Quito, May 6, 2019
Ibero-American winner: "Being a teacher means leaving your soul in a classroom"
With 26 years of teaching experience in Higher Secondary Education, Mexican Margarita Euán Vázquez decided to participate in the VI Ibero-American Contest of Educational Excellence organized by FIDAL.
With the collaboration of three colleagues from the Center for Agricultural Technological Baccalaureate No 24 (CBTA 24) of Chiapas, he created the project "WII, Inclusion of ICT", which proposes the design of didactic strategies that promote the development of professional skills in students from the inclusion of ICT, and was chosen as the best project at the Ibero-American level.
Euán won a prize of 5,000 dollars thanks to Unicef and will travel to Microsoft's global education event. Learn more about this excellent teacher who has dedicated her life to teaching and research in the educational area.
1. How did your teaching career start?
Since I was a child I wanted to be a teacher. However, my father was a teacher of basic education and in those years the salary of the teacher in Mexico was very low, so he did not allow me to study the career as such. Despite this, the call of my vocation was yet to come. One January 1993 I was invited to be a teacher at CBTA 24 and that is where my adventure of learning began.
2. What does being a teacher mean to you?
Being a teacher means leaving my soul in a classroom, giving my best to train future professionals in Mexico. Convinced that education, as Nelson Mandela said, is the weapon that can change the world, it is the only weapon we need in the world. Being a teacher is my essence, my life, my passion.
3. What is the project "WII, Inclusion of ICT" with which you became the winner of the Educational Excellence Contest? How was the idea born and what is it projected in the future?
The purpose of the project was to identify the impact of the “Wii” digital inclusion strategy on the development of competencies in CBTA 24 students. The concern and need to carry it out arises from identifying the digital divide with which first semester students enter the campus when taking the ICT course, this was in 2015, but it was until the 2016-2017 school year that it could be carried out.
The instruments used to collect the data were two questionnaires with closed questions designed by IBERTIC for digital inclusion projects, which includes social aspects, the pedagogical use of ICTs, infrastructure and available equipment, institutional support or management and learning of the students.
Implementing an ICT inclusion project implies substantial changes in the daily work of the school, training students, adaptation of spaces, students, fellow social service tutors, incorporation of students to research and strengthening the competencies of the teachers involved. It was developed within the framework of the Educational Goals towards 2021 and the Regional Cooperation Project for the integration of digital culture in IBERTIC educational systems.
The project achieved that 70% of the students involved were located at good and acceptable levels of use of ICT, and 30% at an excellent level, that is, capable of processing and interpreting information using information and communication technologies, and that these competences allow and make their daily work more efficient.
After implementing the strategy, the students were able to achieve the four levels of integration of the technology that improves in complexity and effect from a simple substitution, this implied asynchronous and synchronous classes, the use of social networks and advance in the level of knowledge of the
basic productivity tools. The didactic classroom was transformed, from being simple and ordinary, to being a classroom with ICT resources, but more than that in a classroom with warmth. With the use of ICT, the students were able to develop professional skills to formulate and execute community development projects.
For rural youth with scarce technological resources, including a single subject in the ICT curriculum for Upper Secondary Education is insufficient given persistent digital poverty; It is necessary to consider this context for the design of study plans and programs, it is necessary to equip schools so that students can achieve competence in the use of ICT, which is also a competence considered in the profile of graduation from upper secondary education , a single subject is not enough if we want to offer understandable equity as part of educational quality.
The conclusion is that it is necessary to increase the number of class hours in the ICT subject if the school really takes the purpose of being inclusive in the use of ICT, that teachers update their skills and make use of these tools to achieve educational purposes and according to an evolving world where the ways of teaching and learning now have the ICT approach. Of course, it is necessary to have computer equipment available in classrooms for use by students in extra-class hours, as well as free access to the Internet in schools.
At school today the multimedia classroom is used to develop competencies in the disciplinary field of mathematics, an area that our young people need to strengthen.
4. What comment does your experience in the Educational Excellence Contest deserve?
My experience in the Contest was excellent, since the FIDAL Foundation gives Latin American teachers recognition for their teaching work, which has an impact on education, since it is an incentive that invites you and forces you to give more of yourself.
In the short time that I shared with the finalist teachers, I was able to know what happens in the classrooms of Ecuador and Latin America. They are all excellent, I am sure that there are many more experiences that need to be shared and between all of us to do more for the education of our peoples.
5. What projects will come next?
I hope to encourage more teachers to document their experiences in the classroom, not to give up on the adventure of knowledge, to always have as a premise that each teacher has in their hands the most powerful weapon: education.
As an academic team we hope to work on new educational initiatives and motivate more teachers to achieve educational excellence.
6. What message would you give to the teachers of the country and Latin America to contribute significantly to education?
It is necessary that each teacher, in each town, in each country assume the relevant and indispensable role of our profession. We live in a world that evolves by leaps and bounds, where there is much to do from the classroom. I invite you to always dignify your work, not to remain static, not to decline with defeats, to always learn, to be open to innovation, not to look for buts to achieve learning, I am convinced that what every teacher needs is a vocation, desire and love for who we are.
I invite you to participate in the Educational Excellence Contest promoted by the FIDAL Foundation from Ecuador and to be promoters of this wonderful opportunity.