Technology is poorly used in Brazilian education

The potential of using digital technologies in education has been discussed for some years by experts from around the world. In this debate, the vision is strengthened that technology can contribute to learning when integrated with the curriculum and the pedagogical practice of teachers. Successful use experiences show, however, that there are still relevant and persistent challenges in Brazil, from the lack of infrastructure – the internet at a very low speed, obsolete and damaged equipment – to the lack of adequate training and support to educators, fundamental in this process.

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There are significant efforts already underway in the country to overcome these challenges. The first is the Innovation and Connected Education Program (Piec), launched by the Ministry of Education in 2017 and aims to stimulate the pedagogical use of technologies through teacher training, the provision of digital educational resources and high-speed internet for all Brazilian schools by the end of 2024. By 2018, the Program has benefited more than seven million students with actions in all Brazilian states. Also under way is an initiative led by BNDES, aligned with Piec. It is the Public Call Education Connected, which will benefit in its first phase 11 cities from six different states, totaling almost 200 thousand students attended.

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Brazil is now starting a new political cycle, in which priorities for education must be discussed. For this, it is important to reaffirm the role that technology can play in achieving the goals set by the National Education Plan (PNE) and the search for equity and quality in public education. We believe that it is fundamental to continue public policies that provide adequate infrastructure and educational technologies for teachers trained and motivated to generate new pedagogical practices, focused on learning. Within the plural, diverse and collective environment of the school, technology is able to add personalization to teaching, allowing these students to learn at their own pace and from their own interests. If it is conceived as a multidimensional and structuring public policy, it also allows access to quality educational resources in all regions of the country, helping teachers, parents and students themselves to increase learning opportunities, and is able to engage and motivate students , promoting their autonomy, collective responsibility and critical capacity when approaching the culture of the school to the digital culture prevalent in the society.

On the contrary, there are measures that diminish the relevance of teachers in the mediation of knowledge, with the false premise of “students learn alone”. We do not believe in the promotion of individualism in learning, neglecting the importance of reflection and collective discussion in the construction of knowledge, as we do not believe in offering only distance education in basic education, depriving students of the experience of socializing the school environment. There is no sense, therefore, in thinking about distance education in the early years of elementary school.

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As active participants in the public articulation and the implementation of experiences for the promotion of technology in education, we remain open and committed to contribute to the discussions around the theme and to work with all educational managers to make technology an important lever for the leap quality and equity that public education in Brazil needs urgently.

Lucia Dellagnelo is the president of the Innovation Center for Brazilian Education and Daniela Caldeirinha is the manager of Digital Educational Resources at the Lemann Foundation

Mobile labs, networks, collaborative intelligences, geolocation, game-based learning, open content. Did you find this list too futuristic for use in schools in Brazil, public and private? Maybe she is not so unreachable like that. The Firjan system brought together a group of 30 experts to analyze the state of technology use in practice in the country and made predictions about which tools will already be used in scale over a period of up to five years.

The study “Technological Perspectives for Brazilian Elementary and Secondary Education from 2012 to 2017: A Regional Analysis of the NMC Report”, released this week, identifies 12 emerging technologies that have the potential to impact education, in addition to the ten main trends and the ten challenges of Brazilian education.

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Among the 12 technologies presented, four were among the ones that should begin to become part of the classroom in less than a year: collaborative environments, game-based learning and mobile devices represented by cell phones and tablets; another four were among those that should begin to have their most frequent use in two or three years: networks, geolocation, mobile applications and open content; and four more could be expected over a period of four or five years: collective intelligence, mobile labs, personal learning environment, and semantic applications. (Some of these terms may not yet be clear, so Porvenir has prepared an explanatory infographic, see below).

Made for the first time in Brazil, the study inserts a regional chapter to the already traditional Horizon Report, which annually makes predictions about the use of technology in the educational universe. The global picture also allowed comparisons between the Brazilian and international context. Bruno Gomes, Educational Technology Adviser at the Firjan System and participant in both global and national research, highlights some of the points in which we distance ourselves a lot from the world. “In Brazil, we can already see the hardware, the physical things in the classroom, like the cell phone and the tablet. But the internet is missing, so everything that is done in the cloud or depends on a good and stable network comes later, “he says.

