Recently, I had the privilege to attend the 7th International Conference on Teacher Education: The Story on Innovation in Teacher Education. It took place from June 24 to June 26, at the MOFET Institute, in Tel Aviv (Israel). A large representation of leading teacher educators from around the world attended, to share best pedagogical practices as well as innovative perspectives arising from the latest research and theory. Together with Dr Tami Seifert from Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts and Dr Cornelia Connolly from NUI Galway (pictured above) we presented a study conducted in two countries (Israel and Ireland), to explore pre-service teachers’ perceptions concerning the collaborative writing in Google Docs and Google Slides. The title was Construction of Knowledge in a Web 2.0 Environment – Teacher and Pre-service Teachers perceptions. This visit to MOFET was complemented by other professional development and cultural activities. For instance, I was invited to lead a round table discussion with Israeli teacher educators to discuss the role of digital technology in the new Irish physical education curriculum. We also visited Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.
Thanks to an Erasmus+ mobility training fund, I spent two weeks there, warmly hosted by Dr Miri Shonfeld, Head of Tech Centre at MOFET Institute, and Dr Tami Seifert. This training stay was to learn from their expertise on digital pedagogies and on pioneering programs for Israeli education. Tec Island is just one of example of these mind-blowing programs. Overall, they were two extremely productive weeks aimed: (1) To create a collaborative learning group, for teaching and research, focused on pedagogies of digital technology for teaching and learning in teacher education; and (2) To create the leading team for a future (2020-2021) Erasmus+ application to explore pedagogies of digital technology for teaching and learning in teacher education.
It was a fantastic conference where I had the chance to meet with my colleagues from the InfoTED summer academy (photographed right) and participate in their round table about the challenges of integrating digital technology in teacher education. But also, to learn about (1) the power of digital technology for effective intercultural education and teacher education; and (2) the difficulty to establish virtual exchanges in higher education and develop intercultural skills of students through online collaboration.
Dr Antonio Calderon is a lecturer in Teacher Education/Sport Pedagogy in the department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick. Antonio’s current research interests include student learning in physical education and on social media and digital technologies for learning and engagement in teacher education. Contact Antonio at Antonio.Calderon@ul.ie or view his research profile on Google Scholar or Researchgate