Scholarly article on topic 'Digital Images, Video and Web Conferences in Education: A Case Study'

Digital Images, Video and Web Conferences in Education: A Case Study Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — Ana-Maria Suduc, Mihai Bîzoi, Gabriel Gorghiu, Laura-Monica Gorghiu

Abstract Although the access to the computers and the Internet at home is quite widespread in the European countries, the use of them at home for school related learning activities comparing to the use for entertainment is much lower with about 30 percentages (Eurydice, 2011). The paper aims to present an analysis of the feedback collected from a group of teachers, from 9 counties, after they have been trained, within a POSDRU project, to integrate in education different multimedia applications. Among others, the results shows that although most of the teachers have a computer in their classroom or constant access to a computer room (78%) with Internet access (66%), only a low number of the teachers have used in the past digital images, videos and web conferences in the teaching-learning-evaluation process.

Academic research paper on topic "Digital Images, Video and Web Conferences in Education: A Case Study"

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 46 (2012) 4102 - 4106 —

WCES 2012

Digital images, video and web conferences in education: a case

Ana-Maria Suduc a *, Mihai Bizoi a, Gabriel Gorghiu a, Laura-Monica Gorghiu b

a Electrical Engineering Faculty, Valahia University Targoviste, 18-24 Unirii Blvd., Targoviste 130082, Romania b Faculty of Sciences and Arts, Valahia University Targoviste, 18-24 Unirii Blvd., Targoviste 130082, Romania

Abstract

Although the access to the computers and the Internet at home is quite widespread in the European countries, the use of them at home for school related learning activities comparing to the use for entertainment is much lower with about 30 percentages (Eurydice, 2011). The paper aims to present an analysis of the feedback collected from a group of teachers, from 9 counties, after they have been trained, within a POSDRU project, to integrate in education different multimedia applications. Among others, the results shows that although most of the teachers have a computer in their classroom or constant access to a computer room (78%) with Internet access (66%), only a low number of the teachers have used in the past digital images, videos and web conference s in the teaching-learning-evaluation process.

© 2012 Published b y Elsevier Ltd. Se lection and/or peer review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Huseyin Uzunboylu Keywords: First keywords, second keywords, third keywords, forth keywords;

1. Introduction

The use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in education is an important element in the European Commission's strategy to ensure the effectiveness of European education systems and the competitiveness of the European economy. In all European countries there are implemented specific national strategies to foster the use of ICT in education. In Romania, in 2001, there was initiated such a program, named IT Based Educational System, focused to encourage innovative teaching and to stimulate the creativity of both students and teachers (Suduc, Gorghiu, Bizoi, & Gorghiu, 2008). Since then, the Romanian teachers have been trained to use computers at a basic level. In the last years, there was reported an increasing need for a more complex professional development program to help the teachers to gain advanced skills in using ICT in the educational process. In this context, in 2010, has been funded the "EDUTIC - A network for teachers professional development with the view to increase the quality of ICT implementation in the Romanian primary and secondary education" (POSDRU/19/1.3/G/37002) project, in the frame of Sectoral Operational Programme, Human Resources Development. The project partnership consisted of Valahia University Targoviste (coordinator) and the Scholar Inspectorates from nine counties of Romanian South-Muntenia Region (Arge§, Buzau, Calara§i, Dambovita, Giurgiu, Ialomita, Olt, Prahova, Teleorman). The overall objective of the project was to improve the qualifications of in-service teachers in lower

* Ana-Maria Suduc. Tel.: +40-072-254-8868 E-mail address: anasuduc@yahoo.com

ELSEVIER

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Huseyin Uzunboylu doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.06.207

education, by developing and delivering a training program to help teachers to acquire the necessary skills to integrate ICT in the educational process.

