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Totally "ONLINE” High School for people of economical subsistence in educational risk

Versione stampabileInvia a un amico

The Iberoamerican Virtual Foundation (http://fuvia.org) dedicates to promote e-Learning Solutions to universities and other institutions, in general; especifically we are developing a Pedagogical, Methodological and Technological Model based on WEB2 tools for an online High School, implemented through the “Colegio Virtual Iberoamericano (http://cvi.edu.ec), mainly oriented to vulnerable persons in pedagogical risk that for different reasons have not been able to finish their Secondary Schooling (K-12).

1. Sommario progetto
Sommario: 

Name: Totally "ONLINE” High School for people of economical subsistence in educational risk. Developers: Giancarlo De Agostini, Mónica Vásconez Institution Name: Colegio Virtual Iberoamericano (CVI) (delivered in Spanish) Project type: online knowledge community Validity: Ministry of Education accreditation (Ministerial Agreement No. 3507) Lemma: Distance Education without distances Skills: Online study, ICT tools, Read/Write, self discipline, self esteem Target groups: poor living conditions, discrimination, incapacities, age, economic subsistence, lack of traditional study possibilities. URL: http://cvi.edu.ec Category: Education Country: ECUADOR Coverage: last six years of High School Graduation: community small development projects Justification: 20 % HS graduates Date: 08/September/2004 Project duration: permanent Technology: ICT and WEB2 tools, wireless and cable communication Navigation: very user friendly Implementation: free CMS Platform, local contents and alliances Software: free, GNU Quality Content: local development, CC Actors: Students, Content developers, Multimedia designers, Readers, Online teachers, In site tutors, Programmers, Web Master, School administrators and more Replication: free distribution strategy with quality control, easiness Adaptability: varied population and cultural diversification Flexibility: different types of alliances Operational areas: rural and marginal urban Tuition: none (all students receive scholarships) Target groups: Youth, Women, Seniors and working adults

2. Paese (Città / Regione)
Stato: 
Ecuador
Città: 
Quito
3. Nome dell'organizzazione che presenta il progetto
Organizzazione: 
FUVIA - Fundación Virtual Iberoamericana
4. Tipo di organizzazione
Scegli tipo: 
Istituzione culturali (fondazioni, musei, gallerie e simili)
5. Coordinatore del progetto
Nome e Cognome: 
Giancarlo De Agostini
E-Mail: 
gdeagostini@fuvia.org
6. Website
Il sito web del progetto: 
cvi.edu.ec
7. Selezionate la categoria di appartenenza del vostro progetto
Youth Education Project. Select Project Users by age: 
Fino a 29 anni
Inserimento dei giovani nel mondo del lavoro: 
Inserimento dei giovani nel mondo del lavoro
Creatività e Innovazione sociale: 
Creatività e Innovazione sociale
8. Da quando è funzionante il vostro progetto?
Da: 
08/09/2004
9. Obiettivi ed elementi di innovazione
Please explain the targets and the background of your project: 

Justification: About 80 % of the country's population does not finish High School studies. We knew of it through government alarming statistics.

Target: Contribute to the innovation and the improvement of the developing world’s education through a totally ONLINE High School program, developed as a new Pedagogical, Methodological and Technological Paradigm which could be easily replicated, with free INTERNET access, delivered completely through an online ICT technological GNU platform (MOODLE) with WEB2 tools, for a quality academic proposal trough scholarships, specially directed to people of short academic opportunities, vulnerable, of limited resources and in pedagogical risk, expecting to arrive at 25000 students by 2010 through a replicating process, with the support of UNESCO and other partner organizations. By the year 2010 we would want to extend the services to 5000 students in every Andean country (5) and replicate our model as a prototype project in Africa and Asia. Objectives: General: Contribute to the reduction of the digital divide gap and the school desertion in Ecuador, the Region (Andes) and the developing world (part of Asia and Africa) by means of an accredited* remote online quality High School Educational System completely through Internet. Specific: To increase the opportunities for high school students to remain in the school system, whose economic conditions limit their ability to pay the school fees or that are in high educational risk due to premature labor, physical disabilities or any other kind of discrimination, thus contributing to decrease the gap between the rich and the poor. To foster the use of the new Information and Communication Technologies as educational tools at the different levels of the educational system, particularly for distance education, thus contributing to decreasing the technological gap. To contribute to the building of knowledge societies by means of a quality educational program aimed at the renovation, innovation and diversification of the teaching systems. Besides mastering 6 years of academic multimedia contents with the best possible professors and academic excellence, the students also develop reading and writing skills, self confidence, fluent use of information and communication resources, computer literacy, and also become expertise in the use of online delivered courses, thus preparing themselves for future international studies.

