In the face of an increasingly globalized world and rapidly advancing technological advances, it is natural for society to frequently discuss the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education and their influence on school, of the individual.
This discussion is still of concern to educators and the school community. How to use technological tools within the classroom without diverting the student’s attention from the contents that he needs to learn? To what extent can technology help or disrupt the teaching-learning process?
In order to answer these and other questions it is necessary first to reflect on the teachers’ attitude towards this change of scenery within the classroom.
Most educators, despite already living with technological tools that have the potential to become pedagogical tools, do not know how to use these tools, or are unaware of their potentialities within the school environment.
UNESCO and the Ministry of Education in the publication “Connecting the dots to build teaching and learning of the future” (2017), cite as one of the actions to align the system of professional development of the educator the empowerment of these professionals, so that these can empower students.
This empowerment occurs, among other ways, through encouragement and support for teachers to seek new roles in the school environment as facilitators of learning through new pedagogical techniques.
These techniques need to identify, support and use the new sources through which students acquire information and knowledge, that is, through technology and social media (BRAZIL, 2017).
This encouragement and support must come from both the public authorities and the school itself and its managers, who must make sure that students and teachers are provided with the necessary infrastructure for technological development, by means of appropriate appliances and technical environment.
The school needs to keep abreast of technological advances and new possibilities for acquiring knowledge and information. Through the internet, children and adolescents are gaining access to distinct and unfamiliar cultures, and educators need to take advantage of these experiences to create a more diverse and collaborative school environment.
It is necessary, therefore, to give up the resistance that many have in relation to these changes and to see technology as an ally rather than an enemy of learning.
A survey of Internet use by children and adolescents in Brazil, conducted by the Internet Management Committee (CGI), revealed that by 2015, 80% of young users used the internet to do school research. This survey also revealed that mobile devices are the most used for this access, with 85% of young people using them.
It is interesting to note, however, that few teachers use this tool as an aid in their pedagogical work. Another study, also carried out by the CGI in the same year, points out that only 39% of teachers said they had already used mobile devices with access to the network for activities within the classroom.
In order for the network to become an ally, it is not enough to free its access within the school environment. Students and teachers need to know how to use it critically and creatively.
With this in mind, the MEC and UNESCO also suggested as support for the construction of future education the support for the continuous learning of teachers, so that they can serve as an example to the students.
Taking into account the rapidly changing changes in society, teachers need to be able to develop in an integrated way, through collaborative networks of teachers, examples of good teaching practices and projects that improve pedagogical practices, developed jointly with the school community (BRAZIL, 2017).
These actions need to consider the technological tools as part of the school routine, giving them space in the teaching-learning process of the students.
It is necessary that school and teachers learn from the students: from the moment they begin to observe and learn about how children and adolescents are communicating, what difficulties and advances they are having in the use of new technologies, can develop forms of planning classes and content according to the needs of their students, finding more effective ways to stimulate the search for knowledge.
Teacher training should therefore stimulate sharing, collaboration, reflection and critical analysis of the use of educational technologies, so that educators can, in fact, create stimulating and meaningful learning environments for students.
It is clear that the use of information and communication technologies facilitate the student’s interest in the content taught. Children and adolescents have the facility and natural abilities to manipulate these technologies and they are present in all spheres of their daily life, as in the family and social environment.
Why not use them also in the school environment?
It is necessary to take advantage of this naturalness with which young people use technology to create environments in which they can interact and collaborate with one another during learning.
The use of technology as a teaching tool has become increasingly fundamental to raising the level of learning in schools.
The Internet, as well as the advances of new technologies, has set new ground for the construction of knowledge, offering more and better tools for the teaching process and making the experiences much more interesting, efficient and personalized. We have never been faced with so many ways of teaching, reading beyond words, understanding beyond images and learning beyond the classroom.
Computers, electronic gadgets (such as smartphones and tablets) and the internet are increasingly present in the lives of our children. A survey conducted in 2016 by CETIC shows that 30% of young people currently aged 15 to 17 had their first contact with the Internet more than 12 years ago, while 26% of children aged 9 to 10 years had first access before the age of 6. There is no way to ignore the changes and demands that new technologies present, especially in the educational field. The new generations are there, thirsty for a more active participation in the process of learning.
If we have as educational objectives, according to the Federal Constitution, the Statute of the Child and the Adolescent and the Law of Guidelines and Bases of Brazilian Education: to contribute to the full development of the child as an individual and to prepare it for the exercise of citizenship and its qualification for the labor market, we must understand that updating ourselves to this new reality is far from an option.
