THE VIRTUAL SCHOOL PROJECT FOR THE BRAZILIAN SPACE PROGRAM
1 Brazilian Space Agency - AEB (BRAZIL)
2 Information Architecture Research Center - CPAI / University of Brasilia - UnB (BRAZIL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The continuous virtual formation and capacitation of multiplier teachers in the domain of the Brazilian Space Program, in our point-of-view, is the best way to introduce in elementary and high school efective content related to the space area, as sattellites and space platforms, space vehicles, astronomy, remote sensing, meteorology and environmental sciences.
Thus, the focus of this project is to use e-Learning with social responsibility for the digital inclusion of teachers, specially those who live in the interior of Brazil, with no privileges to participate in presential classes, generally held in great metropolis.
To help and support teachers to elaborate methodologies including such subjects in class, we are developing an integrated e-Learning platform driven by Rich Internet Applications - RIA, with many virtual resources, as interactive classes, video streamming server, video-mail, corporate instant messenger, whiteboard, private/public chat, screen sharing, file sharing, multimedia presentations, movies etc. Additionaly, the system will have mobile versions for cell phones, iPhone, iPod and iPad.
This project is multidisciplinary, involving researchers of Sociology, Education, Information Science and Information Technology. As a case study for this project we have chosen Alcântara, a village in the state of Maranhão, very fundamental for the Brazilian Space Program, to enable elementary and high school teachers of this small city (21.000 inhabitants) in the use of space area contents in class. The reasons are that the base of Alcântara is considered one of the best places of the world to launch rockets because of: its proximity with the Equator line, providing great propellant economy; secure localization to launch in all kind of orbits; possibility to have many different purpose launching sites; exceptional favorable climate conditions during all the year for launching.
The system is compatible with the brazilian program of digital inclusion entitled "One Computer for Each Student - PROUCA". Our solution provides total interactivity between tutors and students with audio, video and text. There are specifical roles and responsibilities for different users; There is an integrated calendar management for users (teachers and students) and courses (private or in groups); profile (including curriculum vitae and personal video message); evaluation of teachers and tools; clickable knowledge cloud tags; simple and advanced search; podcasting and videocasting; etc.
The implementation of this e-Learning project intends to cooperate in the promotion of the space activities in the brazilian society.
Keywords: e-learning, digital inclusion, Brazilian Space Program, Virtual School.