If, on the one hand, the insertion of technology into education causes changes in the ways of learning and teaching, on the other hand it presents to the publishers the challenge of re-evaluating didactic materials and their production. “Textbooks have too much content. It is necessary to change the format of the content, to make it interactive and to offer relevant materials in audio, video, etc. “, says Carlos Seabra, pedagogical technical coordinator of Innovation and New Media management at Editora FTD, which operates in the management and production of games, infographics and other technological products in which the publisher has been investing.

On the 26th, the expert participated in a roundtable discussion on “Impact of disruptive technologies on life, business and education”, which was part of the program of the Brazilian Association of Book Publishers (Abrelivros) at the 23rd Biennial of the Book of St. Paul. This year, the organization met with its eleven associates to discuss the future of the book in Education.

Seabra believes that to adapt to the new times, the way is to rethink the production of content and the needs of teachers and students.

The publishers’ current business model will also need to be reconsidered. One of the big questions still unclear is whether current profitability – with printed materials – will remain in the production of digital content. “The editorial work with these new tools becomes much more complicated and expensive to produce, although the consumer expects to pay less in digital didactic works,” he points out.

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Allied to all these considerations, there is also the discussion about copyright, which, according to him, in Brazil are quite restrictive. “The digital asks for multiplication, so there is no way to stipulate the access as in the case of the printout (by print, for example). It is legitimate for anyone who has copyright to fight for them, but whoever produces content should also have the right to make it available, “he says.

Pedagogical Imagination – “If a teacher is boring in person, at distance learning, it will be even more annoying,” says the expert, who compares technology to a megaphone; it is only an instrument with the power to amplify what already exists.

Seabra points out that the future, not so distant, reserves infinite possibilities in the use of technology related to the school environment, both in the structural part, as badges and sensors that indicate the presence of the students – eliminating the “call” – as in the classroom itself, as , for example, interactive whiteboards that allow students to share their photos, notes and other elements with colleagues and teachers.

But he believes that for these resources to bring benefits to the classroom and to education, there must be pedagogical imagination on the part of teachers and especially of managers, as well as a pedagogical project that guides the use of these resources. “Management is a paradigm that needs to be changed in order to change the reality of schools,” he adds.

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A few years ago, the entry of technology into the classroom was a matter of choice and debate. Today, we know that this advance is an imperative: the room is increasingly technological.

If not all teachers are technology enthusiasts in educational institutions, students are – and those who face crowded smartphone rooms on a daily basis know that they can not beat it.

Following the saying, you have to join technology, making it an ally. In general, the accelerated change is the cause of the fear that some have in relation to this novelty. But know that technology has not come out of nowhere and does not even replace everything!

In education, it adds to what is produced most beneficial. See in today’s article how technology will help in social transformation, learning and more!

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  1. What is technology in education?
    Before we start, let’s get a brief definition. It is common to hear about “teaching of the past,” when “modern” schools and students are criticized in general. Various forms of technology have been used in education for some time. Examples are the curricula and textbooks themselves.

Thinking like this helps to see the separation between “traditional teaching” and “modern teaching”.

  1. Greater and better learning
    An example of how technology can be aggregating is Jean Piaget’s pedagogy. Interaction has a priority role in his thinking: according to him, knowledge is only appropriate when there is interaction and activity.

The question of interaction and activity is already old in pedagogy. The passive student, who only copies, is traded for inventive and interactive not only in Piaget, but also in Vigostsky’s thought. Learning researchers, they pointed the way!

Technology now follows this path, developing solutions to increase learning. Examples are interactive educational applications and hybrid education, widely used in distance education (EaD).

  1. Appreciation of the student
    Another old discussion of pedagogy is about valuing the individual in school. It has always been questioned how much the school ignores the particularity of each student, their desires and self-knowledge. And humanistic pedagogy raised these questions!

With technology, personalization of teaching has become possible. Applications help you customize study plans and track individual development, for example.

  1. Appreciation of the teacher
    Administrative and bureaucratic tasks consume a significant amount of time from teachers. In addition to activities such as planning and preparation, it is not surprising that in Brazil, teachers work much longer outside the classroom than in other countries.
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Technology helps here by optimizing time. It is vital to prepare the lesson and planning the teaching in a judicious way, but with the help of applications, it is possible to save a lot of work time.

  1. Social transformation
    Much of today’s social transformation initiatives use technology to expand access to education. Thus, the technological advances encourage transformative education.

There are initiatives like UNESCO, in addition to incredible projects such as the G Suite for Education.

Do you still have doubts or fears about the use of technology in education? Leave a comment in the post and tell your point of view to us: talking, we will always have something new to learn!