Background: Based on its institutional goals and mission, and as input to the enhancement of the Ecuadorian high-school education, Foundation “Unidad Virtual Iberoamericana” UVIA has started an Online High School in order to provide education for persons that have not been able to finish high school studies in the regular education system. This offer is carried out through an online distance educational program, using state-of-the art technological resources that enable autonomous learning, adapted to the time and places most suitable to the students, that allow for adequate personalized follow-up and control in order to support of the student’s learning process, using a constructivist learning-teaching approach. In this manner, we also want to contribute to the appropriate use of the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education, in particular for the most underprivileged student population. The technological advances have changed education in more than one way. Online learning programs are being constantly developed taking advantage of the quality, costs and resources these technologies may provide. However, their profile has been rather elite-oriented for many reasons: on one hand, the educational institutions that have access to state-of-the-art technology are usually private, economic profit-oriented institutions and, on the other, the use of Internet is often restricted to the wealthier social classes due to the high costs of technology. It is therefore imperative to develop high quality online educational programs affordable to the less wealthier sectors and for people in permanent risk of dropping out from highschool. In this way it will be possible both to bridge the “digital gap” and to overcome the exclusion of the deprived sectors of society from access to technology, thus contributing to decrease the gap between the rich and the poor with respect to the access to education and technology, in keeping with the guidelines of an Education for All.

Additionally, worldwide most of the online educational programs are aimed at college education, but do not address the needs of the population in high educational risk, that is the young people and adults that have not been able to complete their highschoool education because of economic constraints, age above the school-age limits, premature labour, physical dissabilities, repeated school failure or expulsion from the regular educational system caused by learning contents inadequacy or the low motivation capacity of the traditional school programs.

Come, e con quali mezzi cerca di raggiungere gli obiettivi prefissati: 

Technologically speaking, the e-Learning classroom software used by our online high school is an interactive state-of the-art technology system developed to generate information and knowledge through intranet or internet in a genuine online classroom.

This technology is based on the design of a virtual space where the participants get involved as producers and users of the information and knowledge they generate, assisted by a Computer Managed Course Delivery System. This results in the generation and production of information, publications, forums, discussions and highly reliable knowledge that gives way to the production of new outcomes or ideas generated collaboratively by the learning community, built through the online classroom.

Quali opportunità/problemi affronta: 

We believe that this educational program will effectively contribute to the improvement of the quality of highschool distance education by putting in practice an integrating and innovative pedagogic process for this level and type of education. In addition, not only a knowledge basis for general distance education learning will be created, but also specialized persons in the educational applications of the new communication and information technologies will be trained.

Moreover, this teaching-learning system contributes to increase the pertinence and significance of the acquired knowledge. Since one of our main institutional goals is to socialize the access to technology, we need to understand that this not only means delivering a high quality on-line education at reasonable costs but also to provide the necessary means to gain access to it. To achieve a greater reach in the sectors with higher risks of dropping out from high school and with fewer educational opportunities, a quality on line educational program must necessarily include scholarships for its students, thus complying with the international mandate regarding educational and technological inclusion, especially in the age of knowledge-based societies. Every year, at least twice, our onsite Tutors are instructed, besides computer usage, basic hardware and software installation, on the use of different online services; additionally, the facilitators and teachers receive three formative online courses on several aspects of online communication, information acquisition and online efficient content delivery and teaching. (http://www.fuvia.org/docencia/). What were the barriers/problems? How they were overcome? TECHNOLOGY ICT use Since we have developed and implemented a totally online six year High School using updated ICT, we have designed over 80 multimedia (MM) motivating courses, along with the actual development and programming of an online multi format library (prototype) and an animated 3D-like virtual School Campus user interface. For the courses implementation and delivery we are using free software trough GNU license.

