A study on the use of the Internet in the Brazilian educational context

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BATISTELLA, Jefferson [1], VINÍCIUS, Eduardo Pires [2]

BATISTELLA, Jefferson. VINÍCIUS, Eduardo Pires. A study on the use of the Internet in the Brazilian educational context. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year 04, Ed. 07, Vol. 06, pp. 27-36. July 2019. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access link:


The advances and dissemination of the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), more precisely the Internet, uncover new perspectives for education, supported in virtual learning environments (VLA). Considering that the geographical distance and the use of multiple media are characteristics inherent to DE, but not sufficient to define the educational conception, this technological modality is discussed not only as a palliative solution to meet students geographically distant from educational institutions or just as the simple transposition of content and methods of classroom teaching to other means and supported by different technologies. Thus, this work has engagement in the use of the Internet in the Brazilian educational context, demonstrating the history of the Internet, the history of Distance Education (DE) in Brazilian teaching, which is a reality and a teaching format increasingly disseminated and sought after by students, as well as educational media connected in the current Brazilian context, which has helped with powerful tools in facilitating the teaching-learning process that happens in schools and at all times and in all places in this virtual and real world.

Keywords: Internet, Education, teaching, learning.


In this globalized world, where the Internet of Things is dominating, one needs to know history to build the present and consolidate the future. It is observed that most Brazilian students are unmotivated and unfortunately do not want to dedicate themselves to studies, so the Internet is a powerful pedagogical tool that can help improve teaching-learning.

Thus, it is necessary to direct the use of the Internet in schools and sensitize the school community to become aware of the intelligent and dynamic use of the Internet for intellectual, moral and civic growth, individual and collective.

The use of the Internet with discretion can become a significant tool for the educational process as a whole. It enables the use of texts, sounds, images and video that support the production of knowledge. In addition, the Internet provides the creation of rich, motivating, interactive, collaborative and cooperative environments (BEHRENS, 2008, p. 99).

The Internet is a tool capable of making the classes of any discipline more attractive and dynamic, provided that the teacher, too, knows how to conduct the use of this technological resource. It is known that this requires time and a break of educational paradigms, but it is necessary to believe and act collectively so that each student has the best possibility of learning and is a proactive citizen in a country that is experiencing economic, political and social difficulties.

The school and teachers must offer their students the resources available in their means. Refusing this possibility means omission and not length of the educator’s main mission; proactive citizens for an increasingly competitive world and, unfortunately, with wide social disparities (TAJRA, 2001 p.10).

The Internet is the most technological tool in the Brazilian educational context, therefore, this research is current, because it intends to conduct a study that aims to demonstrate possibilities of improvements in the teaching-learning process in Brazilian schools, adhering to new concepts and new possibilities, for advances in new research on the theme addressed.

To this end, the work is structured, in addition to this introductory section, in four sections. In section 2, the subjects are based on which are the basis for understanding the work. In session 3, the materials and methodology used for its development are described. In section 4, the results obtained are discussed and related. At the end, in the last section, the conclusions and perspectives of future work are presented.


This section briefly presents some concepts and definitions that guide and assist the understanding of work, such as: Internet History in Brazil, Internet relations and Education, Distance Education in Brazil and Connected Educational Media.

The main theoretical writers are: BEHRENS (2000), NASCIMENTO (2007), TAJRA (2011), HARASIM (2005).


According to the digital research conducted in 2018 on Wikipedia, the Internet arrived in Brazil in 1988, in which the National Laboratory of Scientific Computing (LNCC) connected to the University of Maryland, in the United States, through because it’s Time of Network (BITNET) because this network allowed the exchange of messages, mainly at the initiative of students and professors of the São Paulo Research Support Foundation (FAPESP) , and together with the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), by having access to the network of fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Chicago and, in 1989, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) also joined the BITNET network, together with another American university.

