“The happiest days are those that make us wise”, wrote Gabriela Mistral, Nobel Prize for Chilean Literature in 1945. And it seems that her words could become reality for the 3,445 children and adolescents who study in the public institutes of the municipality of San Nicolás, located in the province of Punilla, in the Ñuble region.
And it is precisely as part of the Rural Education Day, which every 7 April in the country is celebrated in honor of the birth of Gabriela Mistral, the IdeoDigital initiative was launched, a program focused on the installation of Computer Science in the curriculum Chilean school, made possible thanks to the strategic alliance between Fundación Kodea and BHP Foundation, and which makes use of the collaboration of Microsoft Chile in Ñuble.
Currently in the country there are 3,317 rural structures, more than half of which are located in isolated areas and which play a fundamental role in the education of thousands of boys and girls.
In this way, San Nicolás will become a common leader in implementing these increasingly essential skills to face the challenges of the 21st century. The educational institutions of San Nicolás are: Lajuela Elementary School, Monteleón Elementary School, Dadinco School, El Peumo School, La Loma School, Puente El Ala School, San Nicolás Bicentennial Polyvalent High School and Puente Ñuble Technical Bicentennial High School.
The activity took place at the Lajuelas Basic School, which saw the participation of the mayor, Víctor Rice (who was a teacher and then director of this institute), municipal authorities, council members, teachers, students and promoters of the project.
Rice said that “it is a pride to be able to fully immerse ourselves as a community in this program, which means continuing to provide our students with better tools for their future work.”
Computer science learning contributes to the development of digital citizenship, the development of cognitive and non-cognitive skills, promotes students’ empowerment, motivation and creativity, as well as being a gateway to the interest of girls, children and adolescents for the so-called STEM careers (for its acronym in English), which includes the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Alejandra Garcés, director of the BHP Foundation in Chile, said that “we seek to support transformative projects that lead to social change, disruptive, sustainable, scalable and collaborative, for the benefit of the new generations and for the challenges imposed by this century. Equity in education is one of the main axes we are working on, like IdeoDigital, because technology is an important tool for moving in that direction. We are convinced that having digital skills that go beyond the user level is essential for today’s students to have better opportunities tomorrow ”.
One of the promoters of the incorporation of IdeoDigital into the municipality was the director of the Liceo Bicentenario Polivalente de San Nicolás, Víctor Reyes, who has been promoting the development of scientific and technological knowledge in San Nicolás for years. In high school, Reyes decided to innovate from kindergarten to fourth grade, incorporating programming for the development of logical thinking, robotics and mechatronics.
For example, before joining IdeoDigital, students developed collaborative processes to design and manufacture a robotic arm prosthesis, 3D printing a high school scale model based on campus photogrammetry from images captured by a drone that students drive. themselves .
“We want to improve the life expectancy of our students by dreaming of future IT-related professions, positively impacting greater equity, democratizing information and forming participatory and critical citizens,” said Reyes.
Moreover education on the go
One of the teachers who teaches computer science in this school is Roberto Herrera, a computer engineer by profession, who has been teaching technology for two years, both as a consultant for kindergarten and kindergarten, and as a teacher from first to fifth grade.
Roberto participated in the recent IdeoDigital training for teachers in San Nicolás and before that he did the same with Kodea, because he wanted to know “how to make children understand computational thinking; how to put it into practice in the classroom and how to make it interesting and practical for students ”.
The teacher explains in a practical way the teaching and learning processes of computer science: “We teach our kindergarten students what computer science is, working with different devices such as plobot (a robot to introduce programming), computers, tablets , to start programming from first base. We do all this by working on computational thinking “.
He adds that the boys and girls “have learned to their amazement that information technology is in all aspects of their life. We have noticed that they are motivated to learn computer science day after day, because they discover how fun it is to face different challenges and solve them, individually or in a group. Plus, it’s been very rewarding, since they want to learn more and seek out new challenges, making us reinvent and improve our teaching. “
In turn, Claudia Jaña, head of education at Kodea, said that “the implementation of IdeoDigital in San Nicolás is very important for us, because we are convinced that we must prepare all the boys and girls of Chile so that they know how to function in the world they have to live in, regardless of their context. Reaching rural municipalities allows us to reduce the gaps that exist around scientific and technological knowledge “.
Meanwhile, Macarena Ramírez, Director of Education at Microsoft Chile, said that “we are proud to be part of this type of initiative, part of our Transform Chile #Digital Reactivation plan and our mission, which is to enable every person and organization to achieve more. With an increasingly digital economy, we believe that a renewed commitment to education and the provision of e-skills is necessary for children to be part of the Digital Revolution. Companies like Microsoft have a mission to develop tools that enable students and teachers to function as best they can in the world today and in the future. However, the main role we play is to make technology truly an enabler. “
IdeoDigital is a five-year initiative that develops content based on Code.org and curricular, available as a public good and free for the entire educational community of the country. In addition to generating these materials, it provides the teacher with a friendly learning path to incorporate the discipline of computer science into the school’s educational project.
The pilot project of this program, developed in 2021, was attended by 23 institutions of the Metropolitan Region and of Ñuble, where teachers from the first to the sixth year received training on this discipline. This 2022 will continue with the program and accompaniment.
Watch the video on the first year of IdeoDigital.
Do you want to add your property to the IdeoDigital initiative? Visit IdeoDigital and go to “contact”.