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ERIC Number: EJ990982
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-2165-3151
Technology-Based Participatory Learning for Indigenous Children in Chiapas Schools, Mexico
Heredia, Yolanda; Icaza, Jose I.
Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, v11 p251-270 2012
This research created a technology-based learning environment at two schools belonging to the National Council of Educational Development (CONAFE) for indigenous children in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. The purpose of the study was to describe the educational impact of using the Classmate PC netbooks and the Sugar Educational Platform in the pedagogical practice of community instructors (teachers) and in the development of technological and cognitive skills in students on third and fourth grades of elementary school. All students and instructors were given computers; the three community instructors were trained in the use of the technology and in the constructionist pedagogical model. It was necessary to provide an electrical charging station for the computers in the classroom; the battery was charged overnight using a timer and then lasted for the whole school morning. The researchers visited the two one-room schools six times during a whole school year in order to register classroom observations, conduct interviews, and gather electronic portfolios of the students; these are automatically kept by the Sugar platform. One of the findings of the research was that there was a positive impact on the development of both technological and cognitive skills as the students increased the mastery of the Sugar educational activities. Another finding is that the mouse pad is a better tool for children than the mouse because the students had had little contact with computer equipment before. Sugar activities freely chosen by the students on their free time included recording photos and videos, doing puzzles, playing memory games, and Paint; the ones most used in academic activities were Write, Talking To Sara (a Spanish chat bot), Story Writer, and Calculator. The mastery of the computers and activities enhanced self-confidence of the children and increased their Spanish linguistic abilities (their native language is Tzotzil). The community instructors enriched their teaching by incorporating on a systematic and daily basis the computer and Sugar activities. Further, they incorporated both individual and collaborative activities with the computer to strengthen the thematic content of the curriculum. In a similar way to the students, instructors also increased their confidence with the technology and in their teaching abilities. Finally, the study can state that the combination of Classmate and Sugar is an effective learning environment based on technology in this impoverished environment. (Contains 3 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 3; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico