Education and technologies: the confrontation

Image: Marcio Costa


It is important to be smart in the face of the new framework enunciating innovations in technology and education, which has been moving for decades at the service of supposed global productivity and this year exploded in the pandemic

The confrontation between ideas, facts and proposals is the condition for learning. Since there are multiple chances of, once again, the introduction of what is now called “hybrid education” or “hybrid teaching” in the throats of educators, students and community-based managers, it is worth confronting. Confronting even to escape the umpteenth repetition of previous symbolic violence, be it the case of the textbook during the dictatorship, the labor disgrace of “flexibilization”, the continuous discarding of popular cultures under the pretense of erudition, education centered on the student as a travesty of the teaching centered on the money of the parents of students. There was, via recycling, much more violence: the professional school for the poor and the classical school for the rich, the mass exams as a statement of educational quality and the absolute falsity of education as a national priority in the routine discourse of the old policy.

It is therefore convenient to be smart in the face of the new framework enunciating innovations in technology and education, which has been moving for decades at the service of supposed global productivity and this year exploded in the pandemic. Certainly, those who reflect the most on the phenomenon at this historical moment are the new profitable companies in the educational business, school planning and services in favor of hybrid, face-to-face/remote teaching.

Let's say that, in principle, the education/technology encounter is a necessary phenomenon, already old and always welcome, but not as an excuse, or a smokescreen, to put thousands of male and female educators on the street, as happens in higher schools. private and moving quickly towards basic education. One of the last places in society where there were jobs, the educational field, because the country is still full of illiteracy (plural), now it shows its ugly carcass of crushed bones, in which talent and titles resulting from sweat are worth almost nothing. And few people are aware of this.

Technology does not teach anyone unless understood as a set of statements (more than tools), which, by drinking from the same cultural sources of the old educational process, make it desirable and diversified extensions of sapiens/faber. Now, the curious and critical – therefore scientific – spirit has a new enunciative chain of values ​​to compel, discuss, choose, analyze, judge and appropriate. This is not an enchantment in the face of wonders; simply from acts of praxis, that have been part of the nature of education for centuries, with emphasis on the Renaissance.

If it is up to us, as a school, to study the migrations, the field of meanings that is formed is wide: poverty, travel, barriers, divided family, expulsions, survival, disenchantment, support, rights, new lives, hope, a subjective/objective panel that involves economics, politics, languages, sociological criticism , demography, history/geography, arts. It can be seen that the semantic field affects and prods the various fields of knowledge of the educational community, whether in the central schools or in the grotões, despite the distances of appropriation of knowledge and resources. The composition of school curricula is going around and, if the fundamental rights of the historical subjects of education, children, adolescents and young people prevail (according to CF, LDB, ECA and derived laws), enunciations of various orders will be necessary, namely , books, historical-geographical documents, equipment from new technologies (possible and accepted by the local/regional school culture), dialogues, focal works, interviews, surveys and participant observations. In other words, the technological extensions adopted will have to join hands with the common action of the educational community and, in this way, fulfill their educational role.

Hence, the futility and innocuousness of trying to establish a hybrid education. Hybrid of what?

Haven't there been other extensions of being a worker or student in the history of education, according to times and changes? A lot. To the extent that the new technologies do not accomplish anything other than education, which implies changing people towards autonomy in dealing with knowledge, in the unveiling of a healthy life and in the realization of freedom of thought and action, they will be values ​​in the educational process. It is not the hybrid that changes and leads incomplete and curious beings, but education as a whole. It would be a renewed horror if the educational system allowed the new technologies to help lead to the “uberization” of the student world, which would mean a supposed autonomy that has nothing autonomous and is in fact the maximum precariousness of the life of those who work. Uberization is also the result of more or less young technologies, not in favor of decent work and life, except in the discourse of those who foist crumbs on the poor...

Today, the hybrid is not serving anyone or anything other than opening spaces for new technology-selling organizations for schools that own resources and that emerged stronger from the pandemic, despite the sacrifices of their professionals. This phenomenon managed to increase poverty, led to the closure of millions of family businesses, bankrupted many other schools, but favored the strongest in assets and bank accounts. Also for this reason, which represents something already old in the political history of the country, the confrontation of ideas, facts and phenomena is required in order to clarify situations experienced in this dark time.

It is clear that, along with the rudest speeches, there are intelligent thoughts that need to be confronted in this time of budget disputes, a time when there is no minister of education, nor minister of health, or minister of the environmental herd, nor palace authority, except mirages and agents of powers that were already honored and had weight in the forum of the Brazilian State and its international relations. For this very reason, the chances of commerce in education grow immeasurably. It is, therefore, up to public opinion to confront discourses and practices and rid them of mistakes common to other known moments and which led to the depletion of public resources. Imagine the illusion (highly feasible in this type of government) in throwing new Fundeb resources into a technological adventure that may have nothing to do with the sense of total, integral education that is required in Brazil?

The pandemic encouraged commentators and reporters, based on preliminary studies, to foresee a terrible future for the “Covid generation” (for example, Folha, 21.10.2020, B3). There are, of course, many flaws in this discourse, in addition to its supposedly somewhat “prophetic” predictability. One of them is that it does not imply another way of organizing the school, without this meaning filling it with communication and information technologies. In other ways, new curricular compositions would be present, either the unfolding of the Common National Base, or the field of diversified activities in favor of teaching focused on the local and regional. A rereading of the National Curriculum Guidelines, CNE-MEC (1997-2018) is enough to realize how much can be done by assuming education as a whole, towards full-time education, with decisive support from the new Fundeb. Another defect of such analyzes resides in the fixation on our, which perhaps means, in the obscure language of these texts, the curricular components present in the grids, which were formerly called “lists of program points”.

