Picture by ailatan – look her up …
This means that the class is much more heterogeneous – in terms of age, language and computer skills – than is usually the case in regular programs of study. Industrial societies tend to standardize their teaching. The ideal class consists of similar students, with the same levels of skill, who move forward at the same deliberate speed – like a Prussian army on the move.
Such synchronization makes teaching easier, no doubt, but will hardly work under digital conditions. The new economy demands innovative individuals and groups. In post-industrial countries the demand for labor shifts from replaceable factory and office workers to creative persons and to teams that combine deep and different skills.
We define LATINA as a course for students, teachers and librarians that want to develop their educational skills on the World Wide Web. The course is aimed equally at those who teach and at those who learn. In digital environments, in fact, the line between the two is often blurred. The knowledge economy challenges the autonomy of the academic sector by linking knowledge to production. Education 2.0 undermines the status of the teacher by removing the distinction between teacher and learner.
In LATINA we invite all participants to explore the learning possibilities of the web in a concrete, practical, group-oriented social setting.
We define this as a collective undertaking. The LATINA staff is responsible for design and infrastructure, for the introduction of new tools and concepts, for practical support and guidance, and for day to day management of the course. But we require participants to take an active part in production, presentation and feedback from Day One.
During the first week of the course they learn to operate some basic digital tools: blogs, gmail, Google Search, Google Docs, Google Translate, Wikipedia. During the second week they add audio-visual tools and produce small learning modules, in the form of digital stories and educational triggers. During the third week they present their own 30 minute learning events in class, supported by multimedial materials produced with the new tools.
- Cracow 2009. A paper and a lecture on LATINA