“Reliable educational resources that enrich the topics and learning activities in the classroom”

Dr. Fernando Jorge Mortera Gutiérrez holds an undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology from the National School of Anthropology and History of Mexico City; a master’s degree in Social Sciences with a specialization in Socio-demographics from the Latin American School of Social Sciences based on Mexico City; and a Ph. D. in Education (Educational Human Resources Development) from Texas A&M University, College Station Campus, Texas, USA.

Dr Mortera’s areas of specialty are instructional design, educational technology, distance learning strategies, human resources education and training, and adult education. He is a certified facilitator of the Project Oriented Learning (POL) technique by the Twente University in Holland.

Dr Mortera’s research lines are those that refer to educational technologies and pedagogical models, which explain the use of technologies from the educational perspective as well as the pedagogical processes related to the teacher’s role.

He has taught courses and workshops on qualitative and quantitative research methodology, theories of knowledge, techniques for field research, techniques for documented research, instructional design and educational evaluation in Tecnológico de Monterrey and other higher education institutions at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

At present, he is full-time professor at Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Graduate School of Education. He teaches the courses of Critical Thinking, Research Strategies, and the Project I and II Seminars.

The tool in distance learning publications

Dr Mortera’s educational experience with the temoa is at two levels. The first one was concerned with doing research to observe the development of the first stage, reviewing the way in which the tool was being used, interviewing professors using the tool and giving out questionnaires to students. Besides, some articles were published in distance learning journals. The second level was focused on collaborating in projects, looking for information to use in his courses.

Dr. Mortera’s research showed that the tool was useful. It saves time while searching open educational resources which are available on the net; otherwise, it would be very time consuming for the professor to search in different sites. “Not only does it save time, but it is also certain that the resources have been catalogued by experts and they have copyright,” he said.

Distributing open educational resources to reduce the digital gap

Among the benefits of , Dr Moreira mainly points out the amount of time saved when searching on the resource; the possibility to indirectly instruct professors while participating in the documentation of resources since he is learning new things; and a newly-born practice in the community since the portal allows contact among professors to comment on the resources.

Dr Mortera said, “When the materials are checked in , the tool itself specifies that it is not only important to locate and use it, but if you are using it in your course, you should at least check the full resource to find the best way to incorporate it in the course.”

According to Dr Mortera, the potential of uncurls only if professors use it. It is important to make campaigns to foster its use; and teachers should be encouraged to explore and use it. “If the tool preserves its essence, which is to distribute open educational resources to reduce the digital gap, even if the tool is modified, it will still be fruitful,” he said.

It is important that it does not become a very technological tool

An important element that Dr Mortera highlights in regard to the tool is that it should not become very technological; but instead, it should be based on the support of the teacher’s educational processes; that is, in regard to how a professor can support his courses with these educational resources.

Moreover, Dr. Mortera is aware of the importance that other professors use the tool; he points out that other professors should be invited to use . “I would tell them that it is a useful academic portal to plan the materials to be used in his courses depending on the target audience and the educational level taught. Dr Mortera concludes, “It is worthwhile and innovative.”