A Case Study The Learning Resour by fjzhxb


									Different cultures make very different use of ICT: Two case studies on the integration of ICT in teacher education.
A lot can be learned from teacher training institutions in comfortable, well-to-do Western countries that efficiently and effectively implement ICT in teaching and learning, management and administration. But it is another thing to simply transfer these best practises to a classroom or an office in Africa or Asia. Therefore, it is important that we fully understand the difference between the various ways in which ICTs are used in education. This paper further suggests that it is even more crucial to create a learning environment that is culturally sensitive to the needs of teachers and students from other cultures. Institutions in developing countries can give a lot of guidance in determining how the new technologies and the new pedagogies can best be used in the face of the accelerated pace of globalisation. A comparison of lessons learned from action research in two projects of the Flemish Office for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance in Kenya and Vietnam clearly indicates that teachers in different civilizations use different forms of ICT in different ways, at different ages, with different subjects in different classroom circumstances, with different pupils. In particular, this paper shows how we can adjust to the cultural needs, while still ensuring that the basic ICT concepts and active learning methodologies are learned.

Bart Cornille


Different cultures make very different use of ICT: Two case studies on the integration of ICT in teacher education. 1. Introduction
This paper presents some literature review and action research that has been conducted relating to the development of educational programmes/projects of the Flemish Office for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB) for delivery in another cultural context specifically Africa and Asia. In particular it presents the findings of the Learning Resource Centre project (LRC) in Kenya and compares it with the lessons learned in the Vietnamese project, Implementing Information and Communication Technology in schools of Hanoi (IMIH). The findings of the research will be linked to the experiences of the authors who have over the past five years been participating in the management of educational programmes of VVOB involving the Kenya Technical Teachers College (KTTC) in Nairobi and the Hanoi Retraining College for Teachers and Educational Managers (HRCTEM) in Vietnam. VVOB projects go through different steps: Programming, Identification, Formulation, Implementation, and Evaluation. They are guided through those phases by the VVOB Brussels Office and the local representatives. The core tool within the Project Cycle Management is the Logical Framework Approach (LFA), an analytical and management tool. The LRC project document (School management) was designed by a Belgian educational advisor and was largely based on a needs assessment by an external Kenyan consultant. The LRC project was delivered by two Belgian co-ordinators in collaboration with the local team in the KTTC from January 2002 until December 2005 (+ extra VVOB support until June 2006). When the VVOB school management project ended in the HRCTEM, the IMIH project document was drafted by a Belgian advisor. It is being implemented by one Belgian co-ordinator in collaboration with the local team in the HRCTEM since September 2003 and runs up to September 2008. The formulation of the IMIH project was based on a needs analysis undertaken by the Belgian advisor and the stakeholders in Vietnam. (With the use of a problem tree as analysis tool) In the KTTC and the HRCTEM fully equipped resource centres have been established as part of the educational projects. Both resource centres have established a feeling of ,

necessary for such an . Both schools are now growing to become centres of excellence in ICT integration in teaching and learning, management and administration.


2. ICT, Development and Education
Information, knowledge, and culture are central to human freedom and human development. How they are produced and exchanged in our society critically affects the ways we see the state of the world as it is and might be... Yochai Benkler (2006) And what happens to traditional concepts of classrooms and teaching when we can now learn anything, anywhere, anytime?...In this new interactive Web world, I have become a nomadic learner; I graze on knowledge. I find what I need when I need it. There is no linear curriculum to my learning, no formal structure other than the tools I use to connect to the people and sources that point me to what I need to know and learn, the same tools I use to then give back what I have discovered...How, as educators and learners, did we respond? Will Richardson (2006) There are different concepts and ways of explaining what “education” means but there seems to be consensus that to be “educated” is to be “modern”. It seems that in Kenya or in Vietnam and in most developing countries, “modernization” is virtually synonymous with “westernisation”. Education should involve the transmission of knowledge, skills, values, attitudes that will enable one to fit in the modern society. A modern education system recognizes a range of forms in which education is provided: formal, non-formal and informal education. Nowadays, these form a continuum, each merging into the next, with no clear line of distinction. In a way, education is society’s cultural reproductive system. By education, the society reproduces itself, passing on its main characteristics to the next generation. Just as with genetics, however, the process is complicated and is being influenced by philosophical, political, economic and social forces acting on the mechanism. The result is that each generation is different from the one it sprung from yet preserves a family likeness, in the short term. In this sense, it is education that keeps the society alive. ICT is a revolutionary innovation across all sectors of society, providing a wide range of services, like e-business, e-learning, e-health as well as empowerment through information. The question is not whether we should teach information literacy skills and foster information literate attitudes or not. In this global society we have to be able to use that information and build knowledge effectively to become empowered. We have to understand technological and societal trends and know of knowledge changes (Siemens, 2006). The new technologies are exciting and engage learners‟ interest. Today, everything that is required for reading, looking up, studying, training, revising, constructing, arranging, informing, saving and reminding, browsing and navigating is available at the click of a mouse (Peters, 2000b). That is why many teacher training institutions want to jump on the technology bandwagon so as to become part of the information superhighway and make it possible for their learners to have access to the world‟s knowledge.