Now, the only places where the contents, or syllabus points, stand out are in mass tests, ranging from IDEB to Pisa, etc. Within the scope of the full curriculum of educational communities, knowledge does not suffer quantitative comparisons, insofar as the quality of educational work can raise the gifts of intelligence in the very act of training people, which can mean conquests of knowledge in the medium term. Those who educated in peripheries and rural areas understand this very well. It is not magic, nor does it teach as a rigid norm; It's about education, about educate, to expose, to bring out values ​​drawn from learning confrontations.

Anyway, such comments do nothing to help education. But they are good speculations for the debate between educating and instructing, educating and training, educating and training, educating and teaching programming. Hopefully in the future we won't have more journalists ripping out catchphrases from this or that scholar or educator, as the quoted text reads a sentence ripped from Marcelo Neri, from FGV "If there was anything that still improved in Brazil in terms of inequality, it was the education. Now, that too is being broken by the pandemic.” Along with the objectification of education, the ambiguous statement stands out when relating what improved “in terms of inequality”, since the prepositional expression makes it difficult to understand the statement precisely. Without a good synonym, the excerpt wanders in the void of meaning. Aside from textual grammar, education both presents and reveals the country's social inequalities and its advances, depending on what educational communities do in the vastness of the physical and human geography of the continent-earth. Thus, the pandemic can break ties or give rise to major resumptions of them, which does not depend on predictions, but on continuous monitoring and evaluation far beyond massive examinations. These have only served to creep ministers and lead them to political moves, as Temer and Mendonça did with High School. Before them there were also “educational pacts”, forgotten before three or four years. Pacts? Better not to do them, especially for those who do not understand the deep mysteries of life and death. Perhaps after reading Mircea Eliade, the anthropologists and João Guimarães Rosa very well. It is better to make concrete agreements, budgeted, collectively planned, with transparency in management and very clear objectives.

It has already been seen that there are good texts on the relationship between education and technologies. One of them was published on page A 3 of Folha de São Paulo on October 21, by Lucia Dellagnelo. It asks about hybrid teaching as a new pandora's box, based on some relationships with the pandemic phenomenon and its mutilating action for school and educational work. If there was a reason for us to emerge from the pandemic with an eye on new communication technologies, in part used during a few months of 2020, what will blended learning mean? Perhaps the phenomenon had nothing to do with Pandora, since in the box of the beautiful woman of Greek mythology left the hope. Hope is not evil; like so many that came out of the box; it is only a remainder, a residue, a possibility given to the human. Paulo Freire always understood history as a possibility and, in this reading, the rest can be expanded and made the unpublished, but viable, a great value. Hope can come to confront evils and perhaps overcome them, but the potential fact demands a lot from human life in the world. Requires actions from Prometheus and other Titans.

Evidently, it is not appropriate to place special hope in technologies when education is understood as a whole. Perhaps by breaking some links between education and teaching, it will be possible to locate technologies as a curricular support. Even so, the writer of the quoted text demands technological training from teachers, full presence of computing machines and digital connections for all teaching participants. It's a very useful trio of requirements, which problematizes any vain hope in the technology itself. However, vain hope is a linguistic abnormality when waiting does not keep any semantic trace of conformism or submission, but, on the contrary, is associated with the field of meanings of what became a right extended by the strength and audacity of those who await new days. and changes. Paulo Freire sometimes called the phenomenon of hope/hoping.

In one way or another, the two cited texts project a society even more divided than we have, as first-class citizens will be abundantly connected and others will be less than sparsely. It is enough, therefore, that the country continues to be what it has been, world champion in inequality. In it, it is never convenient to abstract education, nor to fragment it by teaching, but rather to understand the knowledge and government policies as signs and indicators of continuous evils, spread throughout all corners of the Brazilian land. Now, the new organizations specialized in educational technologies should be consistent with this relationship of morphemes: education and technology, well beyond teaching and technology. It should be repeated, therefore, what has already been pointed out: education does not need to create technological antennas, much less connective and digital offspring. It is a totality that moves in the world and provokes necessary movements of change. Education never needs educational crutches, as it can only be an integrating and comprehensive action, which understands and assumes all new that emerges in history, just for that to be a new humanist, solidary, open to all learners and capable of promoting autonomy and freedom. Technological education is ignorance of the meanings of education.

It is understood, therefore, from the importance of technologies within the educational process, that organizations that own goods and means of production and sellers of connectivity arising from technologies will not fail to do business, even with the public authorities. However, the national, organic intelligence will have the obligation to have a clear definition of education, its historical process of building people and its teleology. Faced with this reading, there will be no room for mistakes and scams, sumptuous purchases that will turn into rubbish and puffy speeches about technological marvels on the way to saving the educational system. Save, therefore, the meaning of education in life and the other values ​​and needs will be added to us by the work of curiosity, audacity, hard work and an obsessive look at the right of generations.

*Luiz Roberto Alves is a senior professor at the School of Communications and Arts at USP.


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