2. Digital images, video and web conferences

There is a significant research work that promotes the use of digital images and video in the classroom. The rich images coming from television, web, or from our own cameras lead us to a more visually world, and therefore the need for visual literacy in education has increased. "The power of digital images in the classroom comes not from its capacity to allow us to perform old tasks differently, but from its capacity to let us do things we could not have done before at all" (Thornburg & Thornburg, 2004). Video is a very flexible medium and the ability to stop, start and rewind it can be invaluable (Griffin, 2011). A survey conducted by Corporation for Public Broadcasting found that teachers are "overwhelmingly positive about the use of video in the classroom" because it: stimulates classroom discussion, reinforce lectures and reading, provide a common base of knowledge among students and helps them teach more effectively (Cruse, 2006). Although there are a lot of excellent collections of images and video materials available, images and videos produced by the teacher for educational purposes - created with the needs of the classroom in mind - will be structured in a way to most effectively meet the particular teacher and students needs. Web conferencing is another technology which started to change the way students communicate with each other or with teachers, and the way education is provided. Web conferencing systems can provide benefits in almost all educational environments: students who cannot make it to class for different reasons could participate in a live class meeting from another location; distance students can communicate instantly with their classmates or teachers; experts from around the world can interact with students (Schroeder, 2008).

3. Method and Results

The EDUTIC training program included two modules: 1) one mandatory - Module 1. Techniques and methods to integrate ICT, Internet and Multimedia in Lower Education, which included three courses: Fundamentals on pedagogical use of ICT in education, E-learning technologies and learning platforms, and ICT tools for designing teaching materials; 2) and one to choose between Module 2a. Development and use of multimedia training materials for students with two courses: Visual communication and multimedia technology in education -Procedures for integrating multimedia applications in education and Module 2b. The use of virtual instrumentation in schools' laboratories with another two courses: Teaching methodologies and pedagogical strategies based on the use of virtual instrumentation - Designing learning activities which include the use of virtual experiments in education. In order to broaden and facilitate access to target group, the training programme was designed as a blended learning system with face to face activities and also distances activities, with the help of a Moodle platform. This system has the advantage that reduces the traditional constraints of travelling and framing in a rigid timetable (Suduc, Bizoi, & Filip, 2009).

The EDUTIC training programme was addressed mainly to 500 teachers from lower and upper secondary schools, but also to a group of primary teachers, from 9 Romanian counties. Because the Module 2b was more focused on activities appropriate to lessons of math, physics and chemistry, and Module 2a was focused on the use of multimedia in general, in any subject, the number of teachers who attended Module 2a was higher than the one of the teachers who has chosen to follow the activities of the Module 2b. At the end of the training, the participants were asked to provide a feedback related to the activities of each Module. The participants were asked to voluntarily respond to questionnaires (one for each module) that were provided to them in an electronic format, on the Moodle platform. In the following there will be presented the results obtained at Module 2a.

3.1. Respondents' profile

On Module 2a, 350 responses were collected. From the total of 350 respondents, 2% were aged under 25, 31% had the age between 25 and 35, 32% between 35 and 45, 31% between 45 and 55 and 3% over 55. Due to a high

number of female teachers in the Romanian education system, the group of respondents included 92% females and 8% males. Regarding the level of teaching, 25% were primary teachers, 36% lower secondary school teachers and 39% upper secondary school teachers.

The responses to the question: "In the school you work, have you the possibility to and use a computer during lessons? ", shows that school are better equipped with computers and usually the Romanian teachers started to use computers in classroom more frequently than a few years ago (Suduc, Gorghiu, Bizoi, & Gorghiu, 2008). Thus, 17% responded they use computer in the classroom very often, 26% often, 35% sometimes, 13% rarely and 8% very rarely/never.

3.2. Previous uses

Module 2a focused on two important aspects: a) ICT training of teachers and 2) changing the teachers beliefs about using multimedia elements in teaching and learning, because, according to Mumtaz (2000), teachers' use of ICT in the classroom depends on several factors such as school and national policies, availability and access to resources, support in school, ICT training, or teachers' own beliefs about teaching and learning.

Besides the main information about multimedia and the use of multimedia in schools, the training Module 2a included practical information related to digital editing of images and videos and also to web conferencing.

