Information and Communication Technologies: A means for social inclusion and citizen participation

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1 Democracy in the Americas Symposium Miami, Florida Information and Communication Technologies: A means for social inclusion and citizen participation Dr. Laura Ruiz Perez Dean of Education for Development TecVirtual University Tecnológico de Monterrey System 1 November 2012

2 Education lays the foundation for democracy and development Education has long been seen as an essential component of the democratic state. Dewey assigns the state primary responsibility for assuring education that can discount the effects of economic inequalities, and provide all citizens the skills and knowledge they need to build their own and their nation s future. DeStefano (2011), p.1 2 Source: DeStefano, J. (2011). The Impact of Education Across Sectors: Democracy. Policy Brief USAID, page 1. Retrieved November 7, 2012 from

3 Education Contributes to the Spread of Democratic Ideals Evans and Rose also argue that education offers a way to intervene in support of the development and stabilization of democracies. They affirm that, The greatest aggregate gains in support for democracy are likely to be obtained by increasing the proportion of the population who complete primary education (Evans & Rose, 2007). DeStefano (2011), p.2 3 Source: DeStefano, J. (2011). The Impact of Education Across Sectors: Democracy. Policy Brief USAID, page 2. Retrieved November 7, 2012 from

4 From education to democracy: a virtuous circle Investments in education Education and democracy: High potential for increasing returns Investments in Democracy & Governance More educated population and greater equity of access More opportunities for civic participation, and greater civil liberties More effective investment in broad-based, equitable education Mutually reinforcing, interactive positive returns More effective governance, less corruption and greater long-term stability Greater, more equitable and sustainable economic growth 4 Source: DeStefano, J. (2011). The Impact of Education Across Sectors: Democracy. Policy Brief USAID, page 6. Retrieved November 7, 2012 from

5 In today s world we are preparing people for: Working in firms or functions that not yet exist Using technology not yet invented Solving problems not yet identified as such Karl Fisch 5 Source: Garza (2012). Cambios, retos y oportunidades para las universidades. Formación que transforma vidas. Universidad TecVirtual del Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey

6 Challenges we are facing today that are reshaping the way we think and take action Demography Sustainability Bio-nano-info Life expectancy Economies of knowledge Technology New economic powers Millennials generation 6 Source: Garza (2012). Cambios, retos y oportunidades para las universidades. Formación que transforma vidas. Universidad TecVirtual del Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey

7 Challenges we are facing today that are reshaping the way we think and take action: Internet evolution Interaction 7 Source: Garza (2012). Cambios, retos y oportunidades para las universidades. Formación que transforma vidas. Universidad TecVirtual del Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey

8 Challenges we are facing today that are reshaping the way we think and take action: New learning sources Concepts Full courses 8 Source: Garza (2012). Cambios, retos y oportunidades para las universidades. Formación que transforma vidas. Universidad TecVirtual del Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey

9 Challenges we are facing today that are reshaping the way we think and take action: New ways to access experts 9 Source: Garza (2012). Cambios, retos y oportunidades para las universidades. Formación que transforma vidas. Universidad TecVirtual del Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey

10 Challenges we are facing today that are reshaping the way we think and take action: Shorter time to adopt new technologies Time to reach 150 million users 7 5 <5 Telephone TV Mobile phone Ipod Internet browser Source: Garza (2012). Cambios, retos y oportunidades para las universidades. Formación que transforma vidas. Universidad TecVirtual del Sistema Tecnológico de Monterrey Social networks

11 Challenges we are facing today that are reshaping the way we think and take action: The Millennial Generation Largest generation ever with access to ICTs and social media Cell Phones Talking, Texting &Video Messaging & Instant Messaging Social Networking Twittering year olds will soon be 1/3 of U.S. electorate 11 Millennials can only have an active and positive social participation and benefit from the information that is available to them, if they have the competencies to live in a knowledge based society.

