Technology to break down barriers

Image | Marcus Kwan

When we talk about the introduction of new technologies in the classroom, we come to a wide diversity of opinions and perspectives. Are new technologies a good educational tool? How can they help us overcome the social barriers and improve our communication skills?

Digital inclusion is concerned with the democratization of access to information technology so that through it, everyone can have the same opportunities. Experts say that the introduction of new technologies in education can help breaking social barriers through the customization and adaptation of content.

For many governments and organizations this digital inclusion is a universal right. The introduction of technology in education has to be treated as an opportunity to avoid a major gap between social estates in the future. In fact, in May 25th of 2009, UNESCO and Sun Microsystems announced their collaboration to promote community development and education through open source technology.

Mobile devices, programming and robotics are great tools to support collaborative learning, promote student autonomy, implement new ways to teach and promote the participation of students and families in educational activities. In this regard, there are several initiatives and centres that implement projects to promote an improvement in learning methods.

WeClass, for example, is an educational platform that facilitates communication between teachers, student and their family. This tool helps students to learn by using digital content while their family can make a simple academic track. 

On the other hand, robotics and programming have a lot to do in this regard. These two disciplines are adaptable to different levels (from kindergarten to high school). It fosters creativity, divergent thinking, frustration tolerance and problem solving. Also, if students work with it as a team, these tools are very motivating and it helps allowing all students to make contributions to their classmates.

In addition, robotics is also a great opportunity for young people with disabilities. La Salle University is working since 2009 in the use of these kind of platforms to improve social skills of children with autism. Robots are used as facilitators to create in students a need for interaction with their peers and other adults.

The education department of the Government of Catalonia is organizing, on March 29th, the third edition of the Day of Social Inclusion. A space in which experts in various fields will present educational experiences or projects that support cooperative learning by using new technologies.

The m4All competence center, which is part of the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation, wants to ensure worldwide access to mobile solutions, for people at risk of social exclusion, seniors or disabled individuals. Reaching this goal requires m4All to strengthen the industrial and social environment and to attract new players.

For more information:

  • m4all programme website
  • Articles related to m4all