Digital teaching

La docencia digital

Original publication May 22nd, 2013

Edith Gutiérrez Tr. EN: Miriam Peña


Teaching in today’s world

New Communication Technologies (ICTs) have undoubtedly transformed the lives of many people in today’s world; teaching has not been spared of such transformations . The information society and its further result, the “knowledge society”, leads their existing practices to the modification of the usual methods and information. In the case of education today we witness how one of its constituent elements, teaching, is redesigned based on new requirements that teachers must cover online. It is also clear the boom of companies and institutions that offer online and distance education. There is a belief that this new type of education will gradually close the gap between those who can and who can not access formal education, and thereby be closing the gap between rich and poor. In addition, online and distance education would achieve one of the dreams of the current economic model: education for life, also called continuing education. Lifelong learning according to Delors (1996 ), is the basis for the development of peoples, relevant job training and development of human potential in a democratic world. All this is said to be possible through the use of ICT in education and from the emergence of a new teaching style appropriate to ICTs .


The new teaching skills

Today we talk about new teaching skills both in personal, social and professional levels that enable them to adapt to the world of online education. The current teacher must be adept at managing ICT, interaction in virtual environments, student motivation, developing instructional designs based on educational platforms or learning management systems (LMS). Teachers today had to be more active since the production and dissemination of knowledge is constantly multiplied, They mustinclude in their skills: critical thought, research techniques, and always be ready to “learn learning”. Rather than talk about a new teaching, we should raise the emergence of a new way of being a teacher that potentiates the traditional skills of teachers through the use of educational platforms. The traditional teaching has always planned learning processes, motivated the students, cultivated their area of ​​knowledge. The difference is in how the current teacher should not be left behind and to handle with ease the ICTs and all kinds of resources that add value to the processes of teaching and learning.

The new educational institutions

As discussed above, it is clear the boom of institutions and companies that are causing effects in to models of online and distance education. We have for example the Open University and Distance SEP, Mexico ( UNADM ), created three years ago, and on which there are controversial opinions about poor labor treatment towards the teachers, tremendous student dropout, poor strategic planning, etc. .

There are also private companies that handle the offert of online education as UTEL , American Technological University Online, which is regional in scope and has official recognition in Mexico. UTEL -owned by Pearson, which is a media conglomerate, educational and publishing global conglomerate- apparently has positive reviews from its users. UTEL is also linked with the International Institute of Research in Educational Technology (INIT ) having a completely entrepreneurial inputs and produces educational work, publications, technological resources and learning objects. It was recognized by the CONACYT as an institution for scientific and technological research in 2006. Within its research are dropouts, as one of the major problems facing formal education globally. And it is fair to comment that in online education, and distance defection, is the greatest danger that economic viability can even take this type of educational projects.

What should be the task of the teacher in these educational models ?

Competition for new markets and models of online education are growing, and facing this are the the teachers who have the job to redesign themselves professionally towards what ICTs had enabled. What should be the task of the teacher in these educational models? The models of online education are primarily focused on people who work and have not completed a career or want to keep studying especially for mobility and career development. Thus, digital teaching task today is to be accompanied by virtual students, be motivating, have social skills in web 2.0 tools. It is the responsibility of the teacher, in conjunction with a team of tutoring and online counseling, to care about the retention and completion rates, somewhat complex tasks in the field of online education, where it is easier to lose a student for lack of relationship face to face. Cognitive motivation from the teaching task is substantive in these new models of online education, as well-meaning and uplifting words that teachers lead the students are not the key to keeping the students in online education. They are the intellectual challenges, the critical thinking that encourages research, the clear and friendly instructional designs; relevant and probing questions; the management of online teaching strategies and the desire to honest and friendly accompaniment which gives a distinctive teaching approach in current models of online education.


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Wikipedia, Sistemas de gestión de aprendizaje. Disponible en

Marques, P: (2011) Los docentes: funciones, roles, competencias necesarias y formación. Disponible en

UNADM: El fraude educativo del calderonismo, en Revista Contralínea, Periodismo de investigación, disponible en

Testimonios -UTEL, disponible en

UTEL, Investigación y desarrollo tecnológico, disponible en