12 Competencies required in a knowledge based society Self-learning Look for information Team work Participate in networks Communicate Manage information Ethical competencies Problem solving Use of information and communication technologies Critical thinking Citizenship competencies 12

13 How can we better address these challenges? Facing our challenges with traditional educational models is a limited path. The evolution of ICTs and the characteristics of the younger generations invite us to use technologies as powerful means to deliver education, information, and promote capacity-development for citizens, allowing them to participate in a more committed and democratic manner in a knowledge based society. 13 Source: CEPAL, Bases de datos y publicaciones estadísticas, Cifras al 2010.

14 Monterrey Tec System strategy to respond to knowledge based society challenges: The Virtual University Institution s e-learning capacity I. Founded in 1989: Satellite technology for course delivery and Internet for student interaction. II. 1999: Blended learning III. 2000: Blended and online learning Synchronous an asynchronous distance education : 63 countries Virtual University has surpassed time and space barriers, offering quality education through advanced information technologies. Virtual University is an institution which in alliance with key partners such as the World Bank Institute, IDB, OCDE, OEAs, and many other organization has been able to contribute to the development and advancement of communities throughout the continent.

15 Learning communities for: Supporting citizen participation and social commitment Developing capacities for empowering society Promoting practitioners dialogues and best practices exchanges in the public sector Developing competencies for teachers and school principals Fostering opportunities for corporate social responsibility Promoting a culture of public private partnerships 15

16 Learning communities represent a powerful tool for: Opening opportunities for education and capacity development Developing democratic attitudes Promoting citizenship participation Empowering social actors Facilitating information access Developing critical thinking Exchanging best practices 16

17 Virtual University educational model ICTs Digital library Video resources Web conference Mobile devices Virtual worlds Podcast e-books Remote labs Simulators Educational Technologies Educational platform Student centered model Participants interaction Tutors and experts Practitioners Teaching and learning strategies Problem based learning (PBL) Project oriented learning (POL) Individual activities Collaborative learning Case method Collaborative activities Learning resources 17 ICTs Technological Platform

18 What have we accomplished? ,205 course participants 1,242,305 visits to learning communities ( )

19 An example: A learning community aimed at: The formation of citizens that contribute to the democratization of their communities. Civil Society participation through the development of NGOs 19

20 An example: Networking between organizations 4,500 hours of online resources Online courses Access to specialists through online seminars and conferences. Scholarships Sharing good practices Tools for formulating and evaluating social projects Training in the field of the use of technologies Evaluation of the institutional level Digital library Virtual assessment and counseling 20

21 An example: 237 online courses Leadership and management Fundraising Legal aspects Gerenciamiento y Procuración de Fondos Communication Information Technology Transparency and Ethics Corporate social responsibility Ecology and the environment Financial education Security and prevention Community empowerment and Social inclusion 21

22 22 An example: Access to specialists through conferences and webinars

23 An example: Over 20,211 participants from 24 different countries have benefited by the programs of Más Sociedad. Países From

24 Key lessons through our experience we have learned that e-learning and the use of technology Represent a viable option for education and democracy Support the development of skills for the knowledge society Democratize access to knowledge Foster a participatory and democratic culture Allow greater access to information and media Facilitate communication Allow the creation of knowledge and learning networks Develop learning to learn skills Promote a lifelong learning attitude Increase the knowledge base of institutions Increase knowledge exchange with other organizations Represent a viable option for delivering capacity-building Improve critical thinking Represent a cost effective manner to deliver education 24 Source: Ruiz & Villasana (2012). On the perception of public officials on e-learning: The TecVirtual University experience on capacity development in the LAC region. Virtual University

25 Final toughts The adequate use of ICTs and e-learning: Can open more educational opportunities for all Can create a more democratic and participatory culture Can allow the diffusion of deeper forms of analysis of political ideas Can become a tool for promoting a deliberative democracy in our societies. 25

26 Thank you Laura Ruiz 26

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