Particularly we are using the "Moodle" course generating system (Moodle 1.8.2+ (2007021520)). On this technological environment we have developed the entire learning community, integrating databases, interactive resources and tools, fora, Wikis, Scorms, Lams, etc. We are using: Fixed connection: DSL, IDSN, Cable Wireless connection: WiFi, Satellite , N/A Estimated monthly Internet cost: 330 USD for Internet services only to support our office work Minute cost for local mobile phone calls: 15 cents in USD Project Access points: Library, Telecenter, Cafe Nets, etc. Fixed Connections: Desktop Computer Software license type: Open Source Communication tools: Instant Messaging, Voice Over IP, Phone, emails, forums, among others, all integrated into the CMS platform Software applications: The MOODLE software (course management system) comes very basic thus we have developed a 3 dimensional (3D) motivating user interface for easier student connection and navigation. We have also developed an online Library prototype, besides over 80 courses with multimedia content. PROJECT ECONOMICS Our main problem was the economical and fund raising activities. Here we present some of them and how they were solved. Our project reached sustainability by the end of 2007 Sustainability strategy: Since all of our students come from a very basic family and a subsistence economy they all receive scholarships upon evaluation of their academic performance, thus we have several local and international nongovernmental and government organizations that support us: UNESCO, MoviStar (Fundación Telefonica), REPSOL, UDENOR, MIES, Cotacachi Municipality, among others. Thus far we have reached the equilibrium point. Annual budget: 360000 USD ($) U.S. Dollar (USD) Funding sources: Loans, Grants, Donations Operational development plan and changes.

Although the online high school is working well thus far, we continue improving the courses and multimedia contents, students’ interactions, updating our software and visiting all the students at their communities. We also want to conclude the construction of the online high school’s online library and an orientation student service developed on the online platform. Business strategy: Our project is totally social oriented, thus we are constantly contacting local and international governments and organizations for funding. During 2009 we will start working within other countries in the Andean Region. Recently (Nov. 2007), we were invited through UNESCO to Namibia with the future possibility of replicating the project in Africa and Asia.

Please explain what is unique or special in your project: 

Distance students make their studies exclusively by Internet at “Info centers” belonging to different Institutions, with free Internet access, that are part of the foundation’s Network of Academic Support (*), dedicating approximately two daily hours of online study activities. Every study year has the duration of ten (10) calendar months, according to the law of Education for the “Regime of Popular Distance Education”.

The courses are developed as online modules with one month duration each. That is to say, the students in groups pf 25 or less, working together with one teacher, receive an intensive online course during a month, for each subject or content, time in which a permanent flow of communication among the members of the learning community (students, teachers, facilitators, tutors) occurs; in each virtual classroom, professor and students, conformed by a maximum of 25 alumni, depending on the subject and the methodological proposal of the teacher, work in groups.

*NOTE: In several cities the institution belonging to the network is the Program of the “Working Boy” and the “Jatún Sacha” Foundation. We have sealed partnerships with several local governments, through their Mayors.

Our online school also arrives at three national “young (age<18) infraction centers”. We have also incorporated to our Partner’s Network the National Library System (SINAB). Empowerment of target groups We would want to emphasize that through a quality online educational process, we are arriving at a population that could not otherwise acquire their formal educational studies because of living conditions, discrimination, incapacities, age, economic possibilities, among others. Besides the normal school contents, we relate the subject matter to their local context and promote locally, social support community* needs as a result of their studies, implementing them through their projects, needed for graduation. Besides, they acquire ICT abilities to work fluidly with computers and the use of Internet to find out needed information for their daily needs, thus preparing themselves for their future, with potential access to better jobs and university studies; in this way ICT improves traditional services and creates new ones, that are beneficial to human and social development.

*NOTE: We would like to mention that approximately 100 students exert functions of leaders in their communities, especially in the Amazonian and in other indigenous areas.

10. Risultati
Describe the results of your project as per today: 

Impact and success indicators:

Through online Education using an ICT educational platform we are preparing High School graduates to have better jobs, improve their lives, that of their communities and that of their future generations, besides having efficient access to technology. We have found that our graduates improve their writing and reading skills and use of technology besides developing self discipline and confidence through the on-line studies.

