Reflections on the subject of technology and education have taken hold of society for several decades, in fact since its influence on the formation of the contemporary subject was noted, and the need to explore the subject in the face of rapid development in the media and communication. The present world is going through innumerable and accelerated transformations around all the fields of the society, from the beginning of the civilization the man is always in search of adaptations, changes, new knowledge, in fact, fact this implicit in its constant search of learning and learning.
The concern with the impact that the technological changes can cause in the teaching-learning process imposes the education area the positioning between trying to understand the transformations of the world, producing the pedagogical knowledge about it to help the man to be subject of technology, or to simply turn away from the current reality of our information-based society (SAMPAIO and LEITE, 2000, op cit SANTOS, 2012, p.9).
Since the 1940s, when the great technological transformations began, society has attributed to the school and educational institutions the responsibility for the formation of the personality of the individual, in view of the cultural transmission of knowledge accumulated historically. As far as the school is concerned, technologies have always been present in formal education, what is necessary is the fact that educational institutions have the role of forming critical and creative citizens in relation to the use of these technologies. To do so, they must abandon the instrumental practice of technologies, and make evaluations of the work with the insertion of new educational technologies, since:
Thus, we have to evaluate the role of new technologies applied to education and to think that educating using ICTs (and especially the Internet) is a great challenge that, to date, has still been superficially addressed, with only adaptations and changes not very significant.
Information society, information age, knowledge society, knowledge age, digital age, communication society and many other terms are used to designate current society. It is understood that all these terms are trying to translate the most representative and communicative characteristics in the social, cultural and economic relations of our time (SANTOS, 2012, p.2).
The internet increasingly reaches the educational system, the school, as a social institution is called to meet the requirements of modernity in a satisfactory way, its role is to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for the student to fully exercise their citizenship, thus building a relationship between man and nature, is the human effort to create instruments that overcome the difficulties of natural barriers. Networks are used to break the barriers imposed by the walls of schools, making it possible for the teacher and student to know and deal with a different world from cultures and realities still unknown, from exchanges of experiences and collaborative works.
In a society with social inequality such as the one we live in, the public school in some cases becomes the only source of access to information and technological resources of children from low-income working families. In this respect, Pretto (1999, 104) states that “in societies with social inequalities such as Brazil, the school must also have the function of facilitating the access of needy communities to new technologies.”
The use of information technology in education implies new ways of communicating, of thinking, of teaching / learning, of helping those with learning that are far below expectations. Computer science at school should not be conceived or summarized as a curricular discipline, but should be seen and used as a resource to assist the teacher in the integration of curricular contents, its purpose is not limited to typing techniques and basic concepts of the whole range of opportunities that must be explored by students and teachers. Valente (1999) points out two possibilities for making use of the computer, the first is that the teacher should make use of it to instruct the students and the second possibility is that the teacher should create the conditions for the students to describe their thoughts, and materialize them through new languages, in this process the learner is challenged to turn information into practical knowledge for life. For as Valente says:
[…] the implementation of information technology as an aid to the process of knowledge construction implies changes in the school that go beyond teacher training. It is necessary for all segments of the school – students, teachers, administrators and parents’ communities – to be prepared and to support the educational changes necessary for the formation of a new professional. In this sense, computer science is one of the elements that should be part of the change, but this change goes deeper than simply setting up computer labs at school and training teachers to use them. (1999, p.4)
Implanting computer labs in schools is not enough for education in Brazil of a jump in quality, it is necessary that all members of the school environment including parents have their role redesigned.
Today the world has many technological innovations to use in the classroom, which corresponds to a society based on information and knowledge, because through these means we have the virtual possibility to have access to all kinds of information regardless of where we find ourselves and from the moment, this technological development has brought enormous benefits in terms of scientific advancement, education, communication, leisure, data processing and knowledge. Using technology implies an increase in human activity in all spheres, especially in the productive sphere, because “technology reveals man’s way of proceeding with nature, the immediate process of producing his social life, and the mental conceptions that flow from them “(Marx, 1988, 425).
With all this availability, it is necessary to train citizens capable of selecting what is essential in the millions of information contained in the network, in order to enrich human knowledge and skills. For according to Marchessou (1997):
(…) excess in the media, where the technological performances and the consumption of information submerge, “anaesthete” the capacity of analysis of this information and of reflection both individual and social. Saturation and overabundance threaten the Internet browser that, as some research shows, does not take advantage of the wealth of relevant information, not being trained to go directly to the essential (Marchessou, 1997, p.15).
Before introducing the new interactive media in the lectures, it is necessary to understand their functionalities and the consequences of their use in social relations, since it is only from that moment on that they can be used to transform the classes into discussion events where they occur effective to the participation of all individuals, as well as teachers, students and researchers, thus providing the communication that is only possible from the moment all parties get involved.
