Chile – Salesian Schools IT Day: Salesians and Google, united to promote the digital transformation of education

17 June 2024

(ANS – Santiago) – The Salesian St Gabriel Archangel Province of Chile (CIL) celebrated IT Day for Salesian Schools on 11 June, promoted by the Province's Communication Area. The anniversary included several phases and moment including, on the afternoon of Tuesday 11 June 2024, a visit by representatives of the entire network of Salesian schools in Chile to Google's offices located in Titanium Park in Las Condes, near the capital Santiago.

Daniel Lagarini, Head of the Educational Ecosystem at Google, welcomed the Salesian IT professionals saying: “We are very proud to welcome you to our offices. We believe that schools must have access to tools, which must derive from progressive work and their design towards the future."

He also presented new developments for 2024-2025, including the integration of tools and new features, for example: access to Gemini Artificial Intelligence from documents, interactive questions on YouTube and the availability of the "Read Along" App within the "Classroom" platform, to learn to speak English.

His presentation ended with a quote from Richard Riley, former Secretary of Education in the United States: “We are preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist, with technologies that have not yet been invented, to solve problems that we do not yet know to be such.”

On the occasion, Cristián Flores and Daniel Méndez, IT teachers from the Salesian Institute in Concepción, presented the path of digital transformation undertaken by their educational community that allowed them to become a "Google Reference School", the only one of its kind in the country.

Some of the objectives that the school has set itself to obtain the certification that Google issues to those schools that stand out for the advanced use of technology for educational learning were: to develop a digital work culture that allows the appreciation of technological skills; to guarantee equal opportunities by reducing the digital gap in access to and efficient use of technology; and to improve student learning.

The school started the project in 2019, getting 113 certified educators at level 1 and 25 at level 2. It currently has more than a thousand "Chromebook" computers and a Google laboratory that improves the use of technological tools.

Google professionals, for their part, recommended prioritising teacher training in technology, establishing clear policies and protocols for the use of technology in the classroom, encouraging collaboration and the exchange of best practices among teachers, and keeping abreast of the latest trends and technological tools for education.

Then, after the screening of a video of testimonials from students and teachers on the use of Chromebooks, the visit to Google's offices ended with a practical workshop led by Fernanda Córdova, in which Salesian school IT teachers used Chromebooks for the digital management of the class; and with a competition that measured what was learned during the day, with a Chromebook as a prize for the top-ranked student.

It is worth noting that the day began with the Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Vice-Provincial, Fr Juan Bustamante; and that among the other initiatives carried out for the day, Karina Velarde, from the Social Communication Office of the CIL Province, read the document "Journeying with young people in Digital Culture" by Fr Gildasio Mendes, General Councillor for Social Communication.

Sebastián Arriagada, from CIL's educational team, presented some central themes of the work of an IT teacher from an educational point of view, while Vicente Fritz, Provincial Delegate for Social Communication, presented the roles and functions of an IT teacher in a Salesian school, a document that was drawn up last year with IT teachers and that was also sent to school principals, legal representatives and Directors.

On Wednesday 12, Tomislav Goic, an IT teacher at the Salesian school in Puerto Natales, finally held a workshop via videoconference on a networked development system (NAS). And the entire initiative ended with some discussions on the aspects of assistance and support regarding various programs and platforms and with some proposals for updating the "Matrícula Salesiana" software.

Source: Salesian Bulletin of Chile


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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