Schools enter a new age (Part 1)
The Networked Society has given rise to completely new technologies entering schools, changing the way students learn. More and more people are realizing that the successful integration of ICT into teaching can add value to children’s education and thereby also improve students’ future prospects.
This is why Colegio y Ventro Comunitario San Luis Beltrán, a school in Santiago, Chile, which is well known for having integrated ICT into children’s education for many years, is so exciting!
When Ericsson visited the school earlier this year, it found state-of-the-art computers, interactive whiteboards, tablets and smartphones. Carts of up to 50 notebooks were pushed along corridors moving them from one classroom to another as the day progressed. Inside the robotics lab, teachers helped students to build and program a robot that uses computers and webcams to move about and avoid obstacles. And an antenna, which provides the neighborhood with free Wi-Fi access, has been installed on the roof of the school.
The assistant principal of San Luis Beltrán, Patricia Alvarez, says it was a conscious and strategic decision to invest in ICT. This was important because some of the students didn’t have access to the internet at home, limiting their computer experience.
Today, students as young as four get to familiarize themselves with computers and other technology on an average school day.
About 1000 students, aged four to 18, attend San Luis Beltrán, and even though many come from homes where money is tight, 80 percent of the school’s graduates go on to study at college or university. The remaining 20 percent graduate with sufficient qualifications to work with technology or telecom.
This just goes to show that while reading, writing and arithmetic will continue to be important, new technology requires students to learn a new set of skills that will prepare them for life in the Networked Society.