Estefanía Ruiz has a degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked as an Initial II Teacher in the Cardenal de la Torre Private Educational Unit, in the center of Quito, for 5 months. His work routine consisted of going to school daily, teaching, evaluating and planning the contents.
However, after confinement due to the pandemic this changed. His face-to-face day became virtual by order of the authorities to prevent the spread of covid-19 in Ecuador.
The change meant that he became interested in learning more about tele- education to continue providing a quality education to his students. He chose to follow the online training in Digital Teacher Competency.
The program is offered by Poliestudios, an educational services company that has proposals based on information and communication technologies.
The proposal was born in mid-March 2020, due to the health emergency. Since then and until April 19, the program has trained 283,000 teachers from Ecuador and Latin America online.
Verónica Jiménez, academic director of Poliestudios, says they launched the proposal noting that the teachers were desperate and made mistakes in sending assignments to students and in videoconferences.
“The program is for teachers to learn virtual education techniques and to understand that virtuality is not only based on a video conference but must also generate techno-pedagogical content,” says Jiménez.
Through any electronic device with an internet connection, the teacher can be trained through the program. To enter, you must fill out a registration form and through webinars or virtual conferences start learning.
The contents taught, Ruiz explains, revolved around virtual classrooms, online teamwork, digital tasks, assessments and exams. The teacher also learned about the PACIE methodology that allows the use of ICT; its abbreviations refer to the Pr esence, Scope, Training, Interaction and E-learning.
The program received support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to continue. His goal is to reach 500,000 teachers by June.
The courses, Jiménez explains, are free. They are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on the Poliestudios fanpage. They also have training that is more specific and serves teachers not only as professional advancement but also for recategorization and for merit and opposition contests.
Ruiz must teach the classes via Zoom, Google Meet, Loom or other tools and with the training, the most important change that he evidenced is the proper management of these platforms in his day.
Education for older adults
The platform is always open. Teachers from public, municipal and private schools participate, says Jiménez. Most are in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca.
Teachers from the Universidad Santiago de Guayaquil, Salesiana, Central and Bolívar State have also been registered . At the end they are given a certificate endorsed by the Technical Secretariat for Professional Qualification (Setec) and the Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica.
Older adults, emphasizes Jiménez, is the most conflictive age, but they achieve excellent results. There are teachers who did not know how to turn on a computer or locate themselves in a virtual tool, but have lost their fear of technology and can now educate virtually. (I)