In 1990, the National Research Network (RNP) was created, responsible for creating the Internet network infrastructure in Brazil, and two years later, 11 states were interconnected in a network of equipment and communication lines (RNP, 2016).

At that time, access to the virtual world was very rudimentary, compared to what is currently occurring, and only at that time did the Buletim Board System (BBS) appear, which offered an email account and Internet access for free. In 1994, with the dissemination of internet benefits among students from universities and private companies, at the University of São Paulo (USP) students started web page developments.

The Internet Steering Committee (CGI) – was created in 1995 and was assigned to coordinate and integrate related initiatives in Brazil, aiming to promote more technical quality and innovation.

The commercial use of the Internet in Brazil began only in 1996, with the emergence of Zaz and UOL portals, in which the government also enters the era of innovation and implements the delivery of IRPF via online.

In the year 2000, the Internet gains momentum for growth, and free providers appear to offer access for everyone. At that time, the IG was created, which still used dial-up connections to access the network. To maintain the service, the providers were financed by advertisements in browsers, but this model proved to be unsustainable, which caused the closure of several companies.

The improvement of the communications infrastructure allowed the implementation of the Assymetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), the broadband Internet, which generated an increase in speed.

The popularization of Internet access was important for the emergence of various services and websites, so much so that in 2004 there was the launch of one of the most famous social networks, Orkut and, later, Facebook, which allowed consolidation as mass media.

According to the Digital in 2018 survey, published by hootsuite and We are social online services, Brazil currently has 139.1 million users, this means that taking into account that the population is 210.1 million people, the Internet has a penetration rate of 66%, demonstrating that the country has a high rate of use, reflecting economically and socially in people’s daily lives and in the implementation of public policies by the State.


In the global context, especially in the United States, the use of networks for educational purposes began in the 1960s, through the Plato system, a computer-assisted education system for shared machines. In 1969, universities started using shared-time computer networks to offer mathematics classes, the interaction of which took place through e-mail. In the 1970s, e-mail started to be used, initially, to exchange academic information and, finally, to complement university courses, in addition to elementary and high school (HARASIM et al., 2005).

It is possible to locate the beginning of internet use in Brazil as part of an educational project, considering that the beginning of the activities of this network occurred in 1988, at the initiative of FAPESP, UFRJ and LNCC. Later, in 1989, an initial interconnection was made between educational institutions from 11 different capitals, through the National Research Network, created by the Ministry of Science and Technology, a process that gave rise to the commercial implementation of the Internet in Brazil.


Currently, it is impossible to think of the internet as an educational resource without thinking about the terminology Distance Education, a concept that is now widely used and represents a teaching format increasingly sought after by students. The DE is therefore understood as:

a teaching modality that works through a systematic and organized educational process that has as its fundamental characteristic the physical-spatial separation between teachers and students, who interact from different places, through different technological means, which enable a bidirectional interaction, that is, a double-way interaction. (LIMA, 2012, p. 24)

Although today this pedagogical modality is more associated with the use of computers and the Internet, its origin refers to any type of teaching that is asynchronous. Still in the 1920s, in Brazil, the name of radio host Roquette Pinto draws attention for his pioneering role in distance education via radio. In 1923, he offered, through the Radio Society of Rio de Janeiro, courses in human sciences such as Portuguese, French and its literatures, as well as telephony and radiotelegraphy courses. In 1934, he installed The Municipal School Radio in Rio, in which “students had prior access to brochures and class schemes”, as well as “correspondence for contact with students” (ALVES, 2018, p. 88).

In the 1940s, the Brazilian Universal Institute was offered professional courses and, even in this decade, the University of The Air, sponsored by SENAC and SESC, with radio commercial courses, was published. In the 1960s, the Catholic Church produced courses focused on literacy for those who were excluded from the classroom education system, broadcasting classes through radio, in the so-called Basic Education Movement, a pioneer in the democratization of access to education and literacy of young people and adults.