The Module 2a questionnaire included three questions related to the previous teachers' use of these three elements: digital images, digital videos (Figure 1) and web conferencing software.

Figure 1 shows that 35% of the respondents never or seldom used digital images in the classroom. An even higher percentage of teachers, 54%, declared, they never or seldom used digital videos in the classroom.

Asked about the use of web conferences in the educational process, the interviewed teachers responded in a very high percentage, 85%, that they have never or almost never used such a system at the classroom or in their relationships with the students, 8% responded seldom, 5% sometimes, 1% often and another 1% almost always.

Figure 1. Previous uses of a) digital images and b) digital movies in the classroom

3.3. Participants ' satisfaction and future intended uses

In the second part of the survey, the participants were asked to indicate if they liked the aspects presented during training about digital images editing, digital video editing and web conferencing. Participants presented also to what extent they think the information related to editing digital images and video and web conferencing are useful for their work and if they intend to use these information (Figure 2 and Table 1).

Related to the usefulness of the information presented in the training module about the digital images editing, the mean of the responses was 4.3, from a scale from 1, not very useful, to 5, very useful. The same average rank of 4.3 was reported for the usefulness of the information about the video editing, and only a score of 3.2 for web

conferencing. To the question To what extent have you liked the aspects presented in this training module about a) digital image editing, b) video editing and c) web conferencing, the scores reported are higher: 4.6, 4.5 and 3.8.

It can be noted that the average ranks obtained at the question related to the future intended uses of the presented aspects are mainly lower than the ranks obtained at the questions related to the likeness and, in some cases, to the usefulness. The differences might be explained by the technical limitations (equipments and support stuff) in the school the respondent teachers work.

Figure 2. a) Usefulness and b) future intended uses of digital images, digital movies and web conferences

Table 1. Usefulness and b) future intended uses of digital images, digital movies and web conferences — average ranks

Digital images (editing)

Digital videos (editing)

Web conferencing

Usefulness Likeness Future intended uses

4.3 4.6 4.3

4.3 4.5 4.2

3.2 3.8 2.7

Figure 3. Teachers' percqjtion on the training module

At the end of the questionnaire, the respondents were asked to give a rank from one to five to six statements which describe their perception on this training module and their progress during training. Most of the teachers were excited about the topic of the training (average rank: 4.3). With some exceptions, the teachers' enthusiasm has gradually increased during the training (average rank: 4.4). More than 90% of the respondents considered that the

training module was interesting and very interesting (average rank: 4.7). And because one main objective of any training is to determine the trainee to apply the new information and search for more, this training has achieved this objective: most of the teachers declared that the information provided in the Module 2a have stimulated them to deepen the subject (average rank: 4.5). It was interesting to observe that the teachers, in a high percentage, found what they have learned useful for their teaching activities (average rank: 4.5), but in a higher percentage useful for their personal life (average rank: 4.4).

4. Conclusions

Digital images and videos use in to the classroom moves teaching beyond the textbook and makes connections to the world in which the students actually live. When presented digital media within the contexts of problem solving or project based learning situations, the students will view how the information within their textbooks actually applies to them.

Because the images and videos produced by the teachers, with specific needs of the lessons and particularities of the students in mind, are better than ones made by others, the Module 2a of the Edutic training program aimed to help teachers to improve their ICT knowledge with digital image editing, digital video editing and web conferencing skills. The results presented in this paper shows that such training programs are welcomed by the Romanian teachers of any subject and the educational process has the potential to be improved by a more intensive use of visual media in the classroom.

Acknowledgements

This work was funded through the project "EDUTIC - A network for teachers professional development with the view to increase the quality of ICT implementation in the Romanian primary and secondary education" (P0SDRU/19/1.3/G/37002) developed in the frame of the Sectoral Operational Program for Human Resources Development 2007-2013. The support offered by the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sport, through the Managing Authority for the Sectoral Operational Program Human Resources Development, as responsible for the management of European Social Fund in the fields of human resource development, through the project mentioned above, is gratefully acknowledged.

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