The major challenge however is to use them efficiently and effectively. The different scopes for the use of ICT in education need to be identified and linked to the new pedagogies for us to change the way we learn and teach. Studies of teaching and learning in schools around the world identify four broad stages (UNESCO, 2002): Stage 1: Discovering ICT tools and their general functions and uses Stage 2: Learning how to use ICT tools, and beginning to make use of them in different disciplines Stage 3: Understanding how and when to use ICT tools to achieve a particular purpose Stage 4: Specialising in the use of ICT tools to become specialists


Learners are expected to have a lot of skills including knowing, being able to, learning, thinking, communicating, discussing, questioning, searching, inquiring, selecting etc to name but a few. Using ICT can help learners to develop these skills: the use of database, didactic software, simulations, inter- or intranet, e-mail, search engines... The use of ICT as part of the learning process can be subdivided in three different forms: (Plomp et al., 1997).  The use of ICT in education as refers to learning about information technology and is mostly organised in a specific course such as „computer education‟. Learners familiarise themselves with hardware and software packages, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and others. The aim is computer literacy. ICT as refers to specific applications of ICT in education as used in industry and professional practice. The use of ICT vocational training, such as computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing, is an example of ICT as an aspect of education. ICT as for teaching and learning is whenever ICT is used to support the teaching and learning process and not specifically its content.



Following the “humanistic conception”, with roots in the Enlightenment, education is not to be viewed as something like filling a vessel with water but, rather assisting a flower to grow in its own way. A similar metaphor can be used to describe knowledge: , not a reservoir. These days we do not consume knowledge as a passive entity that remains unchanged as it moves through our world and our work. We dance and we court the knowledge of others- in ways the original creators did not intend. We make it ours, and in so doing, diminish the prominence of the originator. (Siemens, 2006) The phenomenal growth of educational blogs, wikis, social book marking, and tags clearly indicates that knowledge is not a product, but a process. Therefore, it is important to know how to use the technological tools, but it is even more important to know how to add meaning to these new tools. It is even more crucial to learn how to use technology to enhance the students‟ understanding and critical thinking skills. Other practitioners subdivide the use of ICT in five different forms following the different types of knowledge: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. ICT as an object of study (Learning ABOUT the computer) ICT as a study tool (Learning WITH THE AID of a computer) ICT as an instructor (Learning FROM the computer) ICT as an open aid (Learning WITH the computer) ICT as a means of communication (Connectivism)

Connectivism is a theory describing how learning happens in a digital age. Connectivism is
the integration of principles explored by chaos, network, complexity, and self-organization theories. The ability to participate actively in these communities, engage in collaboration with students in other countries and from other cultures and actively participate in projects which open their classrooms to the world simply has a profoundly positive impact on students‟ learning experiences. On the flipside to the enormous potential of ICT in teaching and learning is the common fear that digital technologies lead to . For A. Galla (2006), the difference between digital technology as a means of empowerment or enslavement is a question of sharing control in developing and managing the content. Vietnam, for example, wants to build its institutional capacity to maximise the opportunities provided by globalisation, and at the same time minimise the negative impacts. They are exploring ways of protecting the cultural diversity of


the country in the face of the accelerated pace of globalisation. Therefore, teacher education institutions and programmes in developing countries have the critical role to provide the necessary leadership in adapting pre-service and in-service teacher education to deal with the current demands of society and economy. They must give guidance in determining how the new technologies can best be used in the context of the culture, needs, and economic conditions of their country. The two case studies reported below have tried to do just that.

