Some schools have taken on the challenge of implementing educational proposals with new technologies, from the use of mobile devices to the use of computer labs in a much more integrated way; even when the teachers and parents of the students do not have the necessary knowledge in the subject of digital technologies.
The 2019 State of the World’s Children of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) shows us that one in three internet users in the world are less than 18 years old. From this perspective, the access and use of technology is and should be an essential right to promote the participation of digital citizenship in a positive and responsible framework for the inclusion of children and adolescents to the new economy, said Gordon Jonathan Lewis, representative of UNICEF-Costa Rica.
Digital technology in the educational area since its inception was based on the development of human capacities to produce knowledge. PRONIE-MEP-FOD established an important and powerful link between the computer, the design of learning environments and the possibilities of developing people’s intellectual and social skills.
Particularly the work with programming languages and the project-based approach to learning have remained as main aspects of the digital environment in which Costa Rican children and educators experiment with technological resources to achieve intelligent development.
The challenge assumed by the country is based on the participation and training of educators, to build an adequate vision about how to have technology in schools and how to make the most of the opportunities they offer as learning resources. The emphasis on the development of students’ abilities, on the one hand, and, on the other, the improvement of the pedagogical practice of educators, motivated the formulation of a strategy for the implementation that articulated the insertion of technologies with systematic processes of professional development and pedagogical follow-up actions along with technical support, which guarantees a better use of the resources placed in educational institutions and sustained social investment.
The presence of the Internet in the educational environment was assumed as a new opportunity `to build a new creative space for learning and educational exchange. As of 1997, the design of network-mediated learning experiences boomed, while a sustained process of research and production related to the innovative use of these technologies began. What mattered was the consideration that the educational intentionality that would define the use of the Internet as a learning scenario and not just the simple fact of inserting a certain technology advance per se.
Among the ways of using the Internet for educational purposes are:
- Take advantage of the network as a provider of resources to support the development of projects in classroom learning spaces, both in educational informatics and other curricular subjects.
- Take advantage of the network as a virtual learning environment, that is, as the place where the learning activity occurs.
- Take advantage of the network as a scenario to build learning communities. In this case, some experiences seek the formation of discussion communities, exchange spaces or online resources, organized by calls, subscriptions, restricted access or open participation.
- The Costa Rican experience of technological insertion in school spaces is characterized by an educational approach that has been maintained over the years and has been enriched with the research and exploration of a learning curriculum that is energized from scientific advances.
In this increasingly complex technological world, we are challenged to return once again to the ideas of how to learn and teach. We can base timely up-to-date reflections on how to include technological advances in our teaching practices. No discipline has been more influenced by the transformations caused by the advancement of technologies than the educational sector, and that is precisely where it is necessary to pay more attention and be vigilant and guarantors of the positive contribution that these changes generate this area.
The excellence in education guarantees the correct preparation of the generations that will have the responsibility of taking the reins of direction and development of communities. Technological advances force us to redefine strategies to balance what we already know with what these advances demand. The success that we can continue to experience in education along with the new technologies will always depend on the level of commitment we assume to ensure the education of excellence.