The fifth revolution or educational transformation, the digital one, still encounters resistance in most schools in the country due, among other reasons, to a lack of training and disposition of teachers and management teams capable of leading change. It is not a problem of equipment and connection.
“Today the school is not fighting to introduce this transformation, many centers are fighting to stop it at the door,” Mariano Fernandez Enguita, professor of Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid, explains in an interview with EFE, on the occasion of the International Day of Education of UNESCO, which this year is celebrated under the motto Change the course, transform education.
Fernandez Enguita, 70, who was a visiting researcher at the universities of Stanford, Berkeley, Wisconsin-Madison or the London School of Economics, believes that the pandemic has accelerated the jump “in a few centers, loose experiences”, but has shown that, for the most part, the school “is only capable of using the digital system in a mimetic, reproductive way, to do the same thing, but at a distance and with screens”.
“It has shown how slow and behind we are, the enormous inequalities that exist before the digital medium, not the classic gap (lack of connection and equipment), but what we call the second gap, in the use, the degree of mastery” of technology between centers, between educational sectors (private/public) and between countries, adds Enguita, whose research focuses on educational policies, the impact of social change and technological innovation, and the sociology of organizations, particularly schools.
Among the obstacles for the fifth educational revolution to penetrate schools, the professor points to the training and availability of teachers, while equipment, “in a country like Spain”, is a “perfectly manageable” issue.
The author of twenty books such as Education at the crossroads (2016, Santillana), From clip to click (2017, Ariel), More school and less classroom (2018, Morata) and The school organization (ANELE, 2020) also maintains the enormous importance of the role of management teams in this fifth educational revolution, after those of speech, writing, printing and the extension of secondary school to the entire population.
Digitizing does not depend only on equipment, nor on technical support, but, above all, “on the capacities of directors, their leadership to carry out a project, act at the center level. You can talk and debate a lot, but once A decision has been made, it has to be done.”
An added problem, according to Fernandez Enguita, lies in knowing how to use fluently some of the technologies that are already available, but for an efficient and fluent use they require “quite a lot of learning” on the part of the teacher.
Digitization “can be used to do what we used to do in the classroom more poorly, to have a talking head on the screen instead of a live teacher, or to recover many things that the school had lost, for example the image and audiovisual, or were beyond their reach, such as feedback and personalization”.
At the moment, says the professor, another problem is that the students are unmotivated and bored. “We are no longer at the moment of ‘The language of the butterflies’ in which the child marvels at the teacher. Today what one can learn at school can be done outside and in many cases better”.
In fact, “students are making experiences of learning things outside more difficult and easier”, he concludes.

In summary, some of Fernandez Enguita’s thesis on digital transformation:

Hybridization.Hybrid education is not adding a virtual layer to the prevailing school, but learning and teaching indistinctly face to face and distance, face-to-face and virtual.

hypermedia.From the self-limitation of the textbook, we move on to the use of various media that appeal to all the senses (multimedia), in a coordinated, complementary and frictionless manner (hypermedia).

hyperreality . The recovery of media other than the text enhances the capacity for representation and simulation in teaching and immersiveness in learning. Augmented and virtual reality, 3D and holograms, chatbots and metaverse…, which have only just begun, are already far superior to mere narration (lesson).

Hyper learning . With artificial intelligence, at all levels, come interactive applications, learning traceability and analytics, intelligent tutoring…

Hyperspaces.Free from the lesson and the notebook, we can now also be free from the classroom-egg cup and the immobility of the desk. It is necessary to change towards open and flexible environments, (re) configurable ad hoc, spaces, times and diverse and variable groupings.

Co-teaching.The clonic teacher/orchestra, isolated in his classroom, could serve to routinize teaching, but adaptive education and personalized learning, diversified and creative, require collaborative teaching, on the ground, in teams that complement each other and learn, regrouping for it to the students by cycles, courses or projects.

collaborative intelligence.Artificial intelligence dominates tasks that are tedious or unmanageable for human intelligence, which nevertheless maintains a monopoly on capabilities that are unthinkable for it today. Learning and teaching can and should be collaborative not only between equals but, increasingly, as a man-machine symbiosis.

Digital divide.Inequality in access exists and will continue, but it is addressable with public resources. Inequality in use, without limits due to the reach of the internet and family cultural inequality, is the real enemy to beat and should be from school.
More information about these theses here.

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