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So while in Ibero-American countries and global research cloud computing is a reality expected in a year, Brazilian experts have not even gambled on it for up to five years. “Another curiosity is that, free content, which is already happening in the world, will not happen in Brazil this year. The Brazilian is still attached to the authorship, “adds Gomes.

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Despite the differences, some points are common in all parts of the world, especially regarding the challenges encountered. “Teacher training is a problem for the world,” says Gomes. In the report released during the Conecta 2012 event, which ended today, experts also highlight another relevant coincidence between what they expect to see in Brazil and what is set in the world. “The 30 board members of this project agreed with the global board on the most important trend. They realized the doors opening in Brazil’s basic education schools for hybrid and collaborative learning models, “say the authors of the report.


1 year or less – Device Polarization

Collaborative environments
Online spaces that aim to facilitate collaboration and group work. In this type of environment, the interaction happens regardless of where the students are

Game-based learning
Game interaction in educational experiences; the benefits have been proven in cognitive development, collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking

Cell phones
Especially when talking about smartphones, they are the convergence point of many technologies; allow access to a very large volume of information in the palm of your hand

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Like mobile phones, they have the ease of mobility and make classes both in and out of school. Devices increase the range of pedagogical resources

2 to 3 years – Use of software

Broadband investment for major sporting events and the largest number of smartphones facilitate fast, cheap and easy access to all types of information

Recent tools allow you to determine the exact location of physical objects, in addition to combining with data about other events, objects, or people

Mobile Applications
New software development industry creates a universe of new educational possibilities, with real-time discovery sharing

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Open Content
Free web content provides access not only to information, but helps in the development of research, evaluation and interpretation skills.

4 to 5 years – Appropriation of software

Collective intelligence
Existing knowledge in societies or in large groups. As knowledge production is no longer a monopoly, several networks are created every day

Mobile Laboratories
The technology made it easy for heavy equipment, previously available only in good science labs to be inserted into simple cell phones

Personal learning environment
Formed by a personal collection of tools assembled to support your own learning; The list is organized independently and is focused on individual objectives.

Semantic applications
Applications that organize information from multiple sources and make associations between them, presenting the result in a way that is attractive to the user.

Brazil does not know how to harness the resources of technology for the improvement of education. This was the consensus of the “Educar para qué?” Debaters, at the event DNA Brasil – 50 Brazilians Stop to Think about the Vocation of the Country, held in Campos do Jordão, in the state of São Paulo, this weekend.

According to the former municipal secretary of Education of São Paulo, Fernando J. de Almeida, many schools use the computer and the Internet as a substitute for the teacher. It is also often the use of technology as mere rigging of students.

“Some schools teach their students the least amount of computing in order to face banks, offices, and automation services in the future. This generates exactly what one does not want, which is lack of thought and reflection. Whenever technology is used with this sense of facilitating, saving, education is impaired, “he says.

However, the school, institution or nongovernmental organization that has a good pedagogical, provocative, critical and dialogic project can enhance its quality of teaching with the computer and the technologies in general. Intelligently used computing is able to broaden the space of discussion, record mistakes, achievements, and even reveal the cognitive style of a school class.

“This side of technology is immensely welcome. It does not replace the teacher. Instead. It requires a better educator, an imbalance, a synthesizer, a utopian. The computer becomes an instrument with which one thinks, and not an instrument that thinks for somebody “, emphasizes Almeida.

In the opinion of the former secretary, technology will become increasingly part of educational training. The educator and writer Rubem Alves agrees and goes further. For him, in a few years’ time, there will be no more classroom in many schools. “Any place will be place to learn. There will be no time, because the student will not say “I’ll learn 45 minutes”. He’ll go online and stay all day if he wants to, “he bets.

But despite the benefits that technology can bring to education, most of the debaters do not dispense with the traditional model of teaching. “The Internet, the computer and gadgets of the genre can help a lot. However, nothing replaces the image of the teacher, human presence, “emphasizes the physicist and educator Moyses Nussenzweig.