ICT Use in Brazilian Education
Brazil needs to enhance teachers’ ability to make use of Information and Communication Technologies in education. The way that the educational system incorporates ICTs directly affects de reduction of the digital divide existing in the country.
Various issues have to be taken into consideration when trying to answer to questions such as: How can ICTs be used to accelerate the development towards reaching “education for all and throughout life”? How can they provide better balance between broad cover and excellence in education? How can they contribute to reconcile universality and local specificity of knowledge? How can ICTs and education prepare individuals and society in a way that they can dominate technologies that are present in all sectors of life, and how useful they can be to them?
- First, ICTs are just a part of a continuous technological development, starting from chalk and books. All technological devices can support and enrich the learning process.
- Second, ICTs, as any other tool, have to be used and adapted to serve educational needs.
- Third, various ethic and legal matters, such as the ones related to intellectual property, or related to the growing treatment of education as a merchandizing product, or related to globalization of education against the respect to cultural diversity. These issues interfere in the broad use of ICTs in Education.
Searching for responses to the questions above, UNESCO in Brazil cooperates with the Brazilian government in the promotion of actions to disseminate ICT-use in schools to improve the teaching-learning process, perceiving digital literacy as a natural consequence of the frequent use of such technologies. The Ministry of Education intends to universalise computer labs in all schools, rural schools included, by 2010. The Organization also cooperates with the TV Escola Programme (School TV Programme) to explore the media convergence to broaden the interactivity of television contents used in formal and distance education.
UNESCO in Brazil also has permanent partnership with UNESCO Chairs in Distance Education in various Brazilian universities that use ICTs as tools to promote the democratization of the access to knowledge in Brazil.
In August 4, 2009, UNESCO in Brazil and local partners launched the international Project ITC Competency Framework for Teachers, with the Portuguese version of the project brochures. The objective of the project is to provide guidelines on how to improve the teachers’ capacities in teaching practices through ICTs. Authorities, specialists and decision makers analise the viability of implementing the guidelines of this project adapted to the Brazilian scenario.