The Latin expression “deus ex machina,” long ago in disuse, fits well for discussion about the current scenario of Brazilian education. In a simple translation, it means “God arisen from the machine” and has its origin in the Greek theater where it was created to classify the unexpected, artificial or even improbable solutions that were introduced on the scene to solve the intricate impasses of the frames. Over time, this “almost divine” feature to unleash plot nodes gained a dubious image and came to be seen as both a viable solution, for some as a scam, for others.

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In fact – and out of the Greek tragedy for the yellow-green educational tragedy – the expectation created around distance education (EAD) has a “Deus ex machina” tone. Unquestionably cited in any list of the most serious national problems, Brazilian education, with the use of current technologies, can make an all-inclusive leap, bringing education, in varying degrees, to the mass without access, both in the countryside and in the city. But the question remains: does hardware and software suffice? Will students, in varying degrees of education, be able to manipulate and learn from these resources? Still, will the certificates have value in the market? And the teachers, will they be able to use them to do their job?

In general, there are still no definitive answers to these questions. And, tragically, many more can be put. But in spite of everything, experts and the vast majority of large companies are enthusiastic about the use of these technological tools in education. As Fredric Litto, who is director of the School of the Future, a study center at the University of São Paulo (USP), and also president of the Brazilian Distance Education Association (Abed), the use of distance teaching techniques is not a novelty, what exists today is a potentialization of the concept.

In the traditional sense of the term, there are examples of adopting such models among European farmers and ranchers in the late nineteenth century. They learned by correspondence how to plant or how best to care for the herd. In Brazil, timidly at the beginning of the twentieth century, and has as a notorious example the Brazilian Universal Institute, which offered technical courses at a distance – for example, electronics and mechanics. Radio and later TV were also fundamental pieces in remote education in Brazil. “However, with the emergence of the Internet, distance learning has gained potential never before seen,” explains Litto.

So much so that even the Brazilian Universal Institute itself joined the virtual world. Today offers course options using the world-wide computer network, but without losing sight of the historical options, in which students receive at home the handouts to study. included or not, digitally speaking, the persevering school has already secured itself in both worlds. It may seem exaggerated, but it is not. Talking about access to information and education today is like talking about two different worlds. According to Litto, behind the race for the net, there is the perception that in the age of knowledge nothing has more value and nothing gives more power than knowing how to work well with information.

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And, to account for the immense volume of information that circulates by all means, studying is no longer a phase of people’s lives to become a continuous process, as happens in the world of Brazilian citizens with high purchasing power. For these, postgraduate courses, MBAs and other options are being offered using ODL tools. In the other world, of those who do not have access to the school or institutions of higher education, the Internet is a distant reality. At this point, there is the node that Brazil did not unleash and that makes the difference in the world competition with emerging countries , such as China and India.

It is on this frontier that many experts are optimistic about the possibility of meeting the EAD tools with the actions of digital inclusion. This may be the “Deus ex machina” for the Brazilian educational deficit. For the federal government, a critical point is the formation of better primary school teachers. In 2005, the Open University of Brazil (UAB), an initiative of the Secretariat of Distance Education (Seed) of the Ministry of Education (MEC), emerged from this finding.

New Courses
Denise Martins de Abreu e Lima, coordinator of UAB at the Federal University of São Carlos (Ufscar), explains that the project is a partnership between public consortiums at three levels of government (federal, state and municipal), together with public universities and other organizations One of the reference points was installed in the municipality of Ufscar, in the interior of São Paulo. Denise Martins says that teachers realized that students were already coming to the institution using different ways of communicating and interacting with the world. “Education can not ignore this aspect, on the contrary, it must understand it to help new generations use these means with ethics and respect, knowing how to take advantage of their possibilities in the best possible way, “he adds.

In order to test new models, UAB is working with technological tools that benefit the development of teaching methodologies in the area of ​​initial and continuing training of basic education teachers, and also in some UFSCar undergraduate courses. Denise Martins reveals that in June 2007, Ufscar is expected to have the first “classes” of undergraduate semipresencial courses, with part of the classes in the campuses and part made at a distance. The options inscribed in the MEC are: Musical Education – degree; Pedagogy – licenciatura; Information Systems – baccalaureate; Environmental Engineering – baccalaureate; “These courses will be offered to various municipalities in the state of São Paulo and other states, for a total of 1.9 thousand vacancies,” he adds.

