Perceptions and Reflections

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Michely Avelar, Student, PhD, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

Examining Changes in Students' Perception of Science Relevancy Associated with the Integration of Sustainability Discussions into Chemistry Curriculum

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Ozcan Gulacar  

Making chemistry relevant to students’ lives by introducing controversial socio-scientific issues in classrooms motivates students to participate in the discussion of scientific principles that are governing the changes around them. This study explores the influence of integrating two sustainability-oriented socio-scientific issues - alternative energies (SDG #7) and nanotechnology - into the General Chemistry curriculum on students’ career aspirations and perceptions of science relevancy. The learning activities incorporated discussion on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, environmental and health hazards of technological advances, and the positive grassroots changes that alternative energy, for instance, can initiate. Following each exploration, the students were asked to consider real-world scenarios and come up with solutions to increase the availability of renewable energies through reduced inequalities and the promotion of sustainable communities. With the planned analysis, the team aims to determine if there is any statistically significant increase in the mean scores for the surveys, Changes in Attitude Towards the Relevancy of Science (CARS) and Career Aspirations (CA). Additionally, the data are examined to reveal any potential correlation between students’ demographics and the determined results. The discussion involves suggestions on designing such activities that aim to equip students to become global and scientifically literate citizens.

Featured Decolonizing the Digital: An Analysis of Possible Movements in Education View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Helena Andrade Mendonca  

This research investigates the dynamics of undergraduate and graduate courses that took place online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital media have affordances that enable and encourage (or not) a dialogic, contextualized and collaborative practice, in line with the literacies pedagogy and aligned with the Freirean perspective, in which the student actively participates in the construction of his knowledge. The analysis of pedagogical practices have considered the internet as the main space for learning interactions. The investigation addresses the concept of digital colonialism as a current and emerging practice on the Internet today, encompassing the use of virtual environments, as well as the impressions of undergraduate and graduate students. The research is qualitative, netnographic in nature, and relies on data generated through the actions of students and teachers, mostly obtained via resources and virtual environments. Based on these reflections, paths are proposed for a decolonial digital education, based on theories related to decolonial pedagogies, with an analysis of courses and learning programs in three layers: the first is related to the technological structure that sustains it (space); the second is related to the materials chosen, created and produced, in addition to the methodologies and management of face-to-face and virtual time (Knowledge / Materials / Content and Time); and the third layer is focused on the relationships and interactions that are established as well as the interaction that the student establishes with knowledge and with the teacher, and how the virtual environment favors (or does not) learning interactions.

University Professors’ Beliefs about the Use of Digital Technologies in the Post-pandemic Period

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Janaina Cardoso  

This study attempts to verify the impact of digital literacy developed during the pandemic on university professors’ beliefs. If before the pandemic most of my fellow university professors rarely used digital technologies, during the pandemic this picture has completely changed. The pandemic made it clear that in addition to the digital exclusion on the part of students who did not have financial conditions to access technologies, teachers were also excluded, as most of them did not know how to use these technologies in their practice. As there was no other form of communication during that time, the university arranged for the purchase of tablets for the students and, in my institute, we offered teacher training on how to use a web conferencing platform and our virtual learning environment (VLE). We also offered workshops to discuss cyberculture, gamification, and the use of technology to facilitate remote classes. Now, when returning to face-to-face classes, it is possible to notice a greater interest from colleagues in maintaining their spaces in the VLE and a still frequent use of web conferencing platforms. Therefore, this participatory action research seeks to understand if there have really been changes in their professors’ beliefs regarding the use of digital technology, and to plan future actions. To do so, a questionnaire is sent to all the institute professors and then two are selected for interviews: a frequent VLE user and non-user. The literature review includes topics such as beliefs, educational changes, digital literacy, and multiliteracies.

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