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Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud

versión On-line ISSN 1812-9528

Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud v.12 n.1 Asunción jun. 2014

 

EDITORIAL

The National University of Asuncion opens to Virtuality

Dr. Graciela Velázquez, General Director
Health Sciences Research Institute, National University of Asuncion

The new paradigm of education emphasizes the prioritization of learning on ones own, anywhere and at any time. The current society requires man its citizens to be capable of adapting to changes, because what gives value and progress to a society is not the centrality of knowledge and information, but the application of that knowledge and information to create new knowledge. The function of the school is to provide an education consistent with the demands of the society and therefore, it will be necessary to have innovative teachers with skills and competencies according to the XXI century.

The World Summit on the Information Society, in its commitment of Tunis 2005 (1), recognizes that "information and communication technologies (ICTs) are making it possible for a vastly larger population than at any time in the past to join in sharing and expanding the base of human knowledge, and contributing to its further growth in all spheres of human endeavor as well as its application to education, health and science. ICTs have enormous potential to increase access to quality education, to boost literacy and universal primary education and to facilitate the learning process itself, thus laying the groundwork for the establishment of a fully inclusive and development-oriented Information Society and knowledge economy which respects cultural and linguistic diversity”. UNESCO has ICT competency standards for teachers (2), where it recommends that they should be prepared to empower students with the advantages that ICT brings into the classrooms, whether in-person or virtual. Interactive simulations, digital and open educational resources, sophisticated collection and data analysis instruments are some of the resources that enable teachers to provide students previously unimaginable possibilities to assimilate concepts.

In this context, the National University of Asunción (NUA) developed the project "Production and Development of a Virtual Campus at the National University of Asuncion. PCI AECID No. D/017286/08. Period 2009-10"(3). This project enabled the offer of virtualization in education at NUA with the assistance of technical and scientific transfer from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). They have proven experience in the field of virtual education, being one of the first Spanish universities in implementing the necessary resources to carry out virtual education. At the same time, the installation of new servers purchased for the Project Virtual Campus of the NUA in the center of data processing of the National Computing Centre (NCC-A) provided the optimum conditions for operation: uninterrupted energy, controlled access to the site, humidity and temperature control, and other actions necessary to ensure the production environment of the MOODLE (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) platform.

The virtualization of studies of the university, which will coexist in a complementary manner with the traditional classroom, has improved the technological, management and teaching strategies in the way teaching is offered and organized. This involves a dual process of Reform and Innovation, wisely combined and managed, produces better results in the identified areas. The NAU is the largest university in the country, and as such, a reference for the whole national university community as well as its social environment. The NUA, aware of its important role, has maintained a policy of continuous renewal incorporating significant advances that will improve its teaching and research functions. In this sense, NUA has implemented the development of virtual teaching for the positive impact this has in the classroom and on the students and professors as well as complementing the existing field in the in-person area. The continued renewing push will bring additional improvements to NUA and its classrooms.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES

1. CMSI. Cumbre Mundial sobre la Sociedad de la Información. Segunda Fase de la CMSI (16-18 november, 2005, Tunis). Compromiso de Túnez WSIS-05/TUNIS/DOC/7. (Acceso 22 de junio 2014). Disponible en: http://www.itu.int/wsis/documents.

2. UNESCO. Normas UNESCO sobre competencia en TIC para docentes. (Acceso 22 de junio 2014). Disponible en: http://www.oei.es/tic/normas-tic-modulos-competencias.pdf.

3. Velázquez G. Cooperación Interuniversitaria e Investigación Científica entre España e Iberoamérica. Editorial. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud, Vol. 8(2) Diciembre 2010: 3-4.

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