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Who also maintains a work of evaluation of courses in the modality EAD is the State University Paulista (Unesp). Klaus Schlünzen Junior, an adviser to the rectory of Unesp and also president of the Standing Committee on Distance Education of the same institution, said that these tools began to be used in activities related to university extension around the year 2000, in training courses for teachers Unesp has recently published a resolution in which it establishes guidelines for the offering of new distance learning courses. “This was an important step taken by the university to discuss and build with the university community an organized way of thinking about EAD as a concrete alternative. The university is currently awaiting the application for accreditation in the MEC to offer undergraduate and graduate courses in this area. The expectation is that the authorization will come in 2007. “

Digital Emancipation
In the opinion of Schlünzen Junior, EAD is all about university extension, but also about social areas, because it represents an opportunity for quality education for people who are far from training centers, unable to attend these environments, and for those who have some difficulty locomotion. “We should always remember the continental characteristics of our country and social inequalities. Therefore, I think that technology can help reduce differences and create meaningful inclusive movements,” he reinforces. This is the amalgam of the UAB project and public projects in EAD. “The initiatives aim to create more opportunities, considerably expanding the vacancies for public education, free of charge and quality, allowing social inclusion,” concludes Denise Martins, one of the UAB coordinators.

According to Gilson Schwartz, director of Knowledge City, research and extension project of the School of Communication and Arts (ECA-USP), communities need to be prepared for the technological, social and behavioral changes that information and communication technologies TICs). The City of Knowledge was approved in a competition of the Institute of Advanced Studies of USP in 1999. In short, it was the project of an experimental network of permanent learning and combines aspects of EAD with tools of knowledge management and management of projects. “More than a system of education, we have created a collaborative network in which learning occurs as communities collaborate to solve problems and are therefore a collective intelligence project,” explains Schwartz.

The pioneering work of Cidade do Conhecimento is in Praia da Pipa, a paradisiac tourist resort in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. Inserted in a world of exuberant culture and nature, locals lived on the fringes of technological development. The challenge was to use a telecenter to connect local knowledge with formal knowledge – an indispensable fusion of digital emancipation. The formula was to enable the artisans to become cultural producers through various courses that integrated classes in loco and distance. Thus came the idea of ​​the development of cultural contents for access via cell phone. Currently, Vivo, Claro and Oi already buy ring tones and wall papers created by local artists. The next step will be the sale of videos with themes from that region. In addition to Praia da Pipa, the project is being developed with a Xavante village and a riverside community in the upper Amazon.

Another entity that is using ODL tools is Fundação Bradesco. Nivaldo Tadeu Marcusso, the technology manager of the entity, recalls that the first studies for the use of these tools were made in 1997.With forty schools and more than 108 thousand students, the foundation sees the technological option as a way to expand the provision of services without necessarily build new buildings. “The goal is to expand our activities through partnerships,” he says. At the Fundação Bradesco Portal, 185 courses are available. Currently, more than 70 thousand calls are made through the Virtual School project and they are distributed in areas ranging from introduction to information technology to information technology certifications; in addition to behavioral courses, that is, training aimed at empowering community leaders. “We want to encourage the generation of leaders in the communities served,” added Marcusso.

The Senai Teaching Network has several EAD projects in localities spread throughout Brazil. Among these projects there are actions ranging from educational processes for youth and adults, such as training in secondary and fundamental education, to specific lines of action in distance education, such as the Virtual Vision tool, focused on training and training With the Law of Quotas, which obliges companies to hire a minimum percentage of people with disabilities, blind people attended by this course are able to obtain training in computer science and have more chance in the job market.

Leaving the universe of those who still need help to take the first steps in the digital world, EAD finds fertile ground for expansion at the other end of knowledge, ie in the world of higher education and postgraduate. A very interesting case is the Open University Pitágoras, belonging to the educational group Pitágoras, based in Minas Gerais. Guilherme Paixão Franciscani, who is the superintendent, highlights the rapid expansion of the institution in distance education. live, completed and with satellite transmission capacity throughout Brazil and via the Internet to the whole world, “he reveals. With forty years of market, the group has a network focused on basic education that now congregates more than five hundred own and associated schools in the Brazil and abroad. Another action front attends higher education in person.

The strategic importance of the subject made it possible to create a new business unit there: the Open University Pitágoras, which conceives solutions of distance education for individuals and corporations. “Students in dependence of the Pitágoras University System can, through e- learning, distance learning the subjects in which they were disapproved and, in this way, give continuity to their classroom courses, “he explains. With the support of an LMS (Learning Management System), these students follow the content given in the classroom, exercises and interact with the teacher. As of 2007, Franciscani reveals, Open University Pitágoras starts to offer undergraduate distance courses to the general public. The model adopted is based on partnership with schools throughout the country and abroad, starting with the Pitágoras Network itself. These institutions will function as regional poles, where students will meet to attend classes, work in groups and tests, and other activities. Through the Internet and with the support material will be complemented the teaching and learning process. Reinforcing the trend, the Santo Amaro University (Unisa), in São Paulo, is also offering courses with 20% of the workload in the EAD model.