They also demonstrate to be able to study in distance delivery Higher Education institutions in the near future and work using efficiently Internet ICT resources. We have a graduation rate (success in finishing the on-line high school) of approximately 80 %. Development of Community projects for graduation involving local people to generate jobs and serve their communities; some of them have won financial help from international organizations. Impact to date: We have evidenced that our students get totally involved in their communities by developing small tourist and cultural projects (5000 USD each) that will not only improve their economic situation but also that of the communities in which they live, evidencing low desertion (20%) and high graduation rate. Obtained Results from SEPT. 2004 to DEC. 2008 1200 scholarships to all our students coming from the cities of Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Ibarra, Cotacachi .

Also, Orellana and Tena (indigenous Communities of Alto Napo) an several other small towns in the rest of the country. Because of the validity of the Project we have over 20 varied organizations supporting us including municipalities trough their respective Mayors; the on line school also serves youngsters, below the 18 years of age, in special institutions with lack of liberty. We are also giving online high school education in special info centers to street gang youngsters, in marginal urban areas, who are on the process of regenerating themselves, giving them the opportunity to continue their studies after graduation.

We have work on gender, thus more women study today, distributed as follows: 54% men and 46% women. Financing of 1200 scholarships for the students* through different Foundations, organizations and local government. More than 40 Info centers serving the students with computers and Internet access, through alliances. Systematization and research done on virtual Pedagogy and Andragogy (ICT supported) to improve the online educational process using Internet at the secondary level (last six years of high school).

*Note: The students of the Tena, Orellana, Ibarra and Cotacahi, are native Quechua speaking. The working occupations of the students are: agriculture, home, messengers, construction, commerce, mechanics, gardeners and artisans, or unmarried female mothers.

In che misura risponde ai bisogni degli utenti: 

The communication tools among teachers and students are forum, homework, Wikis, evaluation activities, messenger services, chat, internal mail in every classroom, external mail, telephone (if needed), among others, most of them integrated into the course management system (CMS). The increase in the use of technological resources results in a better communication among the members of this particular educational community.

Also, it is important to mention that most of the time the communication is asynchronous, reason why the schedule the student chooses to make his studies depends on his time possibilities and individual situation; thus, this particular system of education emphasizes the time and space particularizations of each student. The contents of each subject (course) have a pedagogical, practical and theoretical treatment, in such a way as to also manage the contents of daily life, in order to contextualize the students’ problems in its different geographical places, cultural insertions and socioeconomic conditions (contexts). The academic activities are based on the educational philosophy of the socio-critical constructivism.

Finally, it is important to mention that the graphically and pedagogically well designed online contents* appear as multimedia hypertexts design, in such a way as to open the door to the students, so that they may also acquire the different informative contents of the Internet world. The students, besides the contact with his living community, also have the opportunity to experience the outside world by means of online games, simulation, myriad of information, online conferences, WEB access, etc. The students also have access to multimedia format study materials, within the classroom and through the Virtual School Library (prototype).

*NOTE: In every course design and implementation the participation is of several actors, basically: Area Coordinator, Content specialist (professor with experience), online pedagogical specialist, multimedia designer, online young teacher and facilitator, onsite tutor, students and evaluators.

Quanti utenti interagiscono con il progetto mensilmente e in quale modo: 

General population of the area served: 1,000,000

Average number of users served per day: 1,600

Average number of users served per year: 480,000 Number of computers reserved exclusively for public usage at your organization and partners: 400

Number of full-time staff: 11

Number of part-time staff: 45 monthly

Number of computers reserved exclusively for staff usage: 12

* NOTE: Plans to expand to the five Andean countries by end of 2010

Descrivete in quale modo il progetto contribuisce a migliorare l'educazione e la formazione dei giovani: 

Through:

  1. High School complete quality education
  2. e-Book on line consulting Reference services Computer usage
  3. Internet usage
  4. Teachers online training

The users are taught through the onsite Tutors, on hands-on workshops, year round, how to use the Internet, Web consulting, use of Word, Excel, Explorer, dBase, among other tools, and secondly, the communication tools taught in a first online course among our public are fora, homework, Wikis, evaluation activities, messenger services, online Library consulting, translation resources, chat, external and internal mail in every online classroom, telephone (if needed), among others, integrated into the course management system. The increase in the use of technological resources results in a better communication among the members of this particular informational knowledge community.

