P.M. Faria, I. Araújo

Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, School of Technology and Management (PORTUGAL)
The continuous evolution of technologies interferes in the way we live and see the world. A citizen of XXI century does not see the world as a citizen of the last century [1]. This change had diverse backgrounds, particularly the incredible advances in technology [2]. Indeed, the technologies are present everywhere and in every activity we undertake. Moreover, it was a key factor in the evolution of the information society, as designated by the knowledge society, with an impact on a global scale.

Nowadays we defend an educational system more centered in the student. The learning process should be multidimensional, involving motivational aspects in addition to the strategies that lead to learning [3]. Several studies show the benefits of using technologies in the educational context, as they allow exploring issues such as multi-sensory association, human-computer interaction and experimentation, in solving educational problems to a faster and more effective learning [4]. Thus, multiple online learning platforms appeared, in order to respond to the student’s demands and the society itself.

In 2008 an online platform was developed "M@t-educate with success", aiming to provide innovative environments, supported in appropriate digital resources, which may lead students in the exploration, understanding and applying mathematical concepts, and to promote critical analysis of the methods used and the results obtained. Interactive visual components, animations and images help clarifying some concepts, and thus, several digital guides were developed in order the student may, at its own pace, autonomously and in a more dynamic way, to build his mathematical knowledge, exploring, conjecturing, investigating, discovering, testing concepts, ensuring a more active role in the educational process (students learning by doing).

However, the continuous evolution of technologies is a reality, and as more updated we are in relation to the contents, methodologies, resources and technological means, we are faced with the inevitable need of a continuous adaptation. In this context we developed a study to understand the opinions of students and teachers about the platform's suitability for the teaching and learning processes. The main results were obtained in a real context and led to the conclusion of the need to evolve the platform, mainly: i) the migration to a newer framework (CakePHP) in order to support an advanced mathematical formulas editor and improving the performance of visual animations; ii) optimizing the user registration system on the online platform and iii) a new graphical and interactive visualization module of the platform usage statistics.

[1] Mayr, E. (2006). O impacto de Darwin no pen- samento moderno. Scientific American. São Paulo: Duetto. Edição Espe- cial no. 17. p. 93-98.
[2] Souza Brasil, J. (1973) Fundamentos antropológicos da comunicação. In: Adísia Sá (Coord.). Funda- mentos científicos da comunicação. Pe- trópolis: Vozes, p. 74-103.
[3] Biggs, J. (1993). What do inventories of students’ learning processes really measure? A theoretical review and clarification. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 63, 3-19.
[4] Isotani, S., Sahara, R. & Brandão, L. (2001). iMática: Ambiente interativo de apoio ao ensino de matemática via internet. Anais do Workshop sobre Informática na Escola, XXI Congresso da Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, 533-543.