3. A Case Study: The Learning Resource Centre Project at KTTC
3.1. The KTTC Learning Resource Centre
The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) was established in January 2002 as part of a new educational management programme launched by the KTTC (http://www.kttc.ac.ke/). The programme was to be taught using flexible modes and innovative methods through the development of an “active learning centre”, a learning centered place where lecturers and students come to teach, learn or undertake research. Since ICT cannot be optional or dropped all together in a flexible learning setting the LRC project team identified ICT as a core technology. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) provided the additional funding that enabled the LRC project to link the ICT Units to a wireless satellite connection that provides for 24-hour internet access. Today, the LRC embodies 3 ICT Units comprising of 68 networked computers next to a large Documentation Unit and working space accessible for the students enrolled in the school management programme. (Total computers online in the KTTC: 124) The LRC remains open after hours and on Saturdays to allow for lecturers, students and non-teaching staff to browse. The LRC partly recovers the cost of the Internet access fee through the offering of specific services by multi skilled persons. Some teachers training colleges in Kenya do not have access yet to such a fully equipped resource centre. Even in urban areas not all the schools or institutions do have access to high speed computers linked to the Internet. The VVOB project in the KTTC is part of the Government‟s policy to address the major problems in the educational institutions of Kenya, including this need for ICT infrastructure and training. The LRC project has become an example of how this can be done in a (cost-) effective way.

What was done 3.2. The Higher Diploma in Educational Management
The Higher Diploma in Technical Teacher Education programme (HDTTE) was to provide trainees with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to administer and manage technical training programmes and institutions. The reason for developing the HDTTE programme was that some 1000 out of the 5000 graduated KTTC students were holding managerial or administrative functions for which they did not receive specific training. They were employed in (technical) schools, organisations offering technical training programmes, the ministry (e.g. inspectorate). ; What is the difference between managing an educational institution or a technical training institution? Therefore, the HDTTE-curriculum has been rearranged and adapted into a Higher Diploma in Educational Management (HDEM) curriculum. In 2005, the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) approved a competency based curriculum with a set of 3 modules. The changes also gave high priority to delivering the HDEM programme through the means of distance education since the initial target group has been broadened. Following the key principles for effective ICT development in teacher education cited


by the UNESCO Planning Guide for ICT in teacher education (2002) technology was infused into all courses of the HDEM programme. Throughout the HDEM experience students learn about and with technology and more specifically, they learn how to incorporate it into their own teaching. Since the KTTC adopted an open learning philosophy it delivers the HDTTE programme in a traditional classroom setting and the HDEM programme using both face-to-face and distance teaching (Mixed mode delivery). Consequently, the learning materials for distance education had to be specially designed according to the principles of self directive learning. Studying the typology of the different delivery systems it seemed that the independent study model (print based) was the best option. The design of quality learning materials and the integration of ICTs in those manuals and in the classroom was the core activity in the Learning Resource Centre Project. The LRC project team appointed multi-skilled KTTC lectures on a contract basis to author the open learning materials for the HDEM. The authors formed part of a full scale course team that included an ICT specialist, language editor, academic editor, instructional designer, etc. The teams met regularly under the guidance of the VVOB project advisors. Producing such learning materials was clearly a team effort. We opted for an eclectic approach to come up with standalone packages. 16 HDEM manuals were developed according to an initial pre-designed standardized style sheet. Still, to meet the specific requirements of the educational management programme a recursive and integrated approach seemed to more effective and functional in the instructional design process of the different courses. Internet research, E-books and E-libraries were actively used to upgrade the learning manuals. The learning materials are well structured, with clear objectives and well considered allocation of students' time, including mechanism for quality control (Promoted by SAIDE, South African Institute for Distance Education). Self-directive learning is promoted in these materials and .

What was done 3.3. Integration of ICTs in the Classroom
At the KTTC more than 500 pre-and in-service teachers have been offered training in basic ICT skills including Internet research. Then, the focus of the VVOB capacity building programme st changed since more complex educational methods are needed to prepare 21 century students; problem-based learning, case-based learning, competency oriented learning, project-based learning. Approx. 100 teacher educators have been trained in more advanced use of ICT, active teaching/learning approaches, next to the development and writing of open learning materials. These workshops focused on critical thinking and meta-cognitive skills such as learning to learn, self-regulation and self-assessment. The ability to solve new problems or to reason about complex domains is not the result of simply adding up a number or acquired skills, but of being able to flexibly coordinate those skills in new situations. (Jochems et al., 2004) Therefore, teaching was not directed at discrete skills, knowledge elements and attitudes, but at a combination of them in integrated learning goals or competencies. By reconfiguring how teachers and learners gain access to information and knowledge, ICTs have the potential to transform teaching and learning processes. (Cornille and JanssensBevernage, 2003) Users initiate a search process to access relevant information and for means to integrate this information into learning and teaching practices. This search process promotes the use of higher order thinking and reasoning and problem-solving skills. Lecturers and students are guided through this process which ultimately leads to the efficient and effective handling of information and its incorporation in educational settings. During the first two years of the project,