WE CONCLUDE AND BELIEVE THAT by using ICT Internet resources we have improved and democratized a traditional expensive educational service (High School), creating an innovative way of delivering on-line education to the needed, for their social, human and professional progress and development. The project promotes equality in educational services, regardless of gender, origin, culture, place, age, physical or mental disabilities (except blindness), giving the students the control of the educational services offered.

We have proved during these years that the project sustains itself from its donors upon the Foundation’s efficient and transparent fund raising policy and action. We have seen clear acquired knowledge and developed positive skills on our graduating students, with local innovative initiatives producing services and products to help their communities. It promotes a consciousness in favor of education in order to improve socially and economically. Our project is a proven quality, replicable and not expensive solution to a High School education delivered through Internet using ICT resources. It is not a substitute for face-to-face high school education but definitely fills a gap where regular education does not exists or cannot be acquired.

Descrivete in quale modo il progetto ha ottimizzato la partecipazione di professionisti, ragazzi, giovani o altri soggetti: 

Our “online ICT services”, although specifically oriented to the poor and disadvantaged, directed to people of short academic opportunities, vulnerable, of limited resources, living in rural and suburban areas, gender discrimination and in pedagogical risk wishing to acquire information and knowledge through all the services offered through an Online Library and a complete high quality High School education, are open to the general public, especially the Online Library with absolute no access restriction, whatsoever. Not restricting anyone, the Online Library's usual and typical users are young women and men (under 18 years old) with lack of liberty living in retention centers, young people and adults who have to work daily for their basic living and subsistence, emigrants around the globe, women working at third party homes, peasants, not married mothers, among others. Several of our online students, with ages fluctuating between 16 and 40 years, belong to the “Quechua” Indian culture located in the Ecuadorian Amazon and high altitude areas.

Today we have over 1600 students located in 40 different communities, both rural and urban-marginal; we are also working in four Detention Centers of young law violators and with urban street gang young men and women through community centers. Any person that can get hold of a computer connected to Internet, anywhere, can have totally free access to our ICT online services: Online Library and School. Basically we need to expand technologically and in personnel to be able to attend larger numbers and replicate the model with other organizations.

Descrivete in quale modo il progetto favorisce l'uso delle nuove tecnologie da parte di professionisti, ragazzi e giovani per lo sviluppo culturale e didattico: 

Our project is a proven quality, replicable and not expensive solution to a High School education delivered through Internet using ICT resources (WEB and WEB2). It is not a substitute for face-to-face high school education but definitely fills a gap where regular education does not exists or cannot be acquired.

Descrivete i criteri che usate per misurate i risultati raggiunti dal vostro progetto: 

Impact and success indicators: Through online services: library and high school, using an ICT educational platform we are preparing men and women, young and adults to have better jobs, improve their lives and that of their future generations, besides having efficient access to information, knowledge and technology.

We have found that our students improve their writing and reading skills and the use of technology besides developing self discipline and confidence through the on-line services and studies. They also demonstrate to prepare for future studies in distance delivery Higher Education institutions and work using efficiently Internet ICT resources. We have a graduation rate (success in finishing the on-line high school) of approximately 88%. They have demonstrated to develop community projects involving local people to generate jobs; some of them have won financial help from international organizations. Impact to date: We have evidenced that our students get totally involved in their communities by developing small tourist and cultural projects (5000 USD each) that will not only improve their economic situation but also that of the communities in which they live, evidencing low desertion and high graduation rate. Other Regions: After assisting, upon a UNESCO invitation, to the CCT Workshop on Education, held at Windhoek, Namibia, during 12-15 past November, with the purpose of sharing experiences among developing countries of Africa, Asia and America, FUVIA presented its Online Information Services and High School developed Project. On May of this year we presented our project to the international community at the Stockholm Challenge, receiving the Special mention for Excellence in the Use of Information Technology in the education category.

