In 2016, the Ministry of Education approved the National Curriculum for Basic Education, in which for the first time, self-learning and ICT were included among the cross-cutting competencies that graduating students should have. As articulated in the curriculum, “[t]he student takes advantage in a responsible way of information and communication technologies (ICT) to interact with information, communicate and learn.” Both cross-cutting competencies are related to rural areas, where school activities are limited. However, the Ministry of Education observed that the conditions in rural schools make it difficult for students to develop ICT competencies. One of the most critical factors is the lack of internet access, which is why it is necessary to simulate virtual learning environments with other types of technology.  

The aim of this project is to develop ICT competencies in an alternative way. In this first phase, the Capstone team will study the feasibility of using this type of device to simulate a virtual environment in a rural school. Using cell phones, OLPCs, TV or other available technology, the students and the teacher could simultaneously visualize the content on the device, which would store curated educational resources. With the results of this study, it will be possible to scale up and design an intervention with greater reach that could benefit primary and secondary rural schools. For this initial study, the Capstone team would test the feasibility of using these devices in six to ten multi-grade primary schools and CRFAs that MINEDU would select, taking into consideration the possibility of training the teachers and following up with this work throughout the 2018 school year.