The Graduate Program in Innovation in Educational Technologies (PPgITE) was created with a view to contributing to meeting a national demand for training qualified professionals in the field of Educational Technology, making UFRN's infrastructure available to graduate students. stricto sensu graduation so that they have a teaching, learning and research environment that enables the production and appropriation of cutting-edge knowledge in this area. It is in this way that PPgITE has acted in favor of a culture of educational innovation, which has promoted the development and integration of digital technologies and active methodologies in the dynamics of the pedagogical actions of educational institutions, especially Potiguares. In its first quadrennium (2017-2020), PPgITE trained masters and masters in Innovation in Educational Technologies linked to the four mesoregions of Rio Grande do Norte and even other states.
The PPgITE is aligned with national public policies aimed at innovation and democratization of Education, being based on the National Education Plan (PNE), the National Common Curricular Base (BNCC), the Connected Education Innovation Program (PIEC), the Training References in Computing from the Brazilian Computing Society, as well as the State Education Plan of Rio Grande do Norte (PEE-RN), the Nova Escola Potiguar Program, the Municipal Education Plan of the City of Natal (PME-Natal) and the Institutional Development at UFRN. Such official documents, in general, point to the need to expand the number of Education professionals with stricto sensu graduate degrees and demonstrate their importance to work in Basic, Technical and Higher Education using emerging educational technologies.
The program's area of concentration - Innovation in Educational Technologies - aims to produce reflections and practices on innovation and democratization of Education mediated by digital information and communication technologies (TDICs) and by active methodologies. Research and development in this area require multidisciplinarity in actions oriented to the production and application of scientific and technological knowledge. The area of concentration focuses on training professionals capable of implementing and coordinating innovative educational projects that develop and/or use different technologies, contributing to the teaching and learning processes, producing and disseminating content, programs and technological tools for pedagogical mediation. In this way, it aims to create a culture of educational innovation in teaching institutions through the investigation and development of methodologies, strategies and tools adapted to each problem situation, with a view to overflowing effects of academic productivity in society. The Program's area of concentration promotes both the production and the application and evaluation of different educational technologies in different teaching and learning contexts.
For this, the PPgITE concentration area has the following lines of research: (i) Development of Educational Technologies; and (ii) Practices with Educational Technologies. The two lines are complementary as they allow extending from the development of new digital tools to their application and evaluation based on pedagogical practices. The lines of research were chosen due to the academic and professional competence of the researchers-doctors who make up the teaching staff of the PPgITE in these areas, being expressed not only by the scientific and technological intellectual production, but also by their professional experience in teaching institutions, public and private. private, national and international. Both lines of research are covered by several teaching, research, extension and innovation projects carried out by professors linked to different academic units at UFRN, and with heterogeneous backgrounds that guarantee the multidisciplinary performance of the Program.
In this sense, line of research 1, Development of Educational Technologies, is oriented towards the development of pedagogical methodologies and tools involving computational systems, but not restricted to them. It is based on the idea of building learning environments that allow and support the active involvement of the learner in carrying out contextualized tasks that offer means for creating and manipulating artifacts. Therefore, it enables the development of projects for the construction of products and technological innovations, such as didactic materials, educational software, platforms for interaction and interactivity, virtual teaching and learning environments, pedagogical processes, as well as reflective proposals for resources and diversified activities for the integration of educational modalities.
In turn, research line 2, Practices with Educational Technologies, aims to develop theoretical and practical potentialities about the application of emerging technologies in the teaching and learning processes, considering the learner as an active agent in the construction of his own knowledge. This line is based on the cognitive view that is concerned with the learning process in which the learner is the protagonist and builds representations, through his interaction with reality and/or with his peers. Therefore, it allows experimentation and evaluation of pedagogical practices with the use of different technologies, with a focus on the learner and on the individual and collective construction of meanings, as well as an emphasis on controlling the learning process and on the skills and competences developed in it. In the same sense, practices with emerging technologies in different spaces and contexts of educational institutions, formal or not, such as school and/or pedagogical management are also contemplated.
Both lines of research at PPgITE are aimed at professionals graduated in any area of knowledge who are interested in working in the development, management, teaching and mediation of projects using emerging educational technologies. They are aligned with IMD's objectives of generating intellectual capital, products and processes capable of proposing pedagogical innovation through the integration, experimentation and development of educational technologies, promoting greater interaction with Institutions of Basic, Technical and Higher Education, from the public and private sector, Municipal and State Departments of Education, and even companies conducting research, extension and innovation projects in the field of Educational Technology.
In order to favor the participation of the worker-student (professional), the PPgITE curricular components are executed in a module format. The workload of each module is condensed into part of the semester, which allows flexibility in its offer. The curricular components, both mandatory and optional, are face-to-face and held on Friday afternoons and evenings and in the morning and afternoon shifts on Saturdays.
Train and qualify professionals, with high academic and scientific standards in their area of concentration, so that they realize their full potential in order to innovate education through pedagogical practices and emerging technologies, with ethical and political commitment aligned with social and economic sustainability and environmental, to meet the demands of society and the world of work. The unique character of its proposal and the interdisciplinary nature of PPgITE are strategic for proposing innovative solutions that meet the complexity of the educational context, both at the state and national levels, and are reflected in its lines of research. In addition, such characteristics place the Program in line with UFRN's institutional objectives in its Institutional Development Plan (PDI), with regard to ensuring the citizenship education of students regarding local, national and global challenges, the elevation of academic quality and the development socioeconomic state.
Become socially recognized, at the regional, national and international levels, as a graduate program of excellence in the training of professionals who contribute to educational innovation, based on the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge and the development of educational technologies, with a view to inclusive, quality and equitable education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities.
PPgITE has guiding principles and commitments that govern its mission, vision and objectives. Such values, therefore, are imprinted in the future results it intends to generate, as well as in the profile of its graduates who will work in society and put into practice the proposal of the program to innovate in education. In this sense, the values of PPgITE were outlined considering human and social aspects, related to the quality of teaching, research, development and innovation, as shown below:
- Social inclusion and appreciation of people;
- Respect for diversity and plurality;
- Innovation in educational technologies;
- Interdisciplinarity between areas of knowledge;
- Excellence in training professionals;
- Scientific and methodological rigor in the production of knowledge and technologies;
- High standard in research and scientific production;
- Responsibility, ethics and social commitment;
- Integration, cooperation and regional development;
- National and international competence and visibility.