Technology and social inclusion together for the education of the future

Klaus Schlünzen Junior is the coordinator in the Centre for Distance Education at Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) and specialist in topics such as teacher training, digital education, and information technology in communication.  He is also the author of the book Aprendizagem, Cultura e Tecnologia (Learning, Culture and Technology – free translation) and co-author of Inclusão Digital: tecendo redes afetivas-cognitivas (Digital inclusion: creating affective-cognitive networks – free translation)

During the 25th edition of Bett Educar in May 2018 (learn more about it here), professor Klaus spoke about the use of technologies to set up a personalized education, which acknowledges students individualities and, thereafter, promotes larger social inclusion in educational institutions. Klaus conceded an interview to CER during the event, check it out:

1-The new technologies are responsible for changes in the way educators teach. What is this new role of educators in the classroom?

In the first place, we teachers have to comprehend that there is a new scenario for education, there are new learning spaces. Technology allows mapping the teacher space along with his students, providing access to new information. In that sense, a teacher is no longer just an element for transmitting information, like he was considered until recently. He becomes responsible for mediating all the student’s access to information and the use of it. This goes along with an entrepreneurial spirit. The entrepreneurial education is richer when the teacher knows how to lead the students to seek information, to build projects and products.

2- What are the current challenges for teachers to assume this new role progressively?

The challenge, mainly in the university, is training teachers in a way they can see themselves as entrepreneurs and innovation leaders inside the educational institute. Our challenge is to work on basic and continuous training, beginning with the concept of teachers who use technologies and navigate in new learning environments, where students have new expectations: they are digital natives who know where to research information but do not know exactly what to do with it.

3 – How the entrepreneurial mindset in education can benefit the social inclusion of students with some type of disability?

When you work with diversified methodologies, you put disruptive models into practice, outside traditional contexts of education. The entrepreneur model demands a new attitude for each project that the teacher develops along with the students. This allows the educator to have his position constantly renewed, building a transformative education. Through the methodologies and technologies, the teacher must mediate the differences, potentialities, and capacities of each student.

4- What about the benefits for the other students?

Very often the greatest gain of social inclusion is for us, for the school community. Picture a future professional who can understand the differences, who comprehends that people are not all the same. The services he will provide in the future, the technologies that he will develop, everything he makes will have the differences as a value.

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