this flexible approach was possible because there was no ready-made training package. Although ICT was infused throughout the HDEM curriculum, a separate manual was developed to learn how to effectively use ICT in the classroom. The programme was collaboratively constructed by both project advisors and beneficiaries, where both groups built on their respective learning experiences to establish best practices . The approach was built on key principles of adult learning such as flexile and open learning while placing both curriculum and literacy issues higher than those of software and technology. (Janssens-Bevernage et al., 2005)

4. A Case Study: The IMIH project, Implementing ICT in Schools of Hanoi at HRCTEM
4.1. The IMIH Resource Centres
The IMIH project aims to support the process of implementing ICT in 17 schools of Hanoi, in order to improve the quality of management, teaching and learning in kindergartens, primary, lower secondary and vocational schools. The HRCTEM plays a central role because it is a key unit in the innovation process to upgrade professional management, teaching quality of educational managers and teachers from Hanoi schools. Some of the specific tasks within the developmental strategy of HRCTEM in the period of 2006-2010 are as follows: 1. Implement ICT in professional tasks; 2. Improve training and retraining quality and diversify retraining types; 3. Develop training and retraining curriculum related to Hanoi culture and its traditional education of 1000 years of Thang Long, Hanoi foundation; The HRCTEM keeps a close and effective relationship with national and foreign universities, colleges, research institutes and development partners. It is an active and highly rewarded institute among pre-training and in-service training colleges, institutes, departments and schools throughout Vietnam. The HRCTEM continues to build relationships with other organizations. A SFone library, a new project with Kids & Future Fund (Korea), will now be implemented (20062008) and there are three projects with the VVOB:    The School Management Project (1999-2002) The Hanoi Environmental Education Project, HEEP (2002-2007) The Implementing ICT in Schools of Hanoi Project, IMIH (2003-2008)

The IMIH Resource Centre 2 (RC2) in the HRCTEM was established in March 2004 and consists of 26 networked computers. RC2 is functioning as a place where ICT as an object and an aspect of teaching and learning is promoted. The IMIH Resource Centre 3 (RC3) was established in March 2006 and embodies an ICT unit of 24 networked computers linked to the Internet, a library and working space. (See http://hanoict.blogspot.com) RC3 is a learning centred place where ICT is used as a medium (Including the use of TV, LCD, Video, and DVD‟s...).

What was done 4.2. IMIH Capacity building programme
The main objectives of the IMIH project are the training of HRCTEM-staff and the managers/ teachers of the 17 pilot schools:


1. The staff of HRCTEM are effective ICT-trainers 2. Management teams make effective use of ICT for school management and administration 3. Teachers of pilot schools make effective use of ICT for teaching and learning 4. HRCTEM is an ICT-resource-centre Over the last three years HRCTEM and IMIH focused on capacity building. The capacity building programme for Information and Communication Technology integration in teaching and learning is offered through a blended mode of delivery to 17 pilot schools in Hanoi. This „threein-one‟ package has the following components:    ICT skills training (Beginners and advanced) E4ICT course (Beginners, elementary and advanced) ICT teachers‟ toolkit

Participants of the capacity building programme first go through some ICT skills training and an „English4ICT‟ course to fully understand how software operates and to fully benefit from the wealth of information available on the Internet. The „E4ICT‟ concept is part of the VVOB intervention @ HRCTEM in collaboration with UNESCO (CICE). The learning materials for the basic ICT skills (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, VIOLET, Internet research) and advanced ICT skills (FLASH, Access, FrontPage, Web design) are translated to Vietnamese and the content was completely localized. These workshops also focus on different types of educational software including Clicks, Black Cat Logo, Speedy Key, and Paintbrush. Because most software‟s are still written in English, the E4ICT course became part of the IMIH capacity building programme. The E4ICT learning materials link different language learning tasks to different types of software, including PowerPoint, digital pictures, VIOLET, Hot Potatoes, Moodle and other educational websites. Over the last three years IMIH organised the following workshops:    6 ICT basic ICT skills courses with 444 participants 4 Advanced ICT skills courses with 105 participants 3 English courses with 174 participants

