Digitization in education opens the way to new jobs. Discover 3 examples in Portugal – Job

THE the digitization of schools and apprenticeships has opened up business opportunities for companies around the world, which were born to provide technological solutions that the market needs, or which adapt the offer to “seize” the opportunity.

THE JP Sá Couto is perhaps the most blatant national example business reinvention for a market that was just taking its first steps a little over a decade ago. Founded by two Sá Couto brothers, Jorge and João Paulo, the business has focused on the distribution of computer equipment for years.

With the arrival of e-Escola and some time after e-Escolinha, the first major national programs in the field of Digital School, JP used the experience and structure he already had for the production of Tsunami computers (its own brand which it still maintains, in a separate company) and advanced in the production of Magalhães. It was the beginning of a new path, which today is based on its own offer for the education market, with equipment for different age groups.

Since it started, the company it has already shipped 11 million computers, schools around the world. Recently sold distributionwhich in 2021 had a turnover of EUR 300 million and which represented 60% of the group’s income, in Swiss Also, and focused on education.

In many of these projects, the computer is only one piece of the puzzle, in the package of services that was built around the educational offer. In Kenya, where JP equipped 13,500 classrooms with computer equipment and classroom management software, too trained 30 thousand teacherstrained students and built a local assembly linewith after-sales service and a call center.

Many of international projects developed by JP are implemented in countries where the school proves to be the first point of contact, for students and families, with the computer and internet connection. The impact is therefore huge and unexpected, involving the whole community.

“We have had cases where the impact of the project was so great that we were forced to re-plan the entire implementation,” admits Jorge Sá Couto, president of JP Grupa, and details:

“We had a technology installation process in schools that provided for two installations per team, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. We found that when the team arrived at the location to install the equipment, it was a day of fun and the group was invited to gather and participate in socializing during the day”.

ON class teacher conceptwhich served as a reference for Magalhães, continued to develop and continues to be the basis of many laptops designed for students of the first cycle, especially due to its light weight, resistance to falls, shocks and water.

THE The offer of JP Sá Couto for younger students is also still based on this concept. In addition, the company is investigating two more segments. Middle segment, with larger devices, higher productivity, more attractive and robust design. For the older age group and for teachers “We are focused on performance and productivity, with a modern and elegant design,” explains Jorge Sá Couto. All models follow the same design principle: must be durable, easy to repair and free of waste and have pre-installed validated educational applications and security.

The international market was the main destination for these educational solutions, which are also used in Botswana, Uruguay or Argentinabut in the latter two, almost 50% of the company’s turnover comes from Portugal, thanks to the strengthening of national investments in these areas. JP delivered 140,000 computers for the Escola Digital program.

Outside Portugal, the focus is now on projects in Latin America and Africa. In the first quarter of 2023, a new project will begin in Latin America that will target 120,000 students. “So are we to work actively in Europewith an emphasis on Italy and Germany, with specialist partners in this area”, admits Jorge Sá Couto.

eSchooling: Portugal’s integrated school management solution reaches eight countries

Internationalization is also one of the main focuses of another Portuguese company that started the business and allowed it to grow due to the need to digitize processes in schoolsAnd codevisionout of the blue eSchoolingwhich already last year sought 35% of its income from international markets.

THE a platform for managing the technology school in Braga was born in 2007 and, as explained Manuela Gomesthe company’s operations manager, has evolved from being close to schools and those who work there, to they cover needs in pedagogical, administrative, financial, access, sales and dining areas.

Today, that is the solution he has personalized portals for teachers, parents, students, principals and school experts and resources adapted to each profile.

“We believe that this individualization and integration are elements that facilitate a harmonized educational ecosystem, in which all parties can make consistent decisions, based on concrete data and information”, defends the person responsible for Codevision.

eSchooling is in 1200 education and training institutions, 400 in Portugal, which is mainly located in the region of Lisbon and the Tagus Valley and is mostly private. In space, the eight countries it reaches (Portugal, Italy, Romania, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Brazil and Guinea-Bissau) serves 500,000 users. More than 120 thousand are students. In 2020, the Minho company bought iScholar in Brazil, a market where it is growing in an “extraordinary” way, assures Manuela Gomes.

ON Brazil is precisely one of Codevision’s strategic markets, which splits its 80 current employees between the two countries and focuses its internationalization efforts on Latin America and Europe. Globally, this year the technology plan is to double its invoicing.

Two years ago, the company started to develop a new application to support teachers, students, parents and other stakeholders such as tutors, coaches, mentors or psychologists, in managing their individual work. This will be “one of the main axes of growth that we consider strategic for new markets”, reveals Manuela Gomes.

Digital textbooks give new momentum to the Virtual School

THE Porto Editora was a pioneer in launching digital platforms to support studieswith launch Virtual school 2005 and in the creation of digital educational content (in 1997 Diciopédia was already launched). Today 250,000 students have access to the platform developed by the company, practically in all state and private schools on the mainland and islands. ON the type of use is still very variabledepending on the type of license used (student or teacher), or depending on the institutional dimension of using the platform, but the software was gaining traction.

Only partnership with projects Digital textbooks in Madeira and the Azores lead the Virtual School to the classrooms of 15 thousand students in the autonomous regions. On the other hand, the spread of manual dematerialization pilots on the continent has tripled the number of students involved to around 12,000 in the current school year, according to Rui Pacheco, director of Porto Editora’s multimedia center.

Surprisingly, the company explains that one of the growth paths for Virtual School has therefore been “the use of digital manuals, which are an increasingly valued educational resource, as they are the backbone of an ecosystem of functionality and access to other content, effectively complementing the use of paper manuals”.

Rui Pacheco also explains that, in relation to the remaining resources, Use tends to be broader and deeper as the level of expertise of teachers and students increases. Longer contact with software increases the demand for features that enable the development of more collaborative and interdisciplinary learning models. “The platform is increasingly used as a source for formative assessment by teachers and as a solution for students’ independent learning”, he exemplifies.

In line with these trends, areas where the company has sought to further develop the Virtual School include: expansion and integration of new functionalities into digital manualsour automation instruments learning paths, u gamification and assessment tools.

This school year premiered ia a new application for offline contexts of use, new interactive digital manualswith more interactive activities/exercises, new quiz formats, new task management tools and report results.

Your The publisher’s digital content is also being explored by “thousands of users outside Portugal”especially under the brand name Portuguese Closerwhich calls a platform dedicated to teaching Portuguese to foreigners, launched in partnership with the Instituto Camões, which is also used as instrument for learning the Portuguese curriculum in countries with large immigrant communities. For example, in the United States, Canada, Venezuela, Australia and Luxembourg.

“We foresee a significant growth in usage outside the national territory, as the countries where we are directly present embrace digitization initiatives“, admits Rui Pacheco. Nevertheless, the focus of Porto Editora’s development in this area will continue to be the development of content around Portuguese curricula, taking advantage of know how teaching about practice in national schools, guaranteed by the company.

This article is part of Special education: Is the school in Portugal already digital?

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