The learning of science and technology in the digital era

In a world constantly changing, in which science and technology take a distinguished place, this related knowledge called STEM (English acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics) require special attention. Due to that extreme dynamism, the constant progress and its inclusion in the academic curriculum represent a big challenge to all study programmes in all kind of educational institutions. Therefore, from the pre-school education until high education stages we face the arduous task to build an essential structure which guarantees obtaining the basic knowledge that all citizens should have and also the most advanced knowledge in order to achieve a good R&D level.

Science and technology contents should not disassociate from other knowledge fields, eliminating the traditional distinction between Science and Humanities knowledge. This polarization is the one we mainly find in the firsts stages of the education system, where it is imperative to take an action. Accordingly, PBL (problem-based learning) and other actives and transversals methodologies related with teaching and learning, are gathering pace towards other methodologies where the role and prominence of the student is more passive. Leveraging from the closest and familiar environment, with a higher amount of manipulative activities, and in summary a science and technology more practical and quotidian, increase the motivation and interest from the youngest people, because it responds in a better, clear and efficient way to their curiosities and necessities.

The learning of science and technology can have an end in itself or it simply can be the transmission path to achieve another kind of knowledge or to obtain particular trainings. We can teach technology or teach with technology. In other words, using this tool as a key to make easier to acquire any kind of competence.

It is increasingly evident that more and more lately initiatives are gradually entering classrooms. Since the laboratories optimization in the educational institutions, projects of diverse nature (some of their own initiative and others institutionally driven), meetings, increasingly attention for fields as robotics, the creation of device applications, connection with institutions of the territory, etc. But the road ahead is still very long.

Another major outstanding issue is the participation of women in higher education related to science and technology. In some of them the presence of women is anecdotal and it is obvious we must end the false stereotype that women are for Humanities and men for Science.

All these concerns explained above are translated and channeled into the organizations from various universities and entities, initiatives around the STEM disciplines. Conferences, seminars and events of all types to refocus and to optimize actions aimed at developing, especially among the young. Such as the organization of the App Awards powered by M-Schools, to mention just one illustrative example.

The purpose of this session, aimed at faculty of all educational stages and professionals from the public administrations, organizations and institutions related with the education world, it is to analyze, to share experiences, to raise awareness and to consider about the measures and attitudes we should adopt to improve the learning experience of and with science and technology that our youth accomplish.

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