What we have done this year 23/24 I: UDL in Resources & ICT

https://www.lindacastaneda.com/mushware/rolesupdate2/Every year in the course Resources and ICT in Education for students in the bilingual English group of the Degree in Primary Education, I feel the responsibility to improve how we work on the course fundamental issues that affect the idea of ” Offer students information tools, learning strategies and cognitive mechanisms that allow them to start developing their teaching competence for the digital world and continue developing it autonomously or guided -according to their needs-, throughout their professional performance” (yes, desert sand in a bottle… hehehehe…), so, as a result of this desire to improve, I am introducing changes, and I share with you some of the tasks we do.

Therefore, this is the first in a series of “what we have done this year” posts for the 2023-2024 academic year, and no, in this first one, we are NOT going to talk about AI; we are going to talk about universal design.

I confess that although I always try to include “something” related to the importance of the “inclusive” perspective of technologies in my students’ assignments (thanks to the insistence and the always positive influence of my partner Javier Soto), the truth is that I have the impression that it was always a kind of “patch”, that I never ended up finding a way to make it “tangible”. I care a lot that the tasks I propose to my students are authentic, and that means that they allow them to put the competence they should develop (start to develop, to be more precise) in a way that is as realistic as possible but also trying to build bridges with other fields of knowledge of the profession, without getting too involved in the work of other courses and without neglecting my own work (that of my course, I mean).

Well, this year I came across an idea that I really liked to work with my students on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework in the context of educational technology (no, I am not discussing whether UDL is or is not, research already has sufficient evidence of the effectiveness of UDL elements to improve teachers’ competence in inclusive classrooms, foster students’ abilities to value diversity and promote accessible lesson planning and delivery skills, and more).

I proposed that, in groups, they analyse in depth one of the tasks I had proposed to them during the course in light of the UDL proposals (strengths and problems) and also make suggestions (I asked them for at least three on three different aspects) on how I could improve the universality of my instructional design. The analysis was presented in the last class session in a speed-learning format (we start and finish the course with this dynamic to try to see how we have changed).

The result was very interesting. In general, you can notice many things in work done at the end of the term like this: You can notice that we know each other better (within groups, between groups, they know the teacher better, and they know what she expects from them), you can notice that they have been thinking about “the same” things for a while, and I also think that the task gives rise to very interesting analyses for them and for me.

In their presentations, they discussed technology, TPACK, tools, multimodality, digital competence, and accessibility. They also discussed pedagogical design and thinking from the student’s perspective. They tried (timidly) to criticize my teaching designs, and at the same time, they gave me ideas to enrich them.

Next time, I think I should focus the activity more on the search for technological or didactic alternatives to the problems they have encountered so I can focus more on the subject. But I like the task; I think it is appropriate to introduce it at this point of the course (at the end), which has a metacognition point by analysing the tasks proposed above.

Scheme used by the VELVET team in their speed-learning of task 10 https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/9OHcuRqtyMxq5GgtNuGMGmfgqU-WIGkiXOJmp9BXXYetqLK-xGhNs7GcHmuzzNJcJLAxahAg-XMBgIlcTG4lqqcRB78lq6-uKPV6oRZ3ldFPuGgPTkYq7N8dSKYxzCre=w1280

DISCLAIMER: To contextualize, I work with my students in a subject organised around weekly cooperative tasks every year I try to publish the instructions of the tasks I propose to my students (when the 23/24 ones are published, I will post them here), but I leave you some previous posts that can give more context if you feel like it:

Un catálogo de herramientas con clasificación ética y de privacidad

Replanteando los roles de la asignatura (actualización)

Video-papers in Spanish for English articles

A couple of months ago, I was echoing a publication by colleagues and myself that had just come out, and I posted it on Twitter. I often do it, especially if the publication is open access, to complete the cycle of diffusion and dissemination. I think it might get someone to read it and, as well as find out about some of the things we do in “the ivory tower”, give us feedback or make a comment.

