The goal is to create the necessary conditions for the application of computer science in the Chilean public school system, thus providing students with the digital knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their full development in the twenty-first century and stop being mere passive users of technology.
Kodia Foundationin alliance with BHP’s Chile Program, shoot digital video, a country project that seeks to transform Chilean education by developing twenty-first century skills in students and teachers through Integrating Computer Science (CC) into the Chilean school curriculum. It is a five-year project and involves an investment of $6.7 million.
In Chile, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, only 6% of the population has the skills to face the technological changes on offer, and 42% of the general population has no basic knowledge.
For both institutions, while the pandemic has revealed the urgency of tackling this problem, the challenge as a country is more than that. And not just for reasons of improving future employment prospects for children and young adults, they point out, but because the educational process of computational thinking, programming, and all that this knowledge includes promotes high-level cognitive skills.
IdeoDigital, in more specific terms, is to advance the teaching and learning of computer science from grade 1 to grade 4, by implementing a program that will affect more than a thousand schools, more than 850 teachers, and 150,000 students.
The project will run for five years and both institutions hope to demonstrate Chile’s need for large-scale talent development for the digital world, so that public policies are created that will allow the inclusion of the subject of computer science in the school curriculum of the Chilean system.
The national school curriculum currently focuses on the use of information and communication technology (ICT), through the subject of technology, as a tool to support the learning of the contents of primary and secondary education, but not as an object of study. For this, IdeoDigital will develop Code.org-based content and a systematic approach, to the topic of technology, content that will be available as a public good and free of charge to the entire educational community.
“Today we must create a future in which all Chilean school-age children, regardless of their socio-economic background or the type of school they attend, have the opportunity to develop the digital skills necessary for their full dissemination in the digital society. If we do not give them this knowledge, we ignore it” , he says. Monica Ritamal, Director of the Kodia Foundation.
With IdeoDigital, students are trained in skills in communication, empathy, assertiveness, digital citizenship, critical thinking, imagination, metacognition, analytics and problem solving, among others, gaining knowledge about algorithms, programming, networking, the Internet, and the impact of technology on society.
“At Fundación BHP, we believe that quality learning is the way to develop the skills needed for the future and for all children to develop their potential. Today we have a unique opportunity to transform the system and better equip this generation of students and future generations with the skills needed for the future. If we enhance digital inclusion and provide better educational opportunities, we can take An important step in bridging the gap in the quality of education, and thus, with everyone’s contribution, we contribute to more equitable and just societies,” he says. Alejandra Garces, BHP . Chile Program Director.
IdeoDigital: Computer Science in the Classroom
Computer science is a discipline of study that develops knowledge related to computers and algorithms; Starting with its basic principles, hardware and software, their applications, and their impact on society. This major considers programming, computational thinking, data science, networking, cybersecurity, robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, among others.
This year IdeoDigital started with a beta phase in 23 schools; 15 in the metropolitan area and eight in the Ñuble region. Over the next four years that the project will continue, more schools from all regions of Chile will be integrated, up to the national scale.
The initiative will support teachers in their digital learning through bootcamp-type trainings, with activities specifically created and adapted to their level of knowledge and the context of their regional school, in order to create a network of leading computer science schools.
Subsequently, IdeoDigital does the follow-up for one or two years depending on the need of each institution. In these exercises they are taught to use the Code.org platform; Social, emotional, creative and critical thinking skills; Semester preparation sessions and feedback on implementation; and teacher training to train other teachers.
One of the first schools to join IdeoDigital is Liceo Polivalente San Nicolás de Ñuble. “We decided to be a part of this project because we realized that understanding how technology works is an essential tool to develop our students and understand the world they have to work in. He explains that a lack of digital skills and competencies should not be an obstacle for our students to succeed in what they choose tomorrow.” Victor Reyes, Principal of San Nicolas de Robles Polyvalent School.
IdeoDigital invites interested schools from all over Chile to request educational resources and content on www.ideodigital.cl Join the Computer Science Teaching Initiative.
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