Next month, the LATINA Lab will do a training course on elearning in Palestine.
Wikipedia offers a convenient overview of education in the West Bank and Gaza. A brief summary follows:
Education in the Palestinian territories refers to the educational system in Gaza and the West Bank administered by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
- In the Palestinian territories education system, compulsory basic education includes Grades 1 to 10 and this is divided into the preparatory stage (Grades 1 to 4) and the empowerment stage (Grades 5 to 10).
- There are three types of schools: boys’ schools (37%), girls’ schools (35%), and co-educational schools (29%).
- Secondary education (general secondary education and a few vocational secondary schools) covers Grades 11 and 12.
- There are 11 universities and 11 technical colleges , mainly with four-year courses.
- Additionally, there are 19 community colleges that mainly offer two-year diploma courses in technical and commercial specializations.
In June, a team of teachers from Oslo and Kampala conducted three training events at Makerere University Library.
The main event was an intensive two week LATINA workshop on elearning and digital librarianship for professional librarians from East Africa. LATINA stands for Learning And Teaching IN A digital world.
From a practical point of view, LATINA is
- a training and development laboratory – the LATINA/Lab – within the Learning Centre and Library of Oslo and Akershus University College of the Applied Science
- a series of training courses, usually lasting for several weeks, that are conducted by this laboratory
- a specific approach to digital learning, teaching, training and change management
When we do a LATINA training, we work with several different time scales.
Individual learning sessions (or learning events) typically last a couple of hours. We do, however, make a much more detailed plan for for the sequence of activities inside each session. Here, the unit of planning plan is seldom longer than ten minutes, and we sometimes plan minute by minute. Each learning session has four basic components: the topic (task/theme), the person or persons that participate as teachers, instructors or assistants, the duration (minutes) and a sequence of learning formats.
A 90 minute session can for instance consist of
- five minute video +
- five minutes group discussion +
- fifteen minutes plenary discussion +
- a five minute demonstration +
- thirty minutes individual computer work +
- twenty minutes plenary discussion (based on the computer exercise)
- ten minutes individual blog writing (e.g. “what did I learn in this session?”)
As the web expands, we start to live double lives
- we continue with our ordinary lives in our physical and social environment – “in real life” (IRL)
- but we also spend increasing amounts of time at our digital screens – where we work, communicate, read, watch and listen
The second life is not unreal, of course. But it takes place in a different environment – which we call virtual.
When we interact with our people, we constantly move between the virtual and the “real”. We use mobile phones to set up physical meetings – but also to document and share those meetings on the web. Our relationships with our people – our social world - integrates the material and the virtual world.
This is also a matter of technology. As long as we must struggle “to get on the web”, we experience the two worlds as separate. When the barriers to access disappear, the distinction between web and physical world becomes meaningless. The boundaries dissolve.
The human world is not natural. Humans make tools and use tools to produce their world. Our landscapes are products of agriculture. Modern cities are products of the industrial age. The emerging global society will – in addition – be a product of digital technology.
Much digital learning takes place in groups. Digital tools are well suited for group work.
Groups should normally be small. That keeps communication easy and informal.
- Groups may be very small – consisting of two or three persons (pairs, triads).
- They may be slightly larger, typically four to seven persons.
- Larger groups than this are hard to manage – and tend to fall apart into sub-groups.
At LATINA participants will often work in groups. Participants learn by working on, discussing, and sometimes struggling with a shared task.
Exercises and projects
This summer I will join forces with Maria Musoke, the dynamic director of Makerere University Library, to give a practical workshop on Statistics for Advocacy (SFA).
SFA is a one day workshop for library professionals that want to use statistics to study, to document and to promote their libraries. The workshop, which is planned for Monday July 2, will use the digital training facilities of Maklib. The curriculum was created by the Statistics and Evaluation Section of IFLA, the International Federation of Library and Information Associations.
Irene, Philliam and Monica from Maklib followed the LATINA course in Oslo in 2010.
The training is part of a coherent series of training modules developed by IFLA for competence building in library associations. The main focus is advocacy, or the ability
- to mobilize people, politicians, parties and governments
- at all levels in society
- to support libraries
- based on their actual contributions to the communities they serve
The program is called Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA).
This paper will be presented at the main IFLA conference in Helsinki:
Picture: From the LATINA Summer course in Oslo 2010
The LATINA approach
The LATINA Lab is a training and development unit within the Learning Centre and Library of the University College of Oslo and Akershus in Norway. The Lab develops, demonstrates and provides intensive training in teaching and learning metods that are based on the current state of – and emerging trends in – user-oriented ICT. This paper will summarize what we have learned from LATINA about using libraries as centers of e-learning, with Maklib and East Africa as an illustrative case.
The LATINA approach is not lecture based, but centered on student, group and production activities. We emphasize the importance of team-work between teachers as will as between students or participants. We generally use software that is free and widely used. Our work is increasingly web-based, cloud-based and multi-media oriented. We access, produce, edit and curate resources through a variety of devices, such as portable computers, touch tablets and mobile phones. The materials we develop before and during our courses are normally published on the open web with a CC license.
LATINA is an international training program aimed at librarians, students, teachers and other professionals who want to develop their digital skills and understanding.
Picture: students from LATINA Summer 2010.
This summer we are offering two courses:
- a two week course in Kampala, Uganda, in cooperation with the Makerere University Library (June 18-29)
- a three week course in Oslo, as part of the HiOA International Summer School (July 2-20)
Recruitment for the Oslo course has already started – see LATINA Summer 2012 for details. Application details for the Kampala course will be announced in February – at LATINA in Africa 2012 and other web sites.
The notes for my final talk at LATINA Winter in Haikou were brief:
A culture is the way we do things:
- a way of acting
- a way of thinking
- a way of teaching
- a way of learning
A culture is a way of life.
- To learn a language is to learn a way of life. Wittgenstein.
Three guidelines on the web
- Be polite
- Be personal
- Be persistent
Last week LATINA Lab conducted an intensive six-day training course in China.
The class had room for thirty students. They had been selected from a substantially larger number of applicants – and were young, bright and hard-working. The Chinese cult/ure of learning is very, very strong.
The tradition goes very far back. High Chinese officials (“mandarins”) were selected on the basis of their learning.
For around 1300 years, from 605 to 1905, mandarins were selected by merit through the extremely rigorous imperial examination [Wp]