Workshops with Vietnamese and Belgium advisors on specific ICT applications, for example, the use of digital pictures, were also organised. Next to the sponsorships of the IMIH project team (E.g. ICDL, Multi media course, Network administrator, IELTS…) there were ICT related study trips to Singapore, Hong Kong, Hai Phong, Da Nang, and HCMC. Over the last 3 years, VVOB support also included a lot of hard- and software: 16 Hi capacity computers, 96 computers, 4 laptops, 11 UPS, 10 Laser printers, 2 colour printers, 8 digital camera‟s, 1 video camera, 14 scanners, 18 switch, 17 LCD projectors, 26 Hi share systems, 13 LAN… etc. And of course, a lot of management and educational software was distributed + ICT books. In 2006 the ICT teachers’ toolkit was first introduced and tested. The concept of combining short face-to-face sessions in the IMIH Resource Centres with self-directive learning materials on a virtual learning platform (http://hrctem.org/el) offers tremendous opportunities for flexible/blended learning. The toolkit is more than a training package in which trainees learn how to use ICTs in a learning/teaching environment; it links the use of new technologies to the essence of education. ICT needs to be linked to sound pedagogy to improve the learning outcomes and to challenge traditional conceptions of both teaching and learning. The ICT teachers‟ toolkit promotes the use of open and free software (Linux, Ubunto, Open Office, Moodle...) and Web 2.0 (Flickr, blogging, wikis, tagging, wikipedia, podcast, skype, RSS feeds...). As a result, one of the IMIH pilot schools is now taking part in an etwinning project set up by the IMIH project advisor, Peter Van Gils. A primary school in Vietnam, Belgium, Holland and Poland share their experiences through pictures on http://www.glsdewissel.be/etwinning/ )


5. Some findings and lessons learned
I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. Confucius A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it's not open. Frank Zappa ICTs can be used to support traditional forms of learning, more flexible ways of learning as well as transform learning. Pre- and in-service teachers should learn to understand that there are many different ways to use ICT for administration, teaching and learning. They should also learn how to incorporate ICTs into their daily work or own subjects throughout their teacher training experience and professional development programmes. Restricting technology experiences to a single course or a separate area of teacher education will not prepare students to be technologyusing teachers. It seems that the focus is usually on the classic „Maths, Science, English‟ package, giving a completely wrong impression that ICTs cannot be integrated in other subjects. Very often the integration itself tends to be focused on ‘T’ for technology rather than on the „I‟ (Information) and the „C‟ (Communication). VVOB capacity building programmes in Kenya and Vietnam focus on both "learning how to use technology" and on "using technology to learn" since it seems to give the learners a considerable drive and motivation.

The concept of an active learning centre with a reliable Internet link is a very powerful tool and has to be seen as a motor towards change since it has given a new profile to the relationship between lecturers and students. In Kenya, the establishment of a LRC proved to be an immediate success: In October 2003 the LRC project was selected as a finalist for the Tony Zeitoun Award at the ICT4D Platform as a part of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Today, the LRC has become a department within the college since it offers services to the whole KTTC community and beyond.(E.g. KIE and MOEST) The LRC has become an interesting model on how the provision of internet access can have an extensive positive impact on the learning/teaching culture if the facility is integrated in the development of . Students described the changes in their learning environment as follows (Janssens-Bevernage et al., 2005)         They have become more independent learners, who do not consider the lecturers as the sole source of knowledge anymore They increasingly enjoy learning They enjoy the democratisation process taking place at classroom level They consider their lecturers as students themselves They have stopped spending considerable time and money running around libraries to look for information when given an assignment They are better informed to be able to asses the Kenyan educational policies They are proud of being part of KTTC because the college is viewed by outsiders as being innovative Students interrelate differently as they undertake research activities together and assist each other

Experiences in the IMIH resource centres also indicate that it is not the mere presence of technology that is a catalyst for change; it is the network of people who render quality services and functions to the learner within a conducive, well-managed, well-resourced learning environment. An ICT development fund (through student fees) can be set up to secure funds to


replace hard- and software. An Internet Acceptable Use Policy (IAUP) can be implemented and different types of administrative and management software installed. Students and lecturers have to work closely together with cyber wizards, including a network administrator, a systems administrator, technicians and ICT skilled secretaries or librarians. Managers and educators should learn to trust advanced tasks to these multi skilled persons to continue to focus on the essence of education.

