The first GAC Professional Development Conference in Mexico sheds light on teachers’ ICT uptake

January 20: Almost 100 educators at 21 secondary schools across the country attended the inaugural conference in Aguascalientes, Mexico, to support the teachers and managers of the Global Assessment Certificate™ program (GAC) university preparation course.

Keynote speaker Dr. Alfredo Zenteno from Escuela Sierra Nevada presented the results of his doctoral research case study on the management and implementation of a laptop program by teachers at a secondary school in Mexico.

Dr. Zenteno found ten barriers to teachers’ appropriation of ICT, including traditional classroom management, low student self-regulation, lack of uptake by teachers of training opportunities, lack of communication and collaboration due to conflicting schedules, a traditional exam-based approach to evaluation and a need for creativity, together with a belief that their subject may not suit technological teaching methods.

Conclusions and suggestions included harvesting the preference students have for ICT, developing a greater understanding amongst teachers of the improved learning outcomes from ICT, and acknowledging the increasingly complex and fragmented roles teachers play by incorporating simpler and more adaptable technologies into teaching.

Other speakers included Dr. Chunsheng Zhang from the University of North Alabama, who spoke on strategies to boost international student success in college, career and life. Mr. Berrueta, General Director at Liceo del Valle, spoke on students from Generation Z and how they have been shaped by social changes as well as challenges such as terrorism, global recession and climate change.

The Professional Development Conference key presenters included AES Global Academic Director, Ros Washington, senior AES academic staff Kaye Dunn and David Marsden based in Sydney, the GAC academic staff from Mexico, Alejandro Gil and Mayra Flores, as well as Jon Maes from Tacoma Community College. It also provided the opportunity for Directors of Studies Elke Holtz, Nellie Enriquez, Miguel Castillo and Guillermo Rocha to run workshops for the educational enrichment of their peers.

The GAC program is the most popular university preparation programs in Mexico and is delivered in Culiacan and Monterrey in the north, San Luis Potosi and Aguascalientes in the centre, Guadalajara in the west, Leon in Guanajuato and Puebla as well as in Mexico City.