Expo EDUTEC 2018 discusses trends in technology applied to education

The Ayrton Senna Institute, in partnership with Microsoft Brazil, held the 3rd edition of Expo EDUTEC, in São Paulo. Educators, representatives of technology companies, researchers and exhibitors gathered to discuss technology trends associated with education and reflect on how these can be effective tools for student learning. The participants were able to follow four round tables, five workshops and two lectures on the subject. They also had the opportunity to interact with innovations exposed by Brazilian startups that develop technologies focused on teaching and learning.

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The event began with the panel “The Role of Technology in Education in 2030,” inspired by the fourth Sustainable Development Objective established by the United Nations (UN) to be achieved by 2030: “to ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education , and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. “

Mozart Neves Ramos, director of Articulation and Innovation at the Ayrton Senna Institute, recalled the influence of education on the economic productivity of nations, noting that in Brazil “every year more than 12% of schooling represents more income.” According to him, thinking about education for the country’s development implies considering the transformations of the world and the labor market. “We are in great need of human qualities that go beyond cognitive qualities. We need an education with meaning that can fully develop people, “he said.

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The outlook was complemented by Christine Berlinck, director of Human Resources at IBM Brazil. According to her, today, the great organizations of the world require that their professionals present competences like creativity, collaboration and empathy. “The professional needs to be curious, to be protagonist, to be facing the unknown all the time,” he said.

Technologies of the future, now

During the “Digital Culture and new experiences of learning with technology” desk, Regina Gavassa, coordinator of Educational Informatics of the Municipal Department of Education of São Paulo, told how the LED project (Digital Education Laboratory) in the Unified Educational Centers ( CEUs) Pêra Quince, Spell of Vila and Capão Redondo.

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The proposal foresees the transformation of the former computer labs. Before, they were rooms with tables and computers; today are environments with drills, 3D printer, laser cutter and sewing machine – places to build and realize ideas. “These new spaces ensure the use of technology in a collaborative, creative, flexible and project-oriented way to solve problems. The computers are still there in one corner of the room, but now they are used when needed at the right time, “he said.

Among the experiences of private schools, the project to digitize Bandeirantes College in the city of São Paulo was highlighted. There, students have on average 200 minutes of classes governed by STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) methodologies that combine concepts of science, technology, mathematics and art. Cell phones are allowed in any school environment and are aided by high-speed broadband.

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The college also guarantees support to the faculty: four professionals dedicated to training teachers and a support service that provides quick solution to any technical problem during class. “In order to bring the world into the school, the teacher needs to know that he is vulnerable and not be afraid to make a fuss or make mistakes. We need to be prepared to get right and wrong during the process, “said Emerson Pereira, director of Educational Technology at the institution.

Motivated and Engaged Students

During the session, “How can technologies of the future impact the education of the present?”, The audience can learn about strategies from teaching networks and teachers who care about ensuring and maintaining students’ engagement and interest during the learning process.

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José Motta, a high school teacher in Curitiba / PR, and EdTech’s head of the startup Beenoculus, a reference in virtual reality, shared with the participants his experience of more than 20 years in teaching. “I was a very traditional teacher. One day, as I entered the classroom, I came across students who did not want anything at all. I looked at my students and was sure they wanted to be somewhere else except in my class. I began to question my practice and realized that I needed to go back to school, “he said.

After several courses inside outside of Brazil, Motta specialized in active methodologies. “Throw the content into your student’s hand, let him rearrange it, and thus build your knowledge. The teacher needs to get the students to put their hands in the dough, “he said during his enthusiastic speech.

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In Recife / PE, the Secretary of Education decided to “bring to the youth what they were interested in so that they could engage in their learning”, explained Alexandre Ribeiro, secretary of Education of the municipality. Among the initiatives are the “Robotics in School” project, implemented less than five years ago in 36 elementary schools, and the development of educational games to be used in the classroom, in partnership with startups from Porto Digital do Recife.

According to Ribeiro, the first results have already appeared: in addition to prominent positions in the Brazilian Olympics of Digital Games and Robotics, in 2017, Recife increased its score in the Basic Education Development Index (Ideb) of Fundamental II. In the same year, the students of the municipal network had record approval in the technical schools and the Federal Institute of Pernambuco (IFPE). “We will continue to bet on this and we want to start early, early in childhood,” said the secretary.

