They are between 10 and 20 years old and technologies are an integral part of their lives, to have fun, communicate and also to work. At the 20th Congress, APDC brought digital natives to the stage, not as extras but as creatives and producers of multimedia content, presenting videos without censorship and without intermediation, responding to a proposal from the association to several schools.
The digital natives it’s the crowd sourcing focused the presentations and the debate that featured Florence Devouard, from the Wikimedia Foundation, António Dias Figueiredo, Professor at the University of Coimbra, Luís Pinto, manager of the Magalhães initiative at JP Sá Couto, and Rui Dias Alves, CEO of Return on Ideas. The need to rethink teaching strategies here, as well as the future professional framework of these young people, became evident.
Florence Devouard, from the Wikimedia Foundation, explained the philosophy behind Wikipedia, the ideals and the history of the collaborative encyclopedia that currently covers 260 languages and 16.7 million published articles.
The advantages of keeping Wikipedia open – and not just free – and the problems it can involve were at the heart of the presentation, not least because the foundation’s philosophy is not to discover everything that users can do wrong and limit them, because of this This also prevents users from doing good things, justified the person in charge of Wikipedia, who also outlined the profile of the common editor of the encyclopedia: a young man between 16 and 25 years old, male, with some education and no children.
The portrait, as she noted, fits the profile of some of the young people that APDC brought to the second session of the Congress, the digital natives, who were already born in the world of technologies and the Internet. But greater detail was given by Rui Dias Alves, CEO of Return on Ideias, supported by interviews and focus groups conducted with the classes of young people who participated.
The fruition dynamics associated with technologies, the distinct rhythms of adults and the stimuli that motivate them, were identified, but also the recognition of the difference between quality and productivity, admitting that the Internet has limits.
Rui Dias Alves also stressed that for these young people the great achievement is to be connected at every moment, in an eminently social experience.
The analysis was also made by António Dias Figueiredo, Professor at the University of Coimbra, who recalled that when this generation reaches the world of work, technologies have already changed a lot and therefore they will have to learn to manage chaos. Because the world is unrelenting and young people face scenarios of greater precarious work and it is the current adults who have to take care of their future.
In learning there are also new challenges, because new ways of transmitting concepts have to be created.
Focused on the Magalhães project and Education, Luís Pinto believes that more than a Restart one should speak of a reborn in relation to young people, who challenge teachers and educators in a new reality that the JP Sá Couto company is already starting to assist in more than 60 countries where it has attended classes. Especially because the learning models are changing, betting less on memorization and new ways of feeling emotion, says the manager of the Magalhães project.
Schools are digital content factories
Closing the session, João Trocado da Mata, Secretary of State for Education, took stock of the Technological Plan for Education and of the evolution of this project of connection and equipment of schools, stressing however that the Government never saw this issue as an end in itself.
The aim has always been to transform the plan into a means to promote innovation and the production of content and, currently, «with the existing conditions, schools become a huge factory of digital content», a potential that has to be explored , remembered.
In search of an inclusive school, which is a vehicle for upward social mobility and the main instance of reducing social inequalities, the Secretary of State also emphasized the fundamental role of teachers in the process of appropriating technologies. «Teachers are the main distributors of knowledge,» he said, explaining that they should not compete with students in the dexterity and manipulation of tools, because they are producers of meaning, translating information into knowledge.