-- AME and cl@se -- programs for which Cisneros Group donates media resources -- presented at VIRTUAL EDUCA, in Barcelona, Spain, as examples of successful private initiatives joining education and technology
On June 16, 2004, the Fundacion Cisneros presents a seminar titled "Models of Educational Television" at the major Iberoamerican forum Virtual Educa, in Barcelona, Spain. For this occasion, the Fundacion will present case studies of two of its key education programs--Actualizacion de Maestros en Educacion (Professional Development for Teachers), or AME, and cl@se, a commercial-free educational television channel. Both of these initiatives utilize media resources donated by the Cisneros Group of Companies, led by Venezuelan philanthropist and businessman Gustavo Cisneros, President. The seminar also brings together diverse participants, representing a range of other organizations (see below).
The Venezuela-based Fundacion Cisneros, founded by Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Gustavo Cisneros, and Ricardo Cisneros, in association with the Cisneros Group of Companies, draws on the multifaceted resources of the Cisneros Group, especially its advanced media technologies, to build innovative programs and partnerships that focus on education, culture, the environment, and community and humanitarian services.
An annual program, Virtual Educa is one of the world's leading conferences on education, training, and new technologies for Latin America, the United States, and the European Union.
AME, the Fundacion's flagship teacher-education program, utilizes the Cisneros Group's resources to provide dynamic professional-development courses to K-12 teachers across Latin America. Cl@se is the continent's only commercial-free, round-the-clock educational television channel, offering diverse programming in such subjects as science, history, and the arts. It is transmitted through DIRECTV and other cable systems.
"Models of Educational Television" will be moderated by Salvador Ottobre, advisor to cl@se and professor in the Masters Program in Communication and Education at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona.
The seminar will begin with opening comments by Jose Manuel Perez Tornero, director of the Masters Program in Communication and Education at the Universidad Autonoma, who will discuss "The Future of Educational Television." Following this, discussions will focus on four issues: the role of government in the development of educational television, the educational contribution of cultural television, the role of television in distance-learning programs, and the use of educational television in the classroom.
AME director Irene Hardy describes different types of educational television, stating, "'School television' intends to replace the formal educational system, establishing for itself the same objectives, from primary levels to university refresher courses. AME, on the other hand, attempts to improve primary education by enriching teacher education. For this purpose, it is vital to use new technologies to enrich the traditional methods of teaching and learning, and to enable teachers--both those from outside the mainstream and those within--to participate in the global educational-community. The improvements thus achieved in the training of educators are reflected in improvements in primary education."
Maria Ignacia Arcaya, general manager of cl@se, adds that "cl@se has developed a model of educational television that does not strive to replace the school curriculum, but rather to bring to its audiences content that reinforces formal learning. Taking advantage of the entertainment power of television, cl@se offers programming that combines animation, live action, and an attractive graphic package to make available both to children and adults a wide variety of educational content."
In the conviction that sharing experiences enriches the development of new programs, representatives of AME and cl@se regularly participate in meetings with colleagues and other educational organizations. Virtual Educa offers an opportunity to present its experiences in a meeting devoted to the subject of education and new technologies. Participants in Virtual Educa 2004 include not only television channels, but also various agencies and institutions engaged in significant initiatives related to educational television. Among the groups participating in the seminar organized by the Fundacion Cisneros will be Discovery Channel, Vale TV, Instituto Latinoamericano para la Cooperacion Educativa (ILCE), Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM), Asociacion de Television Educativa Iberoamericana (ATEI), Radio Television de Andalucia (Canal Sur), and Universidade do Vale do Paraba (UNIVAP).
Actualizacion de Maestros en Educacion (AME)
AME, the Fundacion's teacher-education program, draws on the information-technology resources of the Cisneros Group of Companies to provide dynamic professional-development courses to K-12 teachers across the continent. The program concentrates on the teaching of reading and writing; mathematics; health education; environmental education; ethics and values; peace education; information technologies; music appreciation; art appreciation; and how teachers, students, and parents can best work together. Offered free of charge, AME has built an effective virtual teaching-and-learning network that helps educators to improve their skills and update their knowledge, focusing on practical teaching methods that can be quickly adapted to the classroom.
Drawing from best educational practices, AME courses combine television with the Internet, connecting teachers with new forms of knowledge and information, and developing virtual communities that promote teamwork and innovation. Teachers take classes via satellite television, cable television, or video, and, through the AME Website--www.ame.cisneros.org--access course materials and participate in tutorials, online activities, and discussions with AME staff, university instructors, and other teachers.
Founded in 1996, cl@se leverages the media resources of the Cisneros Group of Companies to provide high-quality programming that reaches audiences across geographic and socio-economic borders. Programs are aimed at children, adults, and families, as well as teachers, and are offered in both Spanish and Portuguese.
Cl@se's offerings cover a wide range of subjects, including foreign languages, science, human culture, mathematics, and the arts. Many of these programs are original; others are produced by such entities as the BBC; 4Learning, a production arm of Channel 4 in the United Kingdom; and Sesame Workshop, among others. Based on the idea that the most effective learning takes place when lessons are both engaging and enjoyable, cl@se programs are presented in a dynamic and entertaining format, combining live programming, eye-catching footage, and graphic animation. Moreover, a dedicated Website--www.clase.net--extends and encourages active engagement with the subject matter of cl@se programming, offering a variety of related activities and providing a virtual meeting place for students, parents, and educators across the continent. The Website also provides supplemental audiovisual resources and education guides for teachers.