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 technological 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.

EduTec 2018

The event began with “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. 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.

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,”

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, explained the implementation of LED project (Digital Education Laboratory) in Unified Educational Centers CEUs) Pêra Quince, Spell of Vila and Capão Redondo.

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 “.

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.

The college also guarantees support to the faculty: there are four professionals dedicated to training teachers and a support service that provides a 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 scold 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 panel discussion, “How can technologies of the future impact the education of the present?” the audience can learn strategies from teaching networks and teachers who care about ensuring and maintaining students engagement and interest during the learning process.

José Motta, a high school teacher in Curitiba / PR, and Head of EdTech 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 I 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 and 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.

In Recife / PE, the Secretary of Education decided to “bring to the young people 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 the Digital Port of 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 a record approval in the technical schools and in 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.

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 that it can complement the work of a teacher who is making writing corrections, for example.” He also highlighted the possibility of using AI along 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. ”