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During the last roundtable, “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 21st Century Skills Development,” Luis Junqueira, co-founder of Letrus, an online platform dedicated to literacy, gave concrete examples of the current use of applied artificial intelligence teaching and learning. “You can use it to recognize writing patterns more efficiently, so it can complement the work of a teacher who is making writing corrections, for example.” He also highlighted the possibility of using AI in conjunction with public education policies related to external evaluations. “This technology allows us to track the student’s writing pattern and then we can use that data strategically.”

In closing, Emílio Munaro, Director of Global Development at the Ayrton Senna Institute, summarized the climate of the event with the words “collaboration” and “sharing” and spoke about the need for young people to develop capacities such as “tolerance and empathy, new phase of the country “. Finally, he recalled the centrality of students and teachers in the process of improving education. “Definitely, learning must be done with meaning. That which has no meaning does not engage the students. […] And no transformation will happen in education unless it is in the hands of teachers. “

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That old set of dark and sissy schools with students neatly seated in their wallets, head down and writing non-stop, was definitely left behind. Today, with technology in education, school is a dynamic, innovative environment that encourages interaction among students. In this way, learning does not just happen inside the classroom, going beyond the walls of the school.

Amid the controversies surrounding the reform of the high school curriculum. To be implemented in 2018 in public schools. The trends for education in 2017 bring increasingly connected and interactive methodologies. Adapted to the digital reality in which the students are inserted. In addition, preparation for the future is increasingly present in the students‘ daily lives.

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Adapting to the new times and the digital age
Some years ago, it was common to read stories and watch stories that differentiated “real life” from “virtual life.” Internet activities, such as interacting with other people, were considered actions apart from reality. For they belonged to an environment separate from our physical world.

Today, however, it makes no sense to establish a division between “real life” and “virtual life.” We use the Internet as a way of communicating with our friends and family, whether through text messages, calls or videoconferences, pay bills, research ways to solve a problem, study, buy various types of merchandise and services and even work through the digital medium.

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In this way, it would not be possible to leave the learning foreign to the digital trends. Children and adolescents are also included in the context of the internet. If they use the internet to play and communicate, digital media should also be part of learning. As a consequence, the trend towards education in 2017 is to follow up and intensify the integration of the contents seen in the classroom with interactions carried out through electronic devices.

Some of the possibilities expected for this year are distance learning, the use of technologies in school and in school reinforcement, and the inclusion of subjects related to the digital environment in the school curriculum.

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Distance learning
Nowadays, it is quite common to take Higher Education and Post-Graduate courses through the internet. In the mode called Distance Learning. These courses are usually taught over the internet. With didactic material in the form of texts and videos. Since the student must attend the educational institution only to carry out some tests, this is technology in education.

Distance learning is a very advantageous modality for students who have a troubled routine and would not be able to go to an institution to attend classes. Because it allows content to be approached according to the availability of student time.

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In elementary and high school, distance learning is not allowed in Brazil. It is mandatory that all children and adolescents attend school. However, this is not why these students can not enjoy distance learning.

The trend for 2017 is that the compulsory contents seen in the classroom are reinforced by the internet. The traditional didactic materials are complemented with videotapes, educational electronic games and environments of debate between the school community.

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Use and study of technology in education
A few years ago, it was thought that notebooks could be totally replaced with computers during class. Although this is the reality in some places. Pedagogy specialists still differ about the real benefits of this exchange.

Depriving students of handwriting could harm students in the development of fine motor coordination. In addition to limiting an important part of cognitive development. According to the researchers, handwriting enhances the student’s awareness of language and planning skills. In addition, research indicates that students who write via a keyboard usually retain less information than those who write by hand.

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This, however, does not prevent the technology from being inserted in school. This is the case of São Judas Tadeu College: although it does not use notebooks and tablets in the classroom, the school in Mooca goes beyond the simple use of a computer lab and is fully inserted in the digital world by offering an extracurricular Programming course .

Studying technology within the school environment is a way for the student to see the school as an entity integrated into the digital environment. In the course of Programming of the College São Judas Tadeu. Students in Elementary School (5th to 9th grade) and High School (1st to 3rd grade) can develop skills in software creation, project planning, teamwork, all within programming languages.

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Notions of entrepreneurship from an early age
Another increasingly strong trend in education is the inclusion of topics such as entrepreneurship within the school curriculum. With the growth of startups, skills such as creativity, innovation, project management and people management are increasingly required in the job market.

Therefore, one of the trends in schools is to insert these skills into the student curriculum through projects developed in teams. That may involve finding solutions to school or community problems or finding ways to take advantage of the opportunities of these environments.