Critical Analysis of an Amazon Program of Digital Inclusion: Navegapará in the City of Belém

Critical Analysis of an Amazon Program of Digital Inclusion: Navegapará in the City of Belém

Waléria de Melo Magalhães (Federal University of Pará, Brazil), Marianne Kogut Eliasquevici (Federal University of Pará, Brazil) and Benedito de Jesus Pinheiro Ferreira (Federal University of Pará, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8740-0.ch016
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Abstract

This chapter aims to present a study of the digital inclusion program of the Government of the State of Pará, named Navegapará, particularly its educational components within Infocenters of Belém. During the period from March to September of 2012, 26 schools were selected, along with certain teachers and directors from the schools. A questionnaire was applied to better characterize the sample of schools visited, and it was possible to carry out a critical analysis of the data obtained and verify the potential of the program, as well as to show some points that must be reviewed, such as providing good training for teachers and ensuring that equipment is in good condition. These are still valid data in that they provide fundamental indicators for the appropriate development of digital inclusion and educational informatics within the schools.
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Background

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are a group of resources and technologies related to information and communicative processes that allow the generation, storage, process, and reproduction of information. These ICTs have been used as tools for learning to a remarkable degree, which can be perceived both in theoretical discussions and in the elaboration or construction of a large number of educational tools. However, before making these tools available in schools, it is necessary to have a critical view of how these tools would be used, which should take into account the previous experience potential users have had with technologies. Because a large proportion of Brazilians do not have access to ICTs, the mere presence of ICTs in a school may not help the students. Having fair access to ICTs is seen as promoting effective social inclusion, but this may not take all the circumstances of the students’ lives into account. This is just another consequence of longstanding differences in the distribution of power and income, according to Eliasquevici (2007).

Being digitally connected is necessary to foster interaction between the citizens and the world of information and communication. However, in Brazil, this is still far from reality, despite the increasing numbers of people connected to the Internet. Data from National Research through a Sample of Households (2012) disclosed by the Institution of Geography and Statistics of Brazil indicate that about 46% of ten-year-olds have not yet accessed the Internet. The reality of the State of Pará, located in the north of the country, is no different. More than five thousand cities listed in the Census of 2010 were surveyed, and it was found that the capital of the State of Pará lies in the 17th position, with 54.77% of the population having access to the Internet. Although having access to Internet is not a decisive factor in being digitally connected, these data are alarming because guaranteed access is crucial.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Inclusion: Set of actions relating to individuals the benefits of human progress in different fields.

Inclusão Digital: An effort to ensure citizens exercise their participation in the knowledge society through access to information and communication technologies.

Legal Amazon: Region of northern Brazil known for its tropical forest and represents 61% of Brazilian territory. This region is characterized by its river basin is the world's largest, with nearly 4 million square kilometers of extension. It is an important means of transport in the region.

Infocentro: Locations equipped with computers using free software and public access to information and communication technologies and the Internet community. Its focus is on the use of tics to support the community, economic, educational and social development.

Citizenship: Capacity of each individual to fully exercise their rights and duties.

Navegapará: Social program of digital inclusion Pará State Government aiming to enhance and expand regional development opportunities, through the democratization of the access to information and communication technologies.

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