The plan.
After 14 days of intensive groundwork we have come up with a first draft of the planning for 2006.

In the beginning of November, a workshop will be organised for the project team members to further develop our vision. The outcomes of this workshop will be:

A detailed working plan for 2006
A mission statement/vision for the IMIH project
A renewed commitment of the project team members
A plan for the integration of the IMIH project in HRCTEM

At the end of November 2005/beginning of December 2005 a workshop will be organised with Cego (http://www.cego.be/). At this workshop we will have an indepth look at the use of ICT for experiental learning (at different learning and teaching levels). The need to link pedagogy and technology will be discussed thoroughly. To some participants this idea may be completely new, for others it will serve as a refresher.

Starting from January 2006, a three month capacity building programme for Information and Communication Technology Integration in Teaching and Learning will be offered to the project team members. Since all project team members are currently enrolled for the ICDL course, the ICTITL programme is a capacity building programme with a focus on the effective integration of ICT in the classroom. The programme will be offered through a mixed mode delivery: a morning session/week combined with e-learning. At this moment, the course instructors (Ms. Quy and Mr. Cornille in collaboration with Mrs. Hong) will use a blog instead of a virtual learning environment. The concept of ‘a feedbook’ will be used and explored (Original blog in English created by Ms. Quy and Mr. Cornille http://thehrctemfeedbook.blogspot.com/). From April 2006 onwards the project team members will become instructors of the capacity building programme. For this purpose they will also start a feedbook (for example http://thefeedbookofQuy.blogspot.com/)

From January till March 2006 a course will be organised on the use of the English language for ICT. This course will serve as a precondition for the HRCTEM community and the 17 pilotschools to further participate in the IMIH project. The UNESCO language training centre has been contacted to develop this course in close collaboration with the IMIH project coordinators. Once the participants have gone through the English for ICT course they can further pursue the capacity building programme of the IMIH project. The programme for the HRCTEM community (40 teachers + 8 administrators) will be launched in April 2006 (untill October 2006). In July an intensive 1 month (F-2-F) programme focused on the basic ICT skills will take place for the pilot schools.

During the month of November and December 2005 the training programme will be designed and developed. The IMIH project will also contribute to the curricula that are currently being developed at the HRCTEM, especially on the integration of ICT in each subject.

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Some more thoughts

I am struggling with the year planning 2006. Although the results are quite clear, the indicators are not at all. They should be more specific or measurable. Also, I feel that the new activities are not well organised or very vague and the workshops are scattered all over the year. I am missing a sense of direction, a clear vision. Actually, what does the IMIH project wants to achieve in 2006? More questions keep on coming to my mind. What are the results after two years? What will the impact be after five years? Etc.

From managerial perspective the IMIH project is running smoothly. Most of the project team members are very motivated and seem to be seriously involved in the project. All project team members have been exposed to best practises through workshops and study tours in Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong. However, it seems that more and more questions are being raised about the benefits of ICT to HRCTEM and the pilotschools.

Some teachers have learned a bit of internet research skills, others did not even open an email account yet. Some teachers have learned Flash or Frontpages but do not seem to understand the benefits from it. Etc. One of the things I learned from the KTTC-VVOB project in Nairobi is that there is a need to set up a total programme. Workshops held every week or every 14 days tend to loose their value because the participants do not get the chance to practise. The use of new softwares or specific internet research techniques are often not difficult, the only secret to it is that you have to practise, practise, practise.

There is a need to set up an intensive training course on how to succesfully integrate ICT in education that will take about six months to complete. This course should be offered through a mixed mode delivery (F-2-F sessions and e-learning) using the concept of a feedbook as a VLE. Ms. Hong has already tested whether we can set up a blog in Vietnamese. She opened the blogspot http://www.hrctem.blogspot.com/ succesfully. Now we can rationalise the yearplanning 2006 and harmonise all workshops, set up different blogs and design a training programme.

