Expanding Horizons

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Seventeen teachers from Villa Hayes, Gral. Díaz, Nueva Mestre and Benjamín Aceval defied the intense cold of July and gathered to participate in the Project, whose goal is to strengthen teachers' skills in the use of new technologies and the ability to incorporate these technologies into their practice.The project's objective is to train a total of 40 Latin and Indigenous teachers.

The "Expanding Horizons" project will bring distant communities into the world of information and, where possible, extend the use of computers and Internet as well as access to the opportunities for development associated with ICTs, through the training of Human Resources.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:

-Education and training of human resources in the management of ICTs, training practicing teachers of Latin and native Indigenous origins;

-Spread the use of technology in teaching practice;

-Improve the quality of life for teachers, optimizing the use of their time through the utilization of technology to do their work.

-Raise the quality of teaching by incorporating up-to-date information, made available in digital format where there is no Internet access.

-Train human resources to be proficient in the use of information technology; and

-Effectively integrate ICTs into curriculum development in order to address the gap in current skills.

The implementation of the "Expanding Horizons" project will not only strengthen the results obtained from the Centro Cultural Melodía's experience, but will also train a diverse group of 50 teachers, currently practicing in the Department of Villa Hayes, in the area of ICTs. Special emphasis will be placed on the participation of native Indigenous and Latin teachers, men and women, seeking to maintain equity of participation in terms of the group's composition.

Teachers were chosen as this project's target audience, because they constitute the main reference in a community, and the most effective multiplying agent for the incorporation of new practices or tools into a community's way of life.

"Expanding Horizons", as its' name says, represents a feasible opportunity to improve the quality of teaching and, therefore, the quality of students that will be produced by the school system, ultimately improving their opportunities for employment.

The experience acquired in our work at the Centro Cultural Melodía, besides making us aware of the great disadvantage at which our people in the Chaco find themselves, has also allowed us to identify opportunities for innovation and growth, promising a successful and more productive future. Expanded use of ICTs will:

-Improve the quality of our students' education, and increase access to learning in the 21st Century;

-Generate an economic benefit; teachers will be able to optimize the use of their time, allowing them to also improve the quality of their own lives.

"Expanding Horizons" will also make it possible to close the gap that exists between children and youth who are literate in information technology, and those teachers who don't have the same skills. The idea is that teachers find in the ICTs an ally in the performance of their work, and not a threat as we have seen when a teacher, for lack of adequate information on the management of ICTs, discourages the use of information technology.