Program Transforms Education, Boosts Economy in Portugal
Introduction Today’s students will graduate into a world in which using PCs and the Internet to research, evaluate, and share information is an essential part of nearly every skilled job. To prepare students for this knowledge-based society, nations around the world are seeking to develop sustainable programs that integrate technology with education and provide students with the 21st-century knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the global economy.
In Portugal, one of the world’s most comprehensive educational technology programs provides an example of how—through extensive planning, innovative funding, and ongoing collaboration— technology can be used to transform education while at the same time driving both immediate and long-term economic success.
Portugal’s education program is unique, but the three key features that have enabled its success can be adapted by any nation that seeks an economically sustainable educational technology program.) Invest in a comprehensive education program that improves education through new technology, software, and educational content, training and support. 2) Create a local, sustainable economic model that generates jobs and trade opportunities.) Form partnerships that lower costs and utilize the experience and resources of both the public and private sectors.
Through Technology The transformation of Portugal’s educational system began with a national technology plan called Plano Tecnológico. The plan’s overarching goal is to build a knowledge-based society, which government leaders recognized would require far more than simply providing students with PCs.
To ensure that technology would be adopted, integrated into the home and classroom, and supported for years to come, Portugal’s government, in cooperation with Intel and other public and private partners, developed a comprehensive educational technology program. The program combines age-appropriate technology and content with the training, support, and Internet connectivity students need to develop 21st-century skills.
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