign on) login, for example, makes every teacher have a positive perspective of the use of technology in education.
We don’t want to forget that we are teachers and our goal is to teach students to make them better people. We TEACH using the best tools. That’s it.
What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome to ensure students are
receiving a quality education?
Changes are very difficult to implement in Spain. Even when we are living this incredible rate of unemployment and our young people are moving to other countries, we still believe those issues have nothing to do with education. “Classical” paradigms are even stronger now. ICT, playful learning or other new ways of thinking are seen as a waste of time. There is not a culture of innovation, and families need to trust in the teachers that are trying to change. Teachers are not well-considered in Spain, so that trust is even harder to gain.
What is your country doing well currently to support education?
It’s difficult. Cutting teacher salaries, increasing rates of children per classroom … there is not a nice outlook for education in Spain. But crisis means opportunity. Now is the time for us to double efforts and demonstrate to Spanish society that through innovation, we can change our future.
What conditions must change in your country to better support education?
Language policies. English in Spain is a big issue. There is not an international culture; we need to open our minds and realize that the world is wider than our borders and to get there we need a common language to communicate (and many other things).
We need to change the notion of “employment for my whole life” to “employability for my whole life” because nobody knows where your next chance to succeed will be; without the language barrier, success could be anywhere.
What is the best opportunity for innovation in education?
For me it is cloud computing. Technology nowadays is an ally for teachers, so we can improve motivation with it. The chance we have to allow students to learn wherever they are and no matter what kind of device they have, is the best tool we teachers have. Of course, in this way, we are giving our students other kinds of skills even more useful than the content we are delivering.
What advice would you give a new teacher (or to anyone wanting to make a difference in education)?
Trust in your students. They know what they want and you are the adult who knows how to give it to them. Don’t blame time or lack of resources. It’s all up to you.
What educational “trend” do you think is helping students? Is there a trend that is getting in the way of learning?
Of course, it is technology. Technology is a part of every single job, so if we want our students to be competent in their future, we have to give them the technological skills they are going to need.
If you could give one educational tool to every child in the world, what would it be? Why?
I would give a teacher, but a teacher with capital letters. No matter where a student is or the resources he/she has, if there is a great teacher, their success is guaranteed.
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About Ovi Barceló
Birthplace: Valencia. Spain
Current residence: Valencia, Spain
Education: English and PE Teacher. Expert in MS Office and MCT.
Website I check every day: Twitter
Person who inspires me most: My dad
Favorite childhood memory: Summers with my friends
Next travel destination (work or pleasure): Vienna
When was the last time you laughed? Why? Every day. I’m waiting for a baby.
Favorite book: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Favorite music: U2
Your favorite quote or motto: Coexist!