For technological resources to be part of school life, students and teachers need to use it correctly, and a fundamental component is the training and updating of teachers, so that the technology is actually incorporated into the school curriculum, not seen only as an accessory or marginal device. One has to think how to incorporate it in the day to day of the education of definitive way. Then, we must take into account the construction of innovative content, which uses the full potential of these technologies.
The incorporation of ICTs should help managers, teachers, students, parents and staff to transform the school into a democratic place and promote educational actions that exceed the limits of the classroom, instigating the learner to see the world far beyond the walls of the school , always respecting the thoughts and ideals of the other. The teacher must be able to recognize the different ways of thinking and the curiosities of the student without taking the imposition of his point of view, because with Freire recalls:
There would be no ethical-democratic exercise, nor could it be said in respect of the educator to the different thinking of the educate if education were neutral-that is to say, if there were no ideologies, politics, social classes. We would speak only of misunderstandings, of errors, of inadequacies, of “epistemological obstacles” in the process of knowledge, which involves teaching and learning. The ethical dimension would be limited only to the competence of the educator, his training, the fulfillment of his teaching duties, which would extend to respect for the human person of the students (2001, pp. 38-39).
The schools are places where the emancipation of the student takes place, from the moment already it shapes citizens aware of their socioenvironmental responsibilities, to form individuals entrepreneurs of the knowledge and to stone vocations. Therefore, the need for educational environments to become places where children and young people have the skills to interfere in established knowledge, to develop new solutions and to apply them in a responsible way for the well-being of society. As Piaget enunciated, “The primary goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have already done.”
We can consider that lifelong education will be the only way to avoid professional disqualification and to meet the demands of the technological society’s labor market. According to BELLONI (1999) op cit CAPELLO (2011), it is necessary a strong flexibilization of resources, times, spaces and technologies, which foster constant innovation, through questioning and new experiences.
In this collaborative process of interactivity, the educator must assume a new role in the educational process, leave aside the posture of knowledge provider and act as mediator, even because in the face of rapid advances in his area, only a professional full and capable of technological advances will survive in this market. It is fundamental that the teacher becomes a mediator and mainly a guide in the learning mediated by the new technologies, since it is his role to create new possibilities for teaching and learning. According to Moran (2000) the role of the teacher is divided into:
Intellectual advisor / facilitator – informs, helps to choose the most important information, works to make it meaningful to students, allowing them to understand it, evaluate it conceptually and ethically – re-elaborate it and adapt it to their personal contexts. It helps to broaden the degree of understanding of everything, to integrate it into new interim summaries.
Advisor / emotional mediator – motivates, encourages, encourages, stimulates, organizes limits, with balance, credibility, authenticity and empathy.
Adviser / mediator managerial and communicational – organizes groups, research activities, rhythms, interactions. Organizes the evaluation process. It is the main bridge between the institution, the students and the other groups involved (community). It organizes the balance between planning and creativity. Current teacher as communicational and technological advisor; helps to develop all forms of expression, interaction, synergy, exchange of languages, content and technologies.
Ethical counselor – teaches to assume and experience constructive values, individually and socially, each of the teachers collaborates with a small space, a stone in the dynamic construction of each student’s sensorial-intellectual-emotional-ethical “mosaic”. It continually values its referential framework of values, ideas and attitudes, based on some common fundamental principles such as freedom, cooperation and personal integration. A good educator makes a difference. [author’s italics] (pp. 30-31)
Education can no longer live under the old model, at the risk of becoming virtual and invisible to society, the new technologies must be exploited to serve as means of building knowledge, and not only for its diffusion. In recent years the presence of students in the classroom has decreased considerably, not to mention the universities where students have become virtual actors, invisible to the academic structure, they have searched the internet for the sources of programmatic contents of the disciplines, ignore the opportunity for debate and reflection in the classroom.
Different from years ago, today students have much faster and easier access to information, this factor made expository classes uninteresting and thus their presence became limited, to protocol events such as exams and extracurricular activities. The horizon of a child, a young person, nowadays, clearly exceeds the physical limit of his school, his city or his country, whether it be the cultural, social, personal or professional horizon. Faced with this, it is important to remember that teachers were not born digitalized, while their students, yes.
According to Xavier (2005), the new generations have acquired digital literacy before even having completely appropriated the alphabetical literacy taught in the school. This intense use of the computer for the interaction between people at a distance has enabled children and young people to improve in reading and writing practices different from traditional forms of literacy and literacy. These innumerable changes in the forms and possibilities of the use of the language in general are indisputable reflections of the technological changes that have been taking place in the world since the computer equipment and the new technologies of communication began to become intensely part of the daily life of the people.
