“Escuelas que innovan” [Schools that innovate]: an example of how ICTs promote innovation in education

“Escuelas que innovan” is a Fundación Telefónica Brazil and Instituto Natura project that integrates ICTs into teacher training and practice at Sao Paulo public school centres, and encourages the results of other innovative activities undertaken in educational institutions.

The origin of this project is an initiative adopted by two education centres in the Sao Paulo public schools network, EMEF (Escola Municipal de Ensino Fundamental [Municipal School for Basic Education]) Campos Salles (Heliópolis) and EMEF Amorim Lima (Butantã), which have substituted traditional classrooms with “study halls” where students work in groups of four or five, promoting interaction and information exchange.

The positive results of this initiative have attracted the attention of Telefónica and the Instituto Natura, who want to encourage such an innovative education initiative through the introduction of ICTs. For example, Vivo (Telefónica’s commercial brand in Brazil) has connected 100% of EMEF Campos Salles to the internet, with computers for students and 100 megabyte connection.  A huge investment has also been made in continuing education for teachers, which has transformed how they facilitate student learning through the use of Q Mágico, a digital platform that adapts to the child’s learning pattern and helps teachers assess student progress. Thus, by joining strengths, “Escuelas que innovan” seeks to form well-rounded citizens, capable of facing the worldly challenges that surround them.

As such, the combination of traditional subjects with innovative pedagogical practices, ICTs use, and a focus on individual student learning, has generated positive results; to such a point that the director of the Fundación Telefónica Brazil, Gabriella Bighetti, and the Sao Paulo municipal Secretary of Education, Antonio Cesar Russi Callegari, have signed an agreement this week to expand the “Escuelas que innovan” project.