Visiting a cemetery is probably not a fun plan, nor does it seem the most comfortable setting in which to impart a literature class. Nevertheless, the innovator Martin Restrepo believes that the São Paulo cemetery (Brazil) can become an interactive classroom where even the less diligent students acquire knowledge and develop their skills.
How can this be accomplished? The key resides in this young engineer´s specialty: the design and use of mobile technologies, hardware and software, which will become an extension of the senses of students and teachers. Armed with tablets and smartphones, children visit the cemetery of São Paulo and participate in one of the activities integrated with the MEL (Mobile Education Lab) platform created by Editacuja, company in which Restrepo is the cofounder and the director of educational technology.
For several hours, these kids are guided by their devices through a circuit filled with clues, following the instructions of a game created by mapping and GPS technologies. On the tour of their new “classroom” they identify tombstones by using image recognition applications, and they discover poets that were buried there through improved reality systems.
Such activities are just one example of the capacity of technology to challenge the constraints of binding educational content to the classroom. Aware that this potential is still underutilized, Restrepo, through Editacuja, is proving that education can be transformed top to bottom by using tools that allow students and teachers themselves to create new formulas and new media content.