Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

Use of Telepresence Equipment for Teachers' Professional Development

Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

Use of Telepresence Equipment for Teachers' Professional Development

Article excerpt


The most recent Unesco, report "Education for All 2015 National Review Report Romania" shows that equity and equal educational opportunities represent critical issues in the public agenda nowadays. On the one hand, previous years have shown that the quality of education has worsened in Romania. According to the Eurostat report from March 2016, the country had the third-highest dropout rate in the EU last year, exceeded only by Spain and Malta. Eurydice (2015) Education and Training monitor and EUROSTAT (2016) data on Romania illustrate increased dropout rate from 17.3% in 2013 to 18.1% in 2014, and 19.1% in 2015. On the other hand, PISA 2012 shows negative results about Romanian education and quality of school life, including attitude towards learning and quality of relationships between teachers and students (OECD, 2014). The OECD Study (2014) showed that the 14 and 15 year old students do not have a sense of belonging to their school. Compared to international data, Romanian students' perceptions about school are critical. Poor relationships between students and teachers place Romania in the 66th place, among 68 countries. Similar very low levels are reflected by the fact that students do not care about their academic outcomes. The attitude about the content of learning places Romanian students in the last place in the international ranking. Briefly, the students seem to value neither academic outcomes nor what they learn in schools. Romanian teenagers appear to have very low motivation and they do not feel connected to their teachers and school, as a desirable community. It is expected that negative emotions about school or feeling disconnected to one's own learning process will strongly impact in the long term on individuals' studies in the future and their professional paths.

IRIS - Adoption And Impact Of Video Technologies In Education And Local Administration represents an interdisciplinary project implemented in Romania since December 2014. The project aims at using telepresence video technology to provide distance education services in three communities isolated from a geographical point of view and at assessing the impact at the community level. Built on a strong interdisciplinary platform, the project connects technology of information and communication, psychology, education sciences and behavior economics. More specifically, the project enhances the initial educational activities for 7th and 8th grade students and offers life long learning services for adults in the community (including in-service teacher training for schools and local administration staff).

The use of telepresence was smoothly adopted by students and teachers from the three schools involved in the project. The analysis of the preliminary data on the implementation of the telepresence system raised major questions about the quality of teaching, learning and social interactions between individuals. Researchers switched their main focus from the use of technology to the analysis of interactions between students and teachers in order to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. From the methodological point of view, visual data represents the key element of the study. Researchers used video-recorded materials, as naturally occurring data produced by regular teaching and learning activities in telepresence contexts in June 2016.

2.Problem statement

In the Education and Training Monitor (2015), digital skills represent one of the key competencies in EU countries. Wastiau et al. (2013) and Livingstone (2012) launch challenging questions about ICT as a tool for enhancing learning, which need a different pedagogy at the classroom level. Fu (2013) pointed out the importance of teachers' attitudes, perceptions, and confidence in using ICT and the school culture while Ellis & Loveless (2013) demonstrated the need to tailor the curriculum, pedagogy and technologies in order to set up effective learning environments. …

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