Education and technology: duties and assets

This weekend began the first homework strike at the public school. Can technology collaborate to solve the problem?

Statistics there are dozens. Those that portray how many video game consoles there are worldwide, how many hours adolescents spend with video games, how much time we dedicate as parents to our children and the number of hours of homework they have. But the reality is that parents live with the time our children spend online and with their attitude towards homework. And both influence education and learning.

Almost 25 centuries ago, the ludus, elementary and free schools in Rome, guaranteed an education to all those under 12 years of age. These ludus share an etymological root with the playful, the game. Thus, learning and play went hand in hand from the beginning of public school. Perhaps technology can go back in time to return to these beginnings where learning was done by playing and both school and home become benchmarks for learning independently. And that’s what video games can bring. But… how to decide? Recently there have been three important additions to the world of educational technology.

Create your own universe

Minecraft: Education Edition is the version adapted to teaching the famous video game. Developed with the collaboration of more than 50,000 students and teachers, it is a work tool with enormous advantages for students: they know the game and they like it, they can be the ones to teach parents and even teachers and enter the game with their own account , if they have it. The game is prepared to introduce up to 30 students at the same time in a game, they can share notes, follow a leader and write in a private chat with their class and their teacher, thus ensuring that it is a safe environment . The teacher can see what his students are doing at any time and change the location of some that are scattered. They also have access to Minecraft Mentors, to exchange opinions and even study plans. It allows you to teach almost any subject, from literature to trigonometry, from history to chemistry. And since it is something that students experience, it is very easily recorded in their memories.

The universal language

Lately all the education gurus talk about the importance of learning to code. In the digital world, coding is telling a computer what to do step by step. Give the instructions, as if it were a recipe. There are several types of language, some simpler, like C and others, like Javascript, more focused on web content. It is a fundamental “art” since smartphones, games, applications and even microwave ovens require coding to perform their tasks. Coders are the architects of the digital world in many ways and that is why it is important for students to learn it. In some European countries, for example England, it is already part of the school program. And it will become as weighty as speaking English. Just as we communicate with each other, we must also learn to talk to machines. Swift Playgrounds is a resource created by Apple to unravel the ins and outs of coding. Step by step the player learns to master the Swift language.

Strawberry smoothies

Awarded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Horizon 2020 of the European Commission and finalist of the South-Summit16, Smile & Learn is an intelligent library created by a Spaniard, Víctor Sánchez, who, tired of his children “finding themselves in the network with “hamburgers” (which they love but are not healthy) or “broccoli” (healthy but which they do not like), decided to create a platform with games, stories and puzzles that they liked and were good at, like Strawberry Smoothies» . It is, more than an app, a resource developed by experts in education and technology so that children from 2 to 10 years old have a safe environment (without advertising), multilingual and adaptable to the learning speed of each child. In fact the games follow the progress and adapt to it. It has already started to be used in more than 100 colleges and schools. What makes it unique? Although the age range is a bit wide, it should be between 2 and 7 years old considering the difficulty of the games. It is a tool that appeals to children’s reasoning, curiosity and independence.

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