Access to Information and Communication Technologies in School (Stage 3)
In the early 1990’s, Chile began an educational reform for its primary and secondary school system. There were many aspects to the Chilean Educational Reform, in particular, the design and implementation of an ICT program in primary and secondary schools called the Enlaces Network (which means “links” in Spanish). The Chilean educators did not know how to answer the needs of the entire country, but definitely knew it did not consist of simply bringing in massive hardware. They set their sites on a larger educational vision of reviewing ways in which they could bring support to teachers in the use of technology.
Educational Network was the initial vision where the teachers and
students developed professional and pedagogical communities.
Within this Network, teachers were expected to use technology to
communicate with other colleagues, sharing problems and solutions.
The students were expected to participate in collaborative
projects within their schools and with other schools.
The Enclaces ICT
initiative in schools began on a small scale (100 schools) over an
extended period of time (5 years) before expanding nationally.
In 1992 Enclaces implemented its program in 3 schools in the
capital city, Santiago. In
1993, the project moved south to a small city – Temuco, one of the
poorest regions in the country. The
team that designed and coordinated these pilot projects in Temuco was
based at the University of La Frontera, in the same city.
At the conclusion
of 3 years, Enclaces had built a network of over 100 primary schools.
These schools received hardware items such as computers, printers
and modems. They also
received educational software, Internet connection, and a teacher
Enhancing Education with Information and Communication Technologies (Stage 3)
educational issues that affect the country of Chile are varied.
One issue has to do with the extended length of the country, and
its geographic characteristics. Chile
is considered the longest country in the world and stretches 4,600
kilometers from north to south. This
unique shape makes it very difficult for people in rural communities.
Those living in rural communities have difficulty with
accessibility, communication and ICT access and use.
Developing the Information and Communication Technologies Workforce (Stage 3)
As the Enclaces project came to an end and they prepared to take it national, one of the main goals was to keep it simple for the users as they did not come from an ICT culture. To deal with a key issue of the expansion, the Enclaces National Support Network was created. This Network was comprised of a partnership between the Ministry of Education and more than 24 universities throughout the country. Six universities were specialized groups of people in charge of professional development and technical support. Each of these six universities became a ‘Zone Center’ responsible for the implementation of Enlaces in a particular geographic zone. This did not however offer a solution to those small rural schools.
The Ministry of
Education negotiated with one of the largest telephone companies in the
country (Telefonica TCT Chile) to provide:
telephone lines, email accounts, and dialup Internet at no cost
for a period of 10 years to all of the schools in the region where the
company had a telephone network. This
covered the majority of the Chilean Schools.
Overall, as of 2008 the Enclaces Network has installed
infrastructure for connectivity, trained teachers in the use of
computers for education and provided Internet connections to 75% of
Chilean students from subsidized schools, mainly in urban areas.
Chile has a population
of 16 million people with 15% of that population living in rural zones.
Due to the high cost of the infrastructure, the low population
density, weather and geographical impediments to access are reasons why
these schools still face connectivity issues.
The highest percentages of schools that do not have access to the
Internet are rural schools.
IS540 Global Information Technology
DePaul University 1 East Jackson Chicago, Illinois 60604