Computer-mediated learning generates profound changes in the process of knowledge production. If the only ways were classroom, teacher and textbooks, the student is now allowed to navigate through different information spaces, which also enables us to send, receive and store information virtually.
The educational work from the computer science has a fundamental role in the pedagogical practice of the schools, because it allows the transition from a fragmented education system to an integrated contents approach. It is possible also the process of creation, search, interest and motivation, through activities that require planning, attempts, hypotheses, classifications and motivations, boosting learning through the exploration that stimulates the experience. According to Oliveira (2000), the pedagogical works can be coherent with the vision of knowledge that integrates the subject and objective, as well as learning and teaching. From this perspective, technologies become powerful tools capable of increasing the students’ chances of learning.
The computer and other technological devices are seen as necessary goods inside the homes and to know how to operate them constitutes a condition of employability and dominion of the culture, it is impossible to close to these events.
Who among us does not remember the dictation of words and grammar rules decorated without us knowing what would be the situation in which we could one day use them? Without forgetting, too, the various celebratory dates, mathematical formulas, chemistry and physics, bones and organs of the human body and geographical accidents, all the decorative activities we did without understanding what the meaning might mean to our lives, we often heard of our teachers would one day need that knowledge. But how to incorporate them if at that moment they made no sense to us, they seemed only rules to be decorated for resolution of exercises and evaluations.
Very often we have heard teachers complain that their students do not know how to write, and from the students’ ears we hear that the school leads them to write about things that have no meaning whatsoever to their reality.
Note that it is no longer just a question of doing school essays with beginning, middle and end. With the digital age, children are becoming experts in dealing with hypertext, the information system that includes texts, photos, audio and video, with infinite possibilities of navigation. With respect to hypertext, it is necessary for the Internet user to develop the skills to critically evaluate the information found and to identify which are the most reliable sources among the many presented. For this reason it is important that the teacher has knowledge about the hypertext and the language used on the internet, so that he or she can better guide his students.
Ferreiro (2000) states that the school’s computer lab enables young people to write and publish. Often writing at school can become boring, since most of the time the only one to read and have contact with texts written by students is the teacher. The fact of writing only to order at school, where the teacher asks the students to produce a essay, this one does it and that corrects it is something that becomes for the very suffering student, after what write for what? Or rather, for whom? We note that the student lack motivation to make a good text, to do only because the teacher requested makes the activity unpleasant and decontextualized.
The integration of information and communication technology in school greatly favors student learning and the approximation of teachers and students, because through this technological means both have the possibility to build knowledge through writing, rewriting, exchange of ideas and experiences, the computer has become a great ally in the pursuit of knowledge, because it is a tool that helps in solving problems and even in the development of projects. ICTs have the characteristic of doing and redoing, transforming the error into something that can be revised and reformulated instantly to produce new knowledge, each individual that exploits information and communication technologies becomes an emitter and receiver of information, more specifically reader , writer and communicator, this entanglement of possibility occurs thanks to the persuasive power of the information contained in the ICT that involves the subject inciting him to reading and expression through textual and hypertextual writing.
The internet provides the teacher with an understanding of the importance of being a partner of their students, navigating with the students, pointing out possibilities to explore new paths without the worry of having tried to pass through them someday, provoking the discovery of new meanings, allowing students to solve problems or develop projects that have meaning for their learning, it is in this process that education would result in an ethical-democratic exercise:
There would be no ethical-democratic exercise, nor could it be said in respect of the educator to the different thinking of the learner if education were neutral-that is to say, if there were no ideologies, politics, social class. We would speak only of misunderstandings, of errors, of inadequacies, of “epistemological obstacles” in the process of knowledge, which involves teaching and learning. The ethical dimension would be limited only to the competence of the educator, his education, the fulfillment of his teaching duties, which would extend to respect for the human person of the students.
The process of incorporating technologies into teaching actions guides teachers and students towards a liberating and humanistic education, in which men and women immerse themselves in the construction of knowledge, becoming subjects of the conduction of their own learning, that is, a participatory subject and responsible for their own construction, leaving aside the taxable person to become autonomous and democratic citizens of knowledge, in this respect Freire emphasizes that:
Education is a response to the finitude of infinity. Education is possible for man, so this is unfinished. This leads to its perfection. Education, therefore, implies a search carried out by a subject who is man. Man must be the subject of his own education. it can not be its object. That is why no one educates anyone (Freire 1979: 27-28).
A committed education is one that provides individuals with the development and self-training, makes available and gives their individuals the role of building their own history, their autonomy to negotiate and make decisions in defense of their rights and their collective, as it is starting from the autonomy that the individual conquers and exerts its full citizenship. It is important to emphasize here that autonomy is not something that is transmitted to the student, but that is constructed and achieved according to their experience, each man builds his autonomy according to the various decisions taken in the course of his day and his life. Freire argues that “respect for one’s autonomy and dignity is an ethical imperative and not a favor one can give to others” (1996: 66). Autonomy helps man to become a critical citizen, to free oneself from complacency, passivity, omission and indecision.
