Over 12 million people in Brazil use online educational tools, with contents ranging from exercises, mock tests, video classes to tips and educational games, often free of charge. The figures were released by the Lemann Foundation, a Brazilian non-profit NGO aimed at developing initiatives in education.
The websites visited focus on learning how to read and write, the needs of high school students, and specialization programs. “The main feature of these internet tools is that many of them are totally free of charge and any student can have access to them without spending anything and with no trouble at all. You just get online and start studying,” says Lemann Project Manager Guilherme Antunes.
The foundation's Aprenda.Online webportal features link to websites like the Khan Academy, the world's biggest mathematics site; Youtube Edu, which shows a collection of the shortest video classes selected by Youtube, and Coursera, an open platform with free courses from the world's most renowned universities. “Technology helps bridge the gap between the access and the opportunities students are given overseas, especially in the US and Europe,” Antunes argues.
Classes may be watched by students on their own or with a teacher in the classroom. “Classes take place on the computer. Teachers often enjoy the role of helping students study through the combination of traditional classroom and technology,” the manager said.
Maria Aparecida de Faria Municipal School, in São Paulo, is among the schools where Khan Academy is used for mathematics. “It's one more resource for teachers. They can watch through the online reports on the website as students make progress. The teacher can identify goals met by students, as well as learners who need closer attention,” Director Aliane Rodrigues points out.
Government initiatives have also taken internet access to public schools. The Broadband in Schools Program is a case in point. The project is a partnership between the federal government and telephone companies aimed at providing schools with broadband internet connection.
In Brazil, 32,434 public schools have no access to the internet, according to a survey released last year. Most schools with no internet access are in the countryside, where a mere 13% have access to the internet.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Agência Brasil.