The ICT4ALL team (Angelos, Dimitra, Christos) is one of the winners of SlideWiki’s Open CourseWare competition. You can read ICT4ALL’s interview about their experience at SlideWiki’s Open CourseWare competition and their plans for using SlideWiki in the future here below.
1) Please introduce yourself and your team (Name, Professional Background, current working position.
The three “core” members of the ICT4ALL (Angelos, Dimitra, Christos) initially collaborated in 2012 to meet the needs of an oncoming online course on digital tools in environmental education. We discussed how we could employ our individual competences and different skills to share the workload and the same time reach to a successful educational outcome by joining our knowledge and abilities. The admittedly big success of that course was the main incentive for us to continue our partnership. Since then, we have welcomed and incorporated into the ICT4ALL team several teachers wanting to reach the educational goals we have set for the best possible course delivery. Additionally, we continuously investigate our practice in our effort to improve the courses that we deliver and we have published several articles in academic journals and conferences on respective topics (for more about our publications see here: http://ict4all.gr/e-learning/mod/page/view.php?id=5).
We have set out five fundamental learning principles based upon which we structure our training courses and the rest of the activities. The principles are:
- Learning is first and foremost a sharing process. The content of our courses is shared online freely and it is openly available to the community for reading, reviewing, and building upon. Furthermore, we encourage participants in our courses to share online the educational material and artefacts that they develop.
- Learning is an experiential process based on real needs and it is achieved through interaction among students and between students and teachers
- Productive learning can be cultivated only in a climate of collaboration. We aim to collaborate in all levels (from goal-setting to conducting the courses and activities) and we try to engage our students as much as possible
- Learning how to learn is always an overarching goal since we want to build autonomous students
- Autonomy is a fundamental prerequisite for lifelong learning
These principles are the foundation elements of the acronym ICT4ALL: Interactive & Collaborative Teaching for Autonomous & Lifelong Learning.
Dimitra Theodosiadou is a graduate of the School of Primary Education, Aristotle University, Greece and works as a primary school teacher for almost 20 years. She holds a Master of Science in e-Learning, University of Ulster, UK and a Master in Educational Sciences and Lifelong Learning with specialization in ICT in Education, University of Macedonia, Greece.
Angelos Konstantinidis is a PhD researcher at the Open University of Catalonia, Spain and online tutor at the University of Nottingham, UK. He has taught computer science courses in all levels of Greek formal education system since 2002 and is acknowledged as the main proponent of the ICT4ALL initiative.
Christos Pappos is a graduate of the Department of Computer Systems Engineering, Piraeus University of Applied Sciences and works as computer science teacher in 2nd Vocational school of Drama, at the same time is responsible for the IT laboratories of the school.
2) How was your experience participating in SlideWiki’s OpenCourseWare Competition?
Very positive overall. We were happy that we could showcase our work to the community through such a contest.
Having said that, we have to note that in our case we developed our presentation mostly offline and only when it was nearly ready we uploaded it on the Slidewiki platform. Although we value a lot the initiative and the platform, we noticed that the interface is not so friendly for the end-user and there are still several issues that need to be improved in the platform. But we hope that these problems will be successfully addressed in the near future!
3) SlideWiki, an EU-funded project, enables the collaborative creation of free teaching and learning materials. These include, for instance, slide sets, lecture notes and course content. What is special about this platform?
Slidewiki is a very promising initiative. First and foremost, it offers a platform to educators to publish and share their work without the need to use commercial platforms. Second, it allows reuse and adaptation of existing resources and content. Third, it allows the collaborative creation of material. In any case, the collaborative and editing feature, was much appreciated as we are used in collaborative working as a team.
4) According to your opinion, which are the target groups that can best benefit from using the SlideWiki platform?
We think that all teachers across all education levels can equally benefit from SlideWiki as well as trainers of all specialisation. Naturally, students can also work, either individually or in groups, to create their presentations on given assignments, add comments, make notes etc. The activity feed can help in monitoring, up to a certain point, the contribution of each member, and at the same time could work as a motivator for participation.
5) How do you evaluate the importance of Open Course Ware and Open Educational Resources for all educational levels?
We firmly believe that the creation of high quality OCW and OER is very important as it allows and encourages teachers to share good practices with other teachers and get credit for their work.
Since we began collaborating as a team, one of the goals that we set was to promote the use of OER through developing OER in our courses and through encouraging teachers participating in our courses to disseminate their work online for other teachers to use. Also, our initiative has been accredited by the Open Education Europa. Since February 2016 the ICT4ALL initiative is included among the best practices and we have been awarded a Pioneer in Open Education badge.
6) Do you or your organization plan to continue using SlideWiki in the future?
Definitely. In our discussions we decided that we should upload the presentations from our next courses on the platform and encourage the participants in our courses to create and share their work on the platform. We wholeheartedly wish that slidewiki becomes a dominant platform for educational presentations in the near future!