ICT also plays a fundamental role in the development of projects, since it allows the registration of this constructive process, it functions as a resource that will diagnose the students’ level of development, their difficulties and capacities, also favoring the identification and correction of errors and the constant without losing what has already been created.
An innovation is like seeing something new in things sometimes known, we must think of actions that promote new roles for the school, actions in which the use of ICT in the educational context establish a dialogical network of interaction with the intention of promoting the rupture of distance between subject-society.
The computer connected to the internet allows the teacher to act differently in the classroom, it is possible to instigate students to develop research, research, criticism, reflection, improve and transform ideas and experiences, it is not necessary for teachers to become owners of the truth and of knowledge, but rather partners of their students, walking together in pursuit of the same purpose knowledge and learning. This action leads education professionals to detach themselves from the textbook, which is no longer the guide to the teacher’s practice and becomes one of the sources of information and work development, among others.
At the current moment in which society lives it is imperative that education moves towards shared knowledge, with freedom to express and communicate.
The teacher who walks in order to try to get to know the student and to understand him in his / her reality is a professional that we can consider active, critical committed to his / her role of teaching, because once the student feels challenged by the student, constant search of learning to teaching.
Currently the teacher is not a mere propagator of knowledge, but both (student and teacher) are teaching-learning partners, the teacher has the role of planning the class according to the need of its students and these also have their role is to contribute with what you want to learn, for example, the subject to be approached, which takes into account doubts, curiosities, inquiries, previous knowledge, values, discoveries, interests. The teacher is challenged to know his student, he is no longer only apprentice of content, but of individual, so that he can respect the different styles and rhythms of learning, we have a situation that is no longer the teacher the only one to plan the classes for the students perform, but rather both work in search of learning, each acting according to their role and level of development.
Note that it is from the respect and confidence that the student and teacher will walk to a new and advanced school, where there is concern about what is proposed for the student to read, for it is through a pleasant reading that the awakening happens for other readings and for creative writing. Interesting subjects lead to questions, effective participation, cooperative spirit and solidarity in school environment.
The change in the school starts from a personal and professional change, capable of raising a school that encourages imagination, pleasant reading, creative writing, encourages initiative, spontaneity, questioning, that becomes an environment where it promotes and experience cooperation, dialogue, sharing and solidarity.
In order for all this range of opportunities to happen, whether it is experienced or not, teachers and students must walk together, work in the same rhythm of cooperativity, especially speaking the same language as the information age, because only by working the interests of the youth will it be possible a rewarding and positive learning experience for both involved in teaching-learning.
Technology is increasingly inserted in our daily lives. At universities it is no different: smartphones, tablets and laptops are top priority in any youngster’s backpack. Nothing more natural, therefore, than to include these elements in education, expanding knowledge and going beyond the institution’s gates. Will be? Here in the blog, we are enthusiastic about the use of technology in the development of education, but we must admit: some limitations persist.
We share below five challenges that, even with technological development, still need to be overcome. Check out:
Investment and Infrastructure
Not all universities can keep up with the speed with which technology changes. Renewing the equipment constantly, offering broadband Internet access and having specialized manpower for the maintenance and operation of the networks requires continuous investment by the managers. In such cases, it is important to analyze the cost-benefit of the contracted tools. Managed hosting services, for example, can reduce costs for specialized employees.
Real versus virtual contact
As much as social networks and interaction resources play a key role in fostering debate, real contact is still important. In distance courses, for example, one must be committed to doing all the disciplines, even without the constant encouragement of colleagues and teachers. Of course, it all depends on how the class is conducted. A teacher who keeps the students attentive can make the virtual contact as interesting as the real one.
Many teachers believe that smartphones and tablets can only be a source of distraction for students. In some cases, this statement is true. Young people get distracted very easily and gadgets can make classroom routine stressful. It is up to the educator to use the resources in their favor to make the classroom motivating and stay focused.
If misused, the technology can make it too easy for students to do their jobs. Using applications that provide quick answers rather than learning a specific exercise in depth is an example of how technology, if misused, does a disservice to education. Managers and teachers must strike the right balance between the correct use of applications and unregistered use.
Using technology does not necessarily mean that students will do better in traditional assessments. Learning depends directly on motivation – using applications without any pedagogical criteria may not instruct young people. Advocates of technology use in class believe that standardized test scores may not be the best indicator of student intelligence. However, evaluations that carry this new way of teaching have not yet appeared.
Overcoming the limitations that still hamper the union of technology and education is the challenge of managers and educators. Share with us: what are the difficulties you face in implementing the use of technology in your University?