If it is true that distance education is advancing in universities, it grows much more within companies. According to projections released by E-Learning Brasil, a portal specialized in information on the use of the Internet in education, EAD increased by 40% in the corporate sector in 2006. In 1999, there were only ten companies that used this method. In 2002, corporate investments in non-classroom teaching tools totaled R $ 52 million, and in 2005 this number jumped to R $ 162 million. The country already registers more than 1.5 million people trained by e-learning. In the North American market, which moves about 1 billion dollars in the area, distance education programs include a wide range of applications and Internet, extranet, intranet, Lan / Wan, audio and video, satellite transmission, interactive television and CD-ROM. Today, there are already about 217 institutions authorized by the MEC that offer this modality of teaching – a growth of 30 % in relation to 2004. The number of students also increased by 62.6% in 2006.

Other important actions in ODL come from the National Service of Commercial Learning (Senac). Regina Helena Ribeiro, coordinator of the distance education nucleus, says that Senac has been working in the area since 1948, when the University of Ar was created, a way of using radio to educate and train people. Currently, already in the world of technologies digital, the institution offers courses with e-learning tools for companies of various segments, among them McDonald’s, Phililps and Mapfre.

Senac is now partnering with institutions from abroad so that Brazilians living outside the country can do Portuguese-language training so that they do not get delayed on their way home. “An example of this process is Japan, where we are negotiating partnerships for our compatriots who are descendants and are working there, “explains Regina Ribeiro.

Teacher training
If there is a consensus among experts about the evolution of ODL tools, the same can not be said about the content of the courses being offered. Abed’s LITTO assesses that institutions and teachers need to understand that the Internet is not a “In the classroom, who dominates is the teacher, but in the network the teacher is only the architect,” he says. In many cases the students learn more in the information exchange made in the forums. discussion than in the same class content part.

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Therefore, he argues that teachers are better able to take advantage of this opportunity. Unesp and Ufscar are currently developing programs to train higher education teachers. However, to try to soften the drama of Brazilian education, the training needs to reach elementary school. And in that sense, there are a number of ongoing initiatives. In addition to the work of the UAB, several other projects are being developed.

Fundação Bradesco, for example, launched the Educa + Ação Project, which aims to integrate the private initiative and the municipal public sector in the effort to raise the educational standards of Brazilian children. In this initial phase, approximately 1,000 elementary school students from municipal schools in eight cities of the Ribeira Valley, in the interior of São Paulo, will benefit. In addition to the orientation and methodology of the entity, teachers will have access to a wide range of materials for applying the methodology in the classroom and will have training through face-to-face and distance courses, taught by Fundação Bradesco’s faculty.

The São Paulo State Secretariat of Education, which has about 236,000 educators and approximately 6 million students in more than 5,000 schools, also has a project to qualify 6,000 managers of public schools to meet the growing demand for education specialized. The State University of Campinas (Unicamp) will coordinate the Specialization Course in Educational Management. With an investment of 10 million reais, the training has a duration of 390 hours, divided into 180 face-to-face classes, 180 distance courses and thirty dedicated to completion work.

The São Paulo government also signed a partnership with the Santander Group and the Universia Portal to set up a program to train and train 45,000 teachers in the public high school system. Through the program, a cooperation agreement is being set up to boost projects aimed at teaching Spanish in the public network of the state of São Paulo. The three state public universities – USP, Unicamp and Unesp – are going to select the tutors; and the Instituto Cervantes will be responsible for the elaboration of the contents.

Knowledge City director Gilson Schwartz adds that it is imperative that ODL projects make clear the difference between education and training. In the second, repetition and massification are the goal. In the first one, the challenges are bigger, which requires greater preparation and concern for managers and teachers. “Teacher is not an operator, so education and training need to be clearly differentiated in distance education”, he emphasizes. According to him, initiatives like the UAB and many others show that government institutions and civil entities have already realized this challenge.

In addition, the recent actions of the MEC demonstrate that the government really bets on distance learning. However, for both government and the market, Schwartz recalls that the use of technology does not exclude the human challenges to be overcome for the success of the EAD project in Brazil. The temptation to massify and gain scale of institutions without the proper suitability of projects is the greatest threat. One runs the risk of repeating in the virtual the factory of inexpressive diplomas that is fed by many faculties out there in the concrete world.

“Undeniably, these technologies generate scale from the point of view of structure, but if the content is not local there will be no commitment to education for the generation of knowledge and innovation,” Schwartz adds. The “Deus ex machina” solution -learning can bring you right at the crossroads: the role of the teacher in ODL and the sensitivity for the adequacy of local content to global software will be the true of the scale so that distance education is actually placed as a differential to the break with the endemic educational crisis in Brazil. Therefore, however much education is globalized and virtualized at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the message remains: success (in proper formation and financial return) may come from the simpler teachings of Paulo Freire’s ideas, for example.