Here we go!

The feedbook: food for thought

I have been seriously brainstorming on how to introduce distance learning and e-learning in the IMIH project but I keep on hitting the wall. Personally, I can never manage a virtual learning environment (VLE) in the Vietnamese language. I cannot put posts on the bulletin boards with an assignment or feedback. I cannot enter a chat room or write a simple email to the teachers of the pilot schools. Webquests have to be developped in Vietnamese etc. Everything I literally say or do has to be translated into Vietnamese. Or I have to learn Vietnamese urgently or they have to learn English urgently.

I have just found something that might help me overcome some of my problems. The feedbook is a collection of feeds (including pod cast, blogs and someday soon hopefully vlogs) managed by a course instructor and added to (or pared down) according to student needs. Imagine five instructors all teaching an education course on using new media in the classroom. Students can access the blogs of their instructors instead of reading textbooks or attending costly workshops. You can see the feedbook as a living text, as a sublime team teaching effort, as the ultimate democratic VLE (no cost)…

I think the feedbook might partly be a solution to my attempt to introduce VLE in the IMIH project. What if Ms Quy and myself set up a blog on the integration of ICT in education that is translated into Vietnamese by Ms Hong (possibly in collaboration with other VVOB project on the integration of ICT in education in HCM).
We can already start ‘feeding’ the teachers that are part of this project. In the meantime I will look for a Vietnamese course…

Textbooks are dead! Long live the feedbook!
Food for thought?

Here are some thoughts.

At this stage the IMIH project is organising a lot of workshops on the use of different types of software. At the moment there is a workshop going on to learn to create aminations in Flash. The teacher giving the workshop is Vietnamese but the software is written in English. First problem! For absolute beginners creating an animation in Flash is not easy. For example, it takes days to create the earth that is spinning around and around. So, both the participants and myself are wondering why teachers have to learn Flash in the first place!

Are you a better teacher if you use a Flash animation during your lessons?
Is it the role of a teacher to design Flash animations? etc.

The biggest problem remains that none of the participants speak or understand English. Imagine yourself as an English speaking person using Vietnamese software to access your documents?! This is one of the biggest challenges. It seems that there are two options. Indeed, there is a need to develop Vietnamese software but at the same time the Vietnamese urgently need to learn English if they want to become part of the information society (and they really do!).

We have already introduced some basic Vietnamese software like VIOLET (but it seems to be a very basic tool). A lot more could be done. Also, all project team members are enrolled in an English course. Maybe this opportunity should also be given to the teachers at the pilotschools. By the way, I believe that it is also one of the reasons why the Internet isn’t such a popular tool yet in Vietnamese schools.

Luckily, the Vietnamese people seem to be convinced that ICT somehow has a magical power. They love the latest electronic gadgets! They strongly believe that the day is coming very soon that they will be proficient drivers along the informationhighway just like they are now driving their Honda dream motorcycles along the charming streets of Hanoi.

10 October 2005

Hello hello
I am at a place called Hanoi
It is everything I have ever dreamed off…

(Quote inspired by U2, Vertigo)

For outsiders it might seem a big step from the VVOB project at the Kenya Technical Teachers College (KTTC) in Nairobi to the Hanoi Retraining Teachers College (HRCTEM) in Hanoi but for me it isn’t really.

For the past four years I have been working at the KTTC as a pedagogical/project advisor of an educational management project with a focus on the integration of ICT in education.

In 1999 VVOB initiated a school management project in HRCTEM and Chris Dewael started to implement ICT in schools in and around Hanoi in 2003. I have now taken over as project coordinator of the project called ‘Implementing Information and Communication Technology in schools in Hanoi (IMIH).

Although Asia and Africa are two totally different continents I can already see some similarities too. One of the aims of this blog will be to try to make an comparison between the Asia and Africa especially when it comes to integrating ICT in education.

All this and more on HanoICT.