Changing Education Together Conference, part of the “mSchools” program promoted by GSMA was held on 5th March 2015 within the framework of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. More than 500 school principals have pondered the incorporation of mobile technology in the classroom of Catalonian Schools. There are more than 400 different examples that are already functioning. EPA was represented at the event by Josep Manuel Prats, Vice President of EPA, President of Fapel (Spain, Catalonia).
Mr. Ferran Ruiz, president of the Education Council of Catalonia (http://consellescolarcat.gencat.cat/) presented the document “Mobile Technologies in the School” (prepared by himself and the Standing Committee of the Council, of which Josep Manuel Prats is a member and chairman of one of the working committees). This is a relevant document which provides a series of recommendations and guidelines, food for thought for the educational community in which parents are naturally included. These recommendations promote freedom and autonomy of schools, which must include the decision whether to incorporate mobile technologies in the classroom or not, according to their characteristics, their students and their families, the school’s educational goals, curriculum and specialisations.
The speakers of the conference were Mr. John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Mobile World Congress organizer; the Minister of Education of Catalonia, Mrs. Irene Rigau and keynote speaker Mr. Stephen Heppel, who advocated for creativity, deconstruction of the traditional classroom as we know it and a total rethinking of how children study, as they are applying mobile technologies in their learning process.
A very interesting idea emerged, namely that school could always have educated this way, but motivation, better teacher training and technologies now allow us to incorporate ways of educating-learning much more active and effective.
EPA/Fapel, representing the parental view, was demanding information and training for parents. It was also mentioned how important it is to be involved in the process so that parents learn more about the educational goals to be able to choose the highlights better. Note that in Catalonia there is a wide freedom of school choice among different models, all supported by public funds and Fapel hopes that this freedom will be there for all parents and children. Parents need to know school curricula so that each family can decide which school they want to take their children to that helps their educational work at home best.