The funny thing is that, like many of my publications over the last year, this publication is written in English, but mired of people on Twitter are VERY Spanish-speaking, so one of my colleagues from Argentina asked me, “Linda, where can we access the article in Spanish?”… and that got me thinking, the truth is… I don’t write the article in Spanish and then translate it; there is no article in Spanish… but I “care” that I think that what is in that article can be useful for teachers and colleagues who don’t speak English (in the same way that I am convinced that reading in other languages – whatever the mother tongue – is a splendid intellectual privilege)….  and I thought “I could run it through some automatic translation tool – like DEEP-L or Google – which nowadays work particularly well between Spanish and English”, but of course, to make that effort you have to be interested in the article… and how are you going to know if you are interested in the summary is only in English. You have only seen the title, which is also in English…?

At that moment, I had an idea, probably Instagram reels could be used for this, and I started a “project” that has been active since then, and I hope it will continue… at least as long as it continues to be of interest. The idea is to make a REEL (90 seconds) in which we summarise, in Spanish, one of the articles we have published in English. We also leave on Instagram as a post the documentation and QR codes to access the publication in question.  Here you have the first one I did.


Ver esta publicación en Instagram


Una publicación compartida por Linda Castañeda (@lindacq)


With a few days difference, I publish the summary also on LinkedIn and on my Youtube channel, where I have already started a list where you can find all the ones I have done so far:

I sincerely hope that the initiative may encourage teachers or colleagues who are resistant to English  to read some of the articles, even if it is in an automatically translated version…

At some point, someone asked me if I would do it the other way round (make a video paper in English of my articles in Spanish) …. … I wish someone had asked for them in English; I would surely consider it… I think there is a lot to do to decolonise discourses and lot to do to open our heads to other languages. … and although things are already starting to be done (I highly recommend reading this editorial in Learning Media & Technology “Reading internationally: if citing is a political practice, who are we reading and who are we citing?” and reflecting on what it means) I think that for the moment I will only do them in Spanish.

Attention, I’m wearing a filter; I intend to do them when I have time and sometimes I don’t feel good-looking enough for a video, so long live Instagram filters! 😉

Personal Learning Environments: Challenging the networked ecosystems with people agency

Just over a year ago, we held a symposium in which we analysed where we were on issues related to Personal Learning Environments (PLE), yes, we were not talking about personalisation, nor about adaptive learning, but about PLE, that elusive concept that we have been talking about for over 15 years but which, being little or nothing linked to productive or remunerated issues, has a “discreet” predicament. We talked about that symposium in the entry: LET’S TALK ABOUT PLE IN TEEM 2021 of the TEEM2021 congress and we were able to write a summary article about the session we held at that congress, Personal Learning Environments as a Framework for Flexible Learning: Exploring Consensus, Asking Questions and Tracing Challenges (yes, it is just in Spanish but I’m sure the DEEP_L translation would help you to read it if you want ;-)), where the organisers of the Symposium (Graham Attwell, Nada Dabbagh and myself) collected the conversations of that time and explained where we were as far as PLE was concerned.

As a result of that symposium, we launched a special issue for the RED magazine “Revista de Educación a Distancia” (Vol. 23 Núm. 71 (2023) https://doi.org/10.6018/red) , which we titled like this post and which was published on January 1st, with the new year, and of which I leave you the list of contents below:


I would highlight that new names and areas of PLE research appear in the issue articles. Also,  some of the articles “listen” to what we said at the symposium, that some melons are opened, that there is variety in the discourse, but that we always, always talk about PLE, not personalisation, but about making learning more personal.

I hope you will be interested enough to read some of the articles and find them interesting and thought-provoking enough to comment on them and continue the conversation.

I want to thank my colleagues Graham and Nada, my gang in this effort as Guest Editors, the authorship teams who have participated, the people who sent in their proposals and who – for whatever reason – could not be included in the issue, the people who helped us by reviewing the articles and, of course, the journal’s team who altruistically maintain this channel of disseminating research. Without all of you, this would not be possible. Thank you.

Now, let’s read!