In the KTTC basic ICT skills training was offered at the start of the project but gradually these skills were being taught/learned with the assistance of self-study CD ROMs. (MS Office and International Computer Driving Licence) Although software developed with educational functionality seems, on the whole, little inspired it can be used successfully to learn basic ICT skills (Drill and practice). In the beginning training sessions with such CD-ROMs took place under guidance of an ICT expert, later on the participants used it at their own pace or time. MS Office is also obtainable in Kiswahili but it is not widely used. In Vietnam MS Office or other basic educational software‟s are not available in Vietnamese. Accordingly, Vietnamese self-study CDROMs focused on ICT basic skills have not been developed. Although there are a lot of changes taking place in Vietnam, it is hard to predict when localized CD-ROMs will become available. Questions can also be raised whether these self-directive learning tools will be successful in Vietnam. Although individualism has held sway over collective thinking and practices since the opening up of the country, education is still deeply rooted in the Confucian .

In Kenya quite a few lecturers know how to browse and download necessary learning materials from the Internet but have limited ICT skills. A considerable group of teachers chose to focus first on the Internet only. They didn‟t get inspired by a stand alone computer because it seemed to have very little to do with the core business of teachers and managers. However, the provision of Internet access has triggered interest and enthusiasm in both lecturers and students to undertake training in how to deal with the wealth of information available to them. One of our major findings is that in-service teachers may be exemplary . Developing Internet searching skills seems to be much more appealing to them than going through the software packages. As they become more independent learners, they discover the millions of websites available on the Internet. They become at ease with the possibilities of the computer through their own experimental discoveries. It seems that the Internet is the motor behind the motivation to learn more ICT skills. In other words, the Internet is putting learning into gear to become proficient drivers along the information highway. In Kenya learners did not go through the ICT development stages in a chronological order (See UNESCO ICT development stages). This indicates that these stages could be considered as competencies. When stage I, II and III are offered parallel teacher trainers are introduced to the different ICT competencies right from the beginning.

In Vietnam the ICT development stages have been followed step by step. After 3 years a lot of teachers of the IMIH pilot schools have now passed the second stage and are now starting to use the technology to learn (Infusing stage). But it seems that the Internet is not a driving force yet for Vietnamese learners to look for information, practical examples or case studies. Most Vietnamese


teachers still lack the English language skills to fully benefit from the wealth of information available on the Internet. Also, not enough Vietnamese educational content has been created online. However, in Vietnam more (E.g. VIOLET, Flash, Sket Pad, 3D Max) seems to be appealing to teachers immediately. Lectures and students simply enjoy teaching/learning with flashy animations or colourful simulations. Students do not seem to have trouble picking out significant details from each item in the English file menu while listening to the teacher explaining these functions one by one. All teachers have access to Vietnamese text books to learn different types of software guided by the ICT coordinator. To acquire basic ICT skills one needs to practice, practice, and practice. Acquiring more advanced ICT skills is much more difficult and time consuming. Still, Vietnamese teachers seem to be challenged by it. The challenge for the IMIH project team members and ICT coordinators will be to continue to sharpen their English language skills and keep abreast of new ICT developments.

Action research on the IMIH capacity building programme (February/June 2006) indicated that changing learning styles is a gradual process that is determined culturally. The teaching of E4ICT during the first two months was dominated by a teacher-centred, book-centred, grammar translation method together with the introduction of educational software like PowerPoint, VIOLET and the use of digital pictures. It became abundantly clear that the participants enjoy learning with visual backup or visual stimulation. Especially the use of digital pictures or film (On local Vietnamese culture) proved to be very successful. The same can be said about the use of music and songs. The main reason is the good atmosphere it creates in the classroom. Students relate to songs as part of entertainment (karaoke) rather than work and find learning vocabulary through songs amusing rather than tedious. Assignments were given to groups rather than individuals since this learning methodology seems to fit with the prevalent teaching styles in Vietnam. While the inter-relatedness of adult students grew, the confidence of the participants also increased to do some on the Internet in small groups (3 students/1 computer). Simple interactive games offer the exciting potential of a more personalised, open and enjoyable learning experience. Actually, online games are already very popular amongst the youth in Hanoi or HCMC. The challenge will be to design more localised educational games where part of the pleasure lies in overcoming difficulties and challenges while experiencing the excitement of personal growth. In the two hour learning session educational games where used for no longer than one hour since the participants simply liked . Only the last two months the students enjoyed the selfdirective learning websites. During that time the open software Hot Potatoes was also successfully introduced to them. While in Kenya Internet research, individually or in groups, transformed a classroom in a more active learning place, in Vietnam open and advanced software that promotes competitions or games and songs seem to do the trick.

Kenya has a long history with distance education, ranging from traditional correspondence courses to online or e-learning – from the first generation to the fifth. Experiments in the LRC with a Moodle indicate that learners have no problem accessing or downloading a course from a virtual learning environment, and working through it online. They seem to like reading through and reflecting on supportive information compiled at the Moodle and enjoy communicating with a tutor or peers via e-mail, messages on a bulletin board and entering a chat box. Participating in as part of knowledge building in groups was an instant success even for teachers with limited ICT skills. Although Vietnam has not a lot experience with distance education, experiences in China, for example, provide evidence that e-learning has a great future in Asia. In the IMIH project the Moodle was successfully introduced in a classroom context. Still,


the Internet cannot be fully used as a research tool and the thousands of webquest cannot be accessed because of the language barrier. Even when Vietnamese teachers fluently speak English, it seems that they do not really enjoy the ambiguity or uncertainty of some webquest. Especially when these concepts are introduced too fast, the result is that students become frustrated and get lost on the information highway. The overload of information written in English is simply overwhelming; they are unable to critically assess the wealth of information on the Internet. In Vietnam we also witnessed the growing popularity of electronic gadgets, such as Palms, Windows CE machines, and of course, digital cell phones.This indicates that the mixing of distance learning with mobile telephony to produce can provide the future of learning. In Kenya mobile phones are also fast becoming a part of the social fabric. The two cellphone operators drastically underestimated the potential in 2000 when they were bidding for GSM licenses in Kenya. New areas and new groups of users are now able to have access to ICT services including cell phones, wireless local area networks, and long range wireless links between rural and urban centres. Therefore, the concept of m-Learning is also very appealing for Kenya. Mobile learning is consequently an emerging concept as educators are starting to explore with mobile technologies in teaching and learning environments. (Brown, 2004)

Practitioners working in a cross-cultural context know that the risk of is hanging above their head‟s like the sword of Damocles. When one cultural group is developing and delivering education in collaboration with another group there‟s always that risk. Still, regardless of culture we generally need to teach/learn similar types of knowledge. It is clear that not all people think the same way. Learning today has many dimensions. Context is central. (Siemens, 2006) The adaptation occurs at the cultural level – i.e. how we express the learning we want to ensure others to have. But is not the entire learning experience that is contextual – it is the learning expression itself that is. In Kenya and in Vietnam, foreign teachers are quite popular but at the same time they are confronted with a different type of student. Using instruments like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter or the Classroom Work Style Survey (Zenhui, 2006) will help diagnosing different learning styles. These instruments are sensitive to the kinds of style differences that are affected by culture. Still, these tools are not comprehensive and have quite a lot of shortcomings. Practitioners working in a cross-cultural context are constantly challenged to match their teaching styles to the learning styles in that specific country.

6. Conclusion
A lot of Governments in collaboration with donor organisations and private sector are trying to sell the digital dream. This move is based on technological optimism that ICTs have the potential to radically reduce and even eliminate educational disparity. Moreover, ICTs promise to change teaching processes, learning processes, and learning outcomes. The use of ICT as an open aid or collaborative tools is still rare in Kenya and Vietnam. In sub-Saharan Africa the scares resources are an important obstacle to the widespread integration of ICT in education. In Asia, where more resources are made available, the tendency is to focus on ICT as an object and/or as an aspect of the learning process. As a result, efforts of some institutions to integrate ICT in education tend to concentrate on the offering of software training packages. Although the use of ICT as an object and an aspect are important, the LRC team in Kenya and the IMIH team in Vietnam have developed a concept that focuses on the use of ICT as a medium. The aim is to focus on the pedagogical integration of ICT in teaching and learning processes. Still, the content and the pedagogy should be fully tailored to the socio-economic and cultural realities of the people living in Kenya or Vietnam today.


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Bart Cornille bart.cornille@gmail.com Nghi Tam Dong Au Co 1/62 House 22 Ha Noi Vietnam


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