Connected Rural Schools

Laboratory of innovative practices in Vitória de Santo Antão (PE)

There are approximately 50 million students enrolled in state schools in Brazil, of whom 12% are in rural areas, studying in about 67 thousand rural public schools which have very singular realities, according to Census data. Based on this context, the Fundação Telefônica (a foundation created by the telecommunications company Telefônica), created its Connected Rural Schools program and, in partnership with CESAR, was interested in studying rural public schools in the town of Vitória de Santo Antão, in Pernambuco, to evaluate the feasibility of creating a laboratory of innovative practices in the region.

First of all, 12 local schools with low connectivity were studied. Each had the characteristic of being multi-series, that is, that they had students of several ages in the same classroom due to space and teaching limitations. As a result of this study, CESAR developed a methodology called Islands of Knowledge (Ilhas do Saber), the objective of which was to extract, in the best possible way, the benefits of a multi-series room, while taking into account the context of a rural school with all its peculiarities and technological restrictions.

At the next stage of the project, when Qualcomm entered as a partner of the Fundação Telefónica, we set up the laboratory of innovative practices in the Manoel Domingos public school. Therefore, the school received state-of-the-art high connectivity technology and more than a hundred tablets for classroom use. CESAR is responsible for training the teachers of this school to use technologies such as tablets, to run robotics workshops, to use project-based learning and to use multimedia as didactic and pedagogical support, with a view to having an impact on student learning. To do so, CESAR organizes workshops with teachers, provides training and interaction sessions for the local community, and monitors these teachers when they apply the new practices learned, in the classroom.

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