11. Sostenibilità
Indicate la durata complessiva del progetto: 
Più di 6 anni
Indicate il costo di massima del vostro progetto (in Euro): 
Da 75.001 a 500.000
Come è finanziato il vostro progetto: 
Sponsorizzazioni
Is your project economically self sufficient now: 
Si
Insert date: 
11/30/2007
12. Trasferibilità
Il progetto è stato replicato/adattato altrove: 
No
Che cosa possono imparare altri soggetti dal vostro progetto: 

How to develop a complex educational project an put it to work.

Siamo disponibili ad aiutare altri soggetti a sviluppare progetti o a migliorare progetti esistenti: 
Siamo disponibili ad aiutare altri soggetti a sviluppare progetti o a migliorare progetti esistenti.
13. Informazioni aggiuntive
Background: 

The Iberoamerican Virtual Foundation (Fundación UVIA) is developing a Pedagogical, Methodological and Technological Model for a High School, implemented through the “Colegio Virtual Iberoamericano (Iberoamerican online High School), oriented to vulnerable persons in pedagogical risk that for different reasons have not been able to finish their Secondary Schooling.

The Iberoamerican online High School Project started on October 2004 with UNESCO support, implementing the first, second and third year of High School in three specialties: Informatics, Sciences, and Social and Cultural Management, with 25 students with ages fluctuating between 16 and 40 years, belonging to “Quichuas” located in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Today we have around 600 students located in 18 different communities, both rural and urban-marginal; we are also working in four Detention Centers of young law violators and street gang young men and women. We have recently created the last three of “Básica” studies, thus completing the last six years of High School and a new specialty in Cultural Tourism and Sustainable Development.

Lately, we have made strategical alliances with: Minister of Education, Minister of Economical and Social Inclusion, Local Governments and several Ecuadorian Foundations; we have also obtained funds from: MOVISTAR, REPSOL YPF and UDENOR. The Project has raised high expectations in the Country since it has constituted in a tool to accomplish the “World Program Education for All” and of the “Millennium Developing Objectives”; it has also materialized the “Decennial Political Plan” of the Minister of Education and the “National Development Plan” of the Ecuadorian Government. The use of ICT in Developing Educational Processes has permitted the intersectional work that promotes UNESCO.

Ostacoli: 

We believe that this educational program will effectively contribute to the improvement of the quality of high school distance education by putting in practice an integrating and innovative pedagogic process for this level and type of education. In addition, not only a knowledge basis for general distance education learning will be created, but also specialized persons in the educational applications of the new communication and information technologies will be trained.

Moreover, this teaching-learning system contributes to increase the pertinence and significance of the acquired knowledge. Since one of our main institutional goals is to socialize the access to technology, we need to understand that this not only means delivering a high quality on-line education at reasonable costs but also to provide the necessary means to gain access to it. To achieve a greater reach in the sectors with higher risks of dropping out from high school and with fewer educational opportunities, a quality on line educational program must necessarily include scholarships for its students, thus complying with the international mandate regarding educational and technological inclusion, especially in the age of knowledge-based societies.

Soluzioni: 

Every year, at least twice, our onsite Tutors are instructed, besides computer usage, basic hardware and software installation, on the use of different online services; additionally, the facilitators and teachers receive three formative online courses on several aspects of online communication, information acquisition and online efficient content delivery and teaching. (http://www.fuvia.org/docencia/).

Future plans and wish list: 

From this perspective our projections for the coming years are:

  1. To extend the online High School coverage to all 24 Provinces in the Country in order to help decrease the digital divide gap and the student drop out rate from high school (nearly 80 %).
  2. Socialize the Experience with the rest of the Region and other countries in Africa and Asia that may require it, with the possibility of replicating the Project
  3. To develop a complete professional online digital Library service and a functional online student orientation and guidance department.
  4. To continue developing the Pedagogical, Methodological and Technological Model trough research.
  5. To provide annually 260 scholarships for high school students in high educational risk in order to contribuye to decrease dropping-out rate for economic reasons.
  6. To have communication and information technology-based “Open Learning Communities” fully working, built upon quality based principles and practices.
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file1FUVIA´S PROJECTION 2006-2010.doc33.5 KB
file2TECHNICAL REPORT(1).doc159.5 KB
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