As a national project, only in 1970 was the Minerva Project created, an agreement between the Ministry of Education, the Padre Landell de Moura Foundation and the Padre Anchieta Foundation, also using radio for the education and social inclusion of adults, which remained until the beginning of the 1980s. In 1976, the National System of Teleeducation was created, with courses taught through instructional material and, finally, in 1979, the University of Brasília became the pioneer in Distance Education in higher education, producing courses through newspapers and magazines, becoming, in 1989, the Center for Open Education, Continued, Distance.

The period of 1990 is crucial, due to the evolution and affirmation of distance education as a teaching modality, becoming a field of teaching of comprehensiveness and credibility from 1995, with the commercialization of the Internet. In 1992, the Open University of Brasília was founded, an important milestone of this educational format in Brazil, and in 1996, the Department of Distance Education of the Ministry of Education was created, focusing on a teaching policy that privileges the democratization and quality of Brazilian education. In the same year, Distance Education comes into existence in an official way, being governed and included in the Law of Guidelines and Bases of National Education.

In the 2000s, through a contract between 70 public institutions in Brazil, UniRede was formed, which now offers undergraduate, graduate and extension courses. Since 2004, the MEC begins to implement several initial and continuing training courses for public school teachers, culminating in the formation of the Open University System of Brazil, a milestone in the unification, professionalization and breadth of distance learning, which is public in Brazil.


The advent of Internet marketing in Brazil, which expanded broadly in the two decades of the 21st century, demonstrated the scope of this resource beyond purely commercial use, reaching millions of homes throughout the country. Data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), from 2018, show that 64.7% of the entire population of Brazil is connected to the network, which corresponds to 116 million people connected. With regard to the counting of households with online access, this number corresponds to almost two thirds of Brazilian residences, which explains a reality of unrestricted access to the Internet, which goes beyond the simple use in companies and universities, although this scope is related to social stratification, in which the residences of classes D and E are still distant.

This ubiquity of the Internet in all social spaces, from the most collective to the most domestic, makes it reflect on its uses not only in the traditional educational environment, such as schools and universities, but as a tool that allows asynchronous learning, but expanded beyond conservative limits. Thus, it is necessary to present and discuss resources that can be used not only in the distance education platform, but also individually, as a driver of learning and knowledge, as well as to rethink the role of the teacher in this current situation, in which he is no longer the sole holder of knowledge and must dispute space, or reallocate himself, amid the breadth of information.

With regard to the role of teachers, perhaps the main question is to understand the role of the educator, nowadays, as a mediator of knowledge, in order to resolve the “confusion between information and knowledge”, because “knowledge does not pass, but is created and built” (NASCIMENTO, 2007, p. 73). Therefore, the teacher must act in order to raise the awareness of students for the construction of knowledge based on the selection of relevant information, which builds bridges between the real world and academic knowledge. Guiding and making the Internet a productive research tool is the basis of today’s knowledge, going beyond the simple copying of texts taken from the web. Like this:

the educator should be prepared to help students to locate quality content and transform the texts researched into useful knowledge, into material debates and reflections, in critical reading, remembering that the Internet is not the only source of research to be used. (NASCIMENTO, 2007, p. 74).

In 1993, in a research conducted in the United States on the use of the computer network in the educational context, among the positive characteristics arising from this experience, educators and students cited the following changes: the change in the role of the teacher, who becomes a facilitator and mentor; students become active participants, making discussions more in-depth; there has been a significant increase in access to resources; students became more independent and became the center of teaching, so that learning follows an individualized rhythm, among other points (HARASIM et al., 2005).


This research consists of exploratory research based on the bibliographic survey of theoretical and scientific publications on the internet theme in the Brazilian Educational Context.

The exploratory research, according to Gil (1999) aims to provide greater familiarity with the problem in order to make it explicit or to build hypotheses. Similarly Mattar (2001) considers that the methods used by exploratory research are broad and versitable. The methods employed include: surveys in secondary sources, surveys of experiences, studies of selected cases