Moreover, despite the provisions of the current Law on the Guidelines and Bases of Education, the previous Law, enacted in 1961, already provided that among the objectives of education is “the preparation of the individual and society for the domain of technological resources that allow them to use the possibilities and overcome the difficulties of the environment. ”
Not by underestimating their role and significant importance, let us leave for a moment the legal issues reserved for another time and focus our energy on what, in fact, represents the greatest motivator of this process of transformation: how to arouse the desire and pleasure of our children in learning ? How do we direct our children and adolescents to the ethical, safe and responsible use of new technologies and make them their allies in the pedagogical routine?
The Internet, as well as all other technological advances, has come as an important and unimaginable facilitator, not only enhancing the adoption of new methodologies, but, above all, improving the use of existing ones. So why not use technology when useful and necessary? Not surprisingly, although some schools are resistant to digital inclusion, most do not dispense with the internet connection, nor the use of e-mail, social networks and all the technological tools that optimize their administrative process as a whole.
We can say then that the internet and all new technologies have brought significant advances to society, which, if they are properly harmonized with the pedagogical proposal, can represent excellent ways to build knowledge and effective means of preparing young people for a society in which the online and offline worlds are indisputably interconnected. And by talking in connection with the internet, this is an important step for the school that wants to stimulate the good use of technology by its students and extract the best it has to offer, after all, what sense to provide the school with computer equipment if there is no quality pedagogical infrastructure and content?
But, is it really safe to make Internet access available to my students? It’s a matter of time, if you do not do it now, sooner or later you will have to do it. Of course, the use of the internet in the school environment demands both technical and awareness-raising measures. This is an irreversible path to education, and the more prepared the school is for this demand, the lower the risks of digital incidents involving its faculty, students and other staff. After all, you only learn to use technology, using.
The responsibility of the school in this context is unquestionable, especially because it is dealing with children and adolescents, but this can not be an impediment to the digital inclusion of its students. It is necessary to make it clear, either in the Educational Services Provision Agreement signed with the responsible, or in a separate document and this attachment – such as the Internal Regulations or even a Code of Conduct, that the resource made available by the institution should be used to educational purpose, so that if applied in a different way to the agreed upon, there will be, in addition, a contractual noncompliance, whose consequences will be the responsibility of the parents or legal guardian. Pedagogically and already in compliance with all the above rules, adding therein the provisions of Article 26 of the Civil Internet Framework and the Law 13185 on Prevention and Control of Cyberbullying itself, it is recommended that the school signs an agreement or combined with its own students, be it through a practice (writing, awareness campaign, lectures, written statement of commitment itself, and the installation of a pop-up alert for each new access) or even a Term of Conduct or Citizen Digital, making them commit themselves to make the best use of this access / vote of confidence.
These and other measures that will be dealt with below substantially mitigate the risks of accountability of the educational institution, since, as a rule, the owner of the resource responds to its inappropriate use, being able to enter with right of return against the person responsible for any loss caused by inappropriate use, but provided that it can prove who did it – another point of extreme attention and that is not restricted to student users, but to all those who enjoy the resource / access, which includes teachers, service providers, families , visitors and etc. But how do you prove who used the access at any given time? For this reason the technology itself offers alternatives.
Authentication of any user on school-owned internet access (and any institution that in any way shares access to its wi-fi network) must necessarily be individual, so that it is possible to capture all data of each user and access, which, by determination of Law 12965 (Civil Landmark of the Internet), must be stored for at least 6 (six) months. Another important measure is to have at the disposal of the educational establishment, a professional in charge of the technology front to even manage the accesses. This professional will have a special legal responsibility, which will not admit any acts or omissions that may characterize negligence, recklessness or malpractice, under the terms of article 1016 of the Brazilian Civil Code. It is the IT manager of the institution that will enforce the “agreement” to the rules and purposes of use of each access, whether by student, teacher, service providers or visitors.
This is the professional responsible for seeking ways to make use of technology effectively in the educational field, for finding and suggesting elements and motivational learning solutions, for implementing resources for segregation and individualization of all accesses, for monitoring when necessary, filtering content , collect and preserve logs. Yes, the information society obliges us to constantly reinvent ourselves and, above all, to accept and adapt ourselves to the necessary changes, especially when we occupy the fascinating role of educator.