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Practical use of animations in teacher training

© UNESCO/H.Schmid

11.03.2011

Since 2003 the Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB) has been implementing a teacher training programme in cooperation with the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

As VVOB is currently implementing a component of their programme on the use of ICT in education they had requested UNESCO Bangkok for assistance by way of providing technical expertise in this field.

The main objective of the workshop was to provide Cambodian teacher trainers a practical training on the use of animations and simulations in teacher training in order to promote teaching practices in the science and life skills subjects at the teacher training centers.

The training was a combination of presentations and hands-on practice sessions to allow the teacher trainers to not only understand but apply the use of animations and educational software in teacher training.

On the first day of the workshop, Dr. Thanomporn Laohajaratsang of Chiang Mai University started with a presentation sharing insights in the use of multimedia in teacher training. The integration of learning materials was linked to the different learning approaches:

  • Expository Approach
  • Inductive Approach
  • Social Constructivist Approach

This emphasized the roles of the students in the learning process. The relevance of the TPaCK model (Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge) was highlighted as well.

After that, participants were given time to prepare a peer micro teaching session, taking into account the pedagogical background that had been discussed. They used animations on physics, biology and chemistry from the UNESCO ICT in Education Teacher Training Series, which had been translated into Khmer.

On the second day, Hartfried Schmid of UNESCO Bangkok demonstrated the use of a number of educational software programs. Phun software for physics allows creating moving objects, which is especially useful for mechanics and dynamics. Virtual Chemistry Lab emulates a chemistry lab environment, in which various chemical substances can be mixed and reaction products, pH value and temperature can be monitored. Celestia software for astronomy allows the user to travel through space and observe planets and stellar constellations. 

For biology and agriculture, two online applications had been selected. Google Body Browser, an experimental development of Google labs, allows exploring the different layers in the human body (skin, muscles, organs, circulatory system) by using a slider and 3D view. For agriculture, the Third World Farmer Game allows the player to measure the impact of natural, economic and human factors on the successfulness of harvests and enhances knowledge construction about best strategies for farming.  The presentation was concluded with practice sessions on the use of the applications.

Overall, the workshop was well received by the participants and they pledged to use multimedia in their teacher training practice. Some teacher trainers emphasized the importance of linkage to the curriculum and the value of multimedia when real life experiments cannot be conducted.