Accepted Paper:

The Brazilian Reception of Computer Laboratories by Educational Institutions: controversies about their determining contributions to actual communities  

Authors:

Rodrigo Barbosa e Silva (Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná)
Luiz Ernesto Merkle (Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná)
Paulo Blikstein (Stanford University)

Paper short abstract:

The role of digital spaces, such as computer laboratories, "making" spaces, and other similar arrangements within educational institutions, showing how they can contribute to teaching and learning, though not determine their progress.

Paper long abstract:

Laboratory studies have critically elaborated the understanding of laboratories for scientific development, showing how cultural, historical and political dimensions interfere in knowledge construction processes. Coetaneously, Papert raised several critiques of delimiting one single space for digital learning, pointing to the restrictions of this form of control. We discuss in this article the role of digital spaces, such as computer laboratories, "making" spaces, and other similar arrangements within educational institutions, showing how they can contribute to teaching and learning, though not determine their progress. Learning outcomes depend of broader factors than those naively and instrumentally associated with digital technology, mostly in times of large-scale initiatives, geared toward digital inclusion in different contexts, such as under served communities. Weblogs, authored by teachers and learners, present several traces of these broader political and pedagogical factors, but are scattered through the web. We present an ongoing research, akin to digital anthropology, which explores data collection techniques, to gather information, seek patterns and categorize the actual reception of these spaces within educational Brazilian endeavors. We aim to: a) contribute with the gathering of data of actual digital spaces, in Brazil; b) reflect on the implications of these situated and circumscribed receptions, from a STS critical perspective, in order to better inform the development of educational policies in and by this same country.

Panel T107
Maker Movement, FabLabs, Hackerspace and improvisation: Science, Technology and Education by other means?