BRAZIL: Salesian Publisher Brings Digital Learning Opportunities to Students and Teachers in Salesian Schools
(MissionNewswire) Brazil has one of the strongest economies in Latin America and is an important agricultural and industrial power in the region. Just over 15 percent of Brazilians live in poverty, with the majority living in the rural northeast of the country, according to the World Bank. While Brazil is making positive changes, there are still large gaps between the poor and the rich and issues of income inequality and social exclusion remain at the root of those in poverty.
Inequalities also exist in access to education and educational efficiency. These inequalities are greatest for children and youth who are poor, live in rural areas or who have an incomplete compulsory education. Salesians working with poor youth and their families in Brazil develop programs and provide youth opportunities for furthering their education and skills.
In May, the Salesian publisher Edebé-Brazil took part in BETT, formerly known as British Education Training and Technology, a trade show held in the United Kingdom that highlights the use of information technology in education. During this event, Edebé-Brazil was able to highlight its innovative approach to digital education including digital education materials used in the Network of Salesian Schools in Brazil.
“We showed the significance of Edebé, a publisher that started with digital material and that now offers a complete solution for schools, which includes a platform for academic management and teaching, online training for teachers and digital learning materials consisting of an interactive digital book and notebook,” says Cynthia Bagatin Lapa, editorial director of Edebé-Brazil.
Edebé-Brazil officially launched in November 2013 and was the result of a four year collaboration between the Network of Salesian Schools Brazil and Edebé-Spain in Barcelona. The publisher’s launch began with an integrated education project for the Network of Salesian Schools.
A platform named Esemtia was set-up to facilitate the work of academic managers and to integrate the Salesian educative and pastoral communities. Materials were also produced for digital learning and are gradually being introduced to traditional school settings.
The materials for digital learning consist of an interactive instructional book and notebook that are easy to navigate, make use of different languages and encourage collaborative study. Already more than 65,000 digital books have been downloaded and are being utilized by educators and students.
“These permit the user to access information in real time, highlighting the most important issues of the moment in each discipline,” adds Bagatin Lapa.
To date, more than 12,000 students and 2,642 teachers, administrators and managers use the educational platform and digital materials to enhance educational experiences.
“The gap in opportunity for rich and poor continues to be very wide in Brazil, even with government efforts,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesians are seeing that youth who are already at a social or economic disadvantage fall even further behind because of a lack of access to quality education. Salesians work hard to close that gap by bringing the latest in education, skills training and technology to those who might not otherwise have access.”
World Bank – Brazil