Educational Technology in Higher Education: Emergent Practices for Teaching Future Educators

A year ago (year and a half to be honest), my friend Dr Leigh Graves and I started working as guest editors of a Special Issue of the UTE Journal (UTE (Universitas Tarraconensis. Revista de Ciencias de la Educación)  titled:

Educational Technology in Higher Education: Emergent Practices for Teaching Future Educators

After a complicated year like 2020 with the great pandemic as a context, we are very grateful with the result: this is an issue in which there are interesting testimonies of how to teach future educators specific questions about the use of technology in the classroom, but it is also an issue with interesting teaching experiences that we believe can be of interest to any teacher considering innovations in his or her classroom.

As we said in the editorial:

Conversations about what educational technology TPD (ET-TPD) should be has become a very popular topic over the last several years. Development of concepts such as Digital Teacher Competency, Teaching Digital Skills, or Teaching Competencies for a Digital World, have been crucial in the last decade (Caena & Redecker, 2019). In the same way, the development of several conceptual frameworks dedicated to describe and characterise digital teacher competencies (e.g. ISTE 2017; UNESCO 2011; Redecker 2017; INTEF 2017; Silva et al., 2019) has taken up much of our efforts. Nevertheless, how this ET-TDP is developed, how the pedagogical issues regarding this part of the TDP are developed, seems to be a less common discussion among us. We often discuss the ever-present divide between research and practice in teacher education (Flessner, 2012). Researchers and educators need to find creative ways to bridge that divide and, based on research experiences, push the boundaries of praxis to create truly innovative and profound learning experiences (Seals et al., 2017; Deschryver et al., 2013). We already know the enormous importance the social presence of students, feedback, and inclusive or universal instructional designs are to productive learning environments for teachers. Bartolomé et al. (2018) conceptualize the current mode of teacher training in general to fall under the large conceptual umbrella of blended learning. Blended learning is considered as the optimal modality for training (Duarte et al., 2018) because it has demonstrated its impact on changing the day-today practices of teachers. However, latest systematic reviews in the academic literature regarding “digital competences” and “teacher professional development” or “teacher 9 education”, (such as those included in De Paulo (2019); Rodríguez Moreno et al. (2019) or FernandezBatanero et al. (2020), do not approach profoundly the pedagogical part of the experiences that try to introduce or develop the teacher’s competences for the digital world, and this special issue specifically addresses this gap.”

Below there is a list of the  papers included in the special issue and our personal invitation to read them and comment them:

Thank you, Leigh Graves, for signing up to this challenge and, in particular, to the editorial team of UTE who have trusted us with this challenge from which we have learned so much.


Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley

Since June the 3rd and until September the 30th, I am doing a research stay at the University of California Berkeley. Specifically, I am at the Graduate School of Education and my host is Professor Glynda Hull.

Although UC Berkeley does not have an Educational Technology (EdTech) group as such, the truth is that there is a lot of approach to EdTech from many sides and those are the ones I have come to explore.

Specifically, my objective is to get closer, thanks to the plurality of the GSE, to the more socio-cultural perspective of research in education in general (which is surely the clearest sign of identity of the programs of the GSE of the UCB) and in EdTech in particular. Not only with my work with Professor Hull, but also by integrating myself as far as possible into the school’s activity, looking very openly at the work of the Principal Leadership Institute (PLI), as well as with the members of the BE3 initiative (Berkeley Educators for Equity and Excellence), which is the GSE’s teacher training initiative, learning a lot and exchanging some impressions and ideas with its members. And, of course, also taking advantage of the fact that I have an old friend here at the School, Prof. Jabari Mahiri (we met and worked together at the FIET 2015 ), who has kindly also opened some friendly doors for me.

In addition, outside the GSE, I have wanted to get closer during these months to other approaches that are made in the UCB to the EdTech, both from institutional initiatives of implementation, as from other perspectives of research made from more social fields, as well as from the world of the media, and, off course, from more technological and engineering fields.

Moreover, in these months, I have been trying to understand what is and how it works a top public university in this part of the world, California, and in this small bubble called Berkeley … a wonderful adventure … the immense possibility of learning and learning and briething new airs to try to be a little better in my work at the UM.

Some time out of thinking, reading, talking, seeing in other directions, financed by the Seneca Foundation ( Agency of Science and Technology of the Region of Murcia), and the grant 20554/EE/18 that I was awarded under the Regional Program of Mobility, Collaboration and Exchange of Knowledge “Jiménez de la Espada” and, as always, with the invaluable support of my family.

I am already in the third month, in fact, about to start the fourth and last month of stay. It has been three very curious months and a stay in a vital moment completely different from the previous ones, which has a load of novelty that I love. Now “the return” begins.

As on previous occasions, I have made a blog for this stay, in this case, a have innovating bit doing a 5-minute Videoblog of reflection and “company”, which I started a month before coming and in which I tell some of the things that most attract my attention from day to day. If you want to take a look I’ve added it to my stay blog (which I opened in my first predoctoral research stay and which I continue to use in these cases) and is supported in a specific Youtube channel that is organized by weeks.

In addition, there are photos in Instagram and Flickr of this adventure… for the most curious.

I have to say that, thanks to the extra time that a visiting scholar time gives me, some other projects are also materializing… I hope to tell you more things soon and that are for good.

We continue, I wish you a great end of August!

Thinking on Teaching Competence for a Digital World

For some months now, in informal conversations with other colleagues and, more in depth with my friends Francesc Esteve and Jordi Adell, we have been thinking about the idea that the definition of Teaching Digital Competence (hereinafter TDC), as it is proposed in most of the available models, left us with too many “unfinished ideas”…

Basically, we believed – we still believe – that the existing TDC models are based on a vision of what is digital competence (generic), that is used as fundamentals, and on top, pedagogy is “spread” as a layer (like butter)… but definitively in a too thin layer. As a result, these models – and their developments – are guilty of three main evils at least:

  • They do not understand teaching action as an integral action beyond the performance of the classroom.
  • They have a reduced and reductionist view of technology
  • They do not make explicit the type of competence model that underlies them, and if they do, they tend to coincide with models of mangerialism models, rather than integral development ones.

So we decided to work on these ideas and, in addition to a more in-depth analysis of existing CDD models, we would like proposing at least a first outline of what a Model of Teaching Competence for the Digital World would be. That is to say, a model that understands that the base is the teaching action and on it, is “spread” (to follow with the metaphor) the technology by all the corners, and in its wider perspective.

As a result of these joint thoughts, we have written two papers that have just been published and that I would like to share with you today. I know they are just in Spanish (we hope continue working on it in English in the near future), but if you are interested, I’m sure translator could help you (I’m open for chats too :-)).

Every comment and suggestion is welcome….

Thinking critically about Ed Tech in Higher Education (Call for papers)

Last February Dr Neil Selwyn and I have published a Call for Papers for a Special Issue on The International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, in which we said:

“Digital Technology has been promoted as a crucial element for the improvement of contemporary education, and one of the key challenges to face Higher Education all over the world. Universities are now awash with digital systems and devices, with the promise of improving the performance of students and educators by enhancing learning, boosting enrolment, retention and completion rates. Individuals everywhere increasingly engage in higher education along digital lines. In parallel, educational technology is now a multi-billion dollar industry – involving global technology corporations in local educational provision and practice. The need to ask critical questions of the relationship higher education and technology is more pressing than ever.”

I not a question of being in favour or against Technology. I’m a technological person, I love technology, I’m teacher of Educational Technology, and I’m a researcher in Educational Technology. I personally believe on the importance of technology for understanding better the world, for living better. I love the time I live, I love challenges, and this is one of the most challenging time ever.

Nevertheless, as a “not new technology lover”, I already have past the time of being enlightened about technology, and I can see (guess, for being honest) that the instrumental way in which we have understood technology until now, is definitively not enough, and less for education.

From the vision I have, the instrumental use of technology is more or less “solved” in our times… Web 2.0 tools are easy to get, use and bring it to education, to our classes, to the teachers and students hands. Nonetheless, I’m not pretty sure that the way in which we –and others- are using them and including them in our educational systems, are entire understood by all of us… from a critical perspective.

This is one of the reasons for leading this Special Issue (Thematic Series in the language of the journal). As we said:
“Against this background, this thematic series looks at the impact of digital technology on higher education through a deliberately critical lens. We are interested in moving beyond notions of technology as an instrumental issue that is neutrally implemented, and instead, develop more nuanced analyses by problematizing the claims and assumptions surrounding higher education in a digital age.

Recent critical scholarship of technology has encompassed many study area and research topics. These include the understanding of new literacies and personal competencies under the view of media and arts education, philosophy of education, community education, critical pedagogy and activist education. There are also burgeoning critiques of technology within feminist and gender studies literatures, policy studies, and emerging interest in critical realist, socio-material and post-humanist directions.”

This is a personal invitation for you. For all of you that are exploring in a critical way how technology is impacting in Higher Education. Let’s show us your research, prepare and sent us your paper and we hope this would be a good point for continuing discussing and thinking critically.

The deadline is 1st of August, en the entire information is here


Hope to read you there!

(Español) En la ILE: Estrategias de la Nueva Educación: Entornos Personales de Aprendizaje

Sorry, this entry is only available in Español.

Estas dos semanas de septiembre estaré en la Fundación Giner de los Rios (Institución Libre de Enseñanza), coordinando (es una forma de hablar) un curso al que se ha llamado “Estrategias para la Nueva Educación: Entornos Personales de Aprendizaje”.

En realidad no se trata de un curso de Entornos Personales de Aprendizaje (PLE) al uso, aunque vayamos a hablar de PLEs, al menos no es esa la intención. Queremos conseguir una experiencia de aprendizaje conjunto en la que podamos explorar cómo abrir nuestra aula (sí, está pensado para profes de educación formal) y hacer las paredes de nuestras clases más permeables a lo que tenemos fuera, a la vez que hacemos que el contexto de fuera se vea más tocado por lo que hacemos en el aula.

No tenemos mucho tiempo (2 viernes tarde -16 y 23 de septiembre, de 17 a 21 hrs y dos sábados por la mañana -17 y 24, de 9 a 15 hrs), así que hemos querido hacer un primer bocado de este tipo de propuestas explorando algunas formas de hacer eso (hacer permeable nuestra experiencia docente y la experencia de aprendizaje de nuestros alumnos), así:

  • Viernes 16: La sesión la haré yo y haremos cosas (si, no es una conferencia, es un taller) para trabajar sobre ¿Qué significa tener un entorno personal de aprendizaje y ayudar a mis alumnos a enriquecer su entorno personal de aprendizaje?
  • El sábado 17, Ramón Barlam liderará la mañana en la que exploraremos cómo se hace una experiencia de acercar el aula al contexto con Realidad Aumentada y cómo funcionan o “sobreviven” los proyectos Intercentros.
  • El viernes 23, Isabel Gutiérrez nos provocará con actividades que abran nuestras aulas a las redes sociales como contexto de relación y como potenciales entornos de trabajo y aprendizaje.
  • y El sábado 24, conmigo otra vez (!), retomaremos e integraremos perspectivas “diferentes” de aplicación de los Entornos de Aprendizaje Personales, Personalizados en nuestros grupos y organizaciones escolares.

No se trata de conferencias. Si os animáis a venir, traed vuestras ganas de trabajar, vuestros tablets, ordenadores, o móviles y vuestras ganas de hacer cosas… la lengua suelta para hablar y preguntar y la mente abierta (realistas, pero también optimistas).

Haremos cosas, nos mojaremos de los conceptos, intentaremos hacer llover ideas en el curso, pero no se vale venir con paraguas, ¡hay que empaparse! la idea es hacer las ideas lo más vivas posible en el curso y que todos (los que coordinamos cada sesión los primeros) aprendamos mil cosas y nos llevemos nuevas ideas para poner en marcha eso de “Una Nueva Educación”.

Ahora la pregunta es: ¿os apuntáis? empezamos mañana pero ¡estáis a tiempo!

Podéis apuntaros en la web de la fundación  http://docentes.fundacionginer.org/index.php/inscripciones/?platform=hootsuite

ah! y tiene reconocimiento oficial del MECD


Actividades enriquecidas con tecnología, el trabajo de los R&ICT1314

En la asignatura de R&ICT (1er curso del grado en Educación Primaria, grupo bilingüe) hemos trabajado todo el año con un proyecto que me gustaría contaros para lo de siempre, si os gusta que uséis lo que os parezca y si tenéis alguna sugerencia que –amablemente jeje- me la hagáis: durante todo el curso hemos diseñado en grupos de 2 o 3 personas lo que hemos llamado una Actividad Didáctica enriquecida con tecnología.

Para hacerlo lo primero que hicimos fue hablar de metas (goals), la idea era pensar en qué queremos realmente que los alumnos aprendan, partiendo de que si en realidad se trata de “enriquecer” la actividad didáctica, será porque aspiramos a algo más que recordar o entender (aunque ya sabéis que no soy la más Bloomer 😉 ). La idea era, partiendo del tema que quisiéramos abordar (siempre desde el Curriculum oficial y la impresionante revisión de Fernando Trujillo), darle vueltas a qué verbos vamos a poner en marcha con los estudiantes… así que les pedí que pusieran esos verbos en un padlet:

Una vez puestos los verbos en ese tablón, hicimos una reflexión en clase sobre qué significaban y qué consecuencias tenían en las actividades. Ahora con eso, Jane Challinor en su visita (a la que le debo un post) nos hizo reflexionar un poco sobre la importancia de lo multimedia y de buscar y curar información relevante que nos ayude a no diseñar la rueda de nuevo, así que cada grupo hizo un tablón de pinterest para que sirviera como centro de organización de información relacionada con su futura actividad: Captura de pantalla 2014-06-30 a la(s) 01.56.36 Entonces empezamos a trabajar en estrategia metodológica –qué van a hacer tus futuros alumnos- y además tocamos lo que parece que todo el mundo opina que debería ser lo único que deberíamos dar en clase: las herramientas y, cómo no, de evaluación. Para eso tuvimos la suerte de tener en clase a Manel Rives, quien nos contó unas cuántas cosas sobre creatividad, centros de interés, lo que son capaces de hacer los alumnos y herramientas móviles para trabajar con los estudiantes.

Con esa primera aproximación, los estudiantes debían preparar su actividad para presentarla en una feria presencial que hicimos en el hall de la facultad (aquí tenéis algunas fotos de la feria ) El objetivo de la feria era presentar el “todo” preparado y recibir feedback antes de la evaluación: tanto de la profe (yo), como de los visitantes de nuestra feria, quienes después- si querían- podían rellenar una encuesta en red que dejamos disponible con un código QR que pusimos en cada stand. La nota media de nuestros visitantes fue un 8,26 (sí, son muy amables :-)) e hicieron algunos comentarios de los que os enseñamos en la siguiente nube de palabras. Captura de pantalla 2014-06-30 a la(s) 02.22.12 Con ese feedback, los estudiantes debían presentar la actividad reformulada en una página de TACKK (por uniformar decidimos esta herramienta que fuera MUY muy fácil y que dejara un resultado estéticamente similar). En esa página web debían incluirse lo que lamamos “The basics of the activity”: es decir: goals, process, teacher’s guide, assessment criteria and instrument, etc; Tutorial(s) for using the ICT tools that are used on the activity; Example of the final artifact the potential students must do.; Author’s individual PLE & reflection about the subject. Captura de pantalla 2014-06-30 a la(s) 01.40.03 Era importante que todo el proceso (sí desde el principio) se gestionase dentro de los grupos a través de una herramienta de gestión de proyectos llamada Trello que me ayudó a hacer un seguimiento más o menos al día de lo que iban haciendo mis estudiantes. Captura de pantalla 2014-06-30 a la(s) 01.56.36 El resultado de las actividades queremos que sirva en la medida de lo posible a profes, así que hemos realizado una tabla que dejamos buscable a todos los interesados y que, gracias al plugin Tablepress para WordPress, ya se ha agregado a una página de la sección “docencia” de este sitio web . [table “1” not found /]

Eso es lo que hemos hecho… ahora me queda hacer reflexión sobre el trabajo, pero lo dejaré para otro post. Quisiera agradecer sinceramente la inspiración y ayuda que mi amigo y compañero Manel Rives que me ayudó a pensar en toda la estructura del proceso y hacerlo, y obviamente quiero agradecer a mis estudiantes por el trabajo que han hecho y por ser la razón que hace que siga deseando que venga el año que viene y empezar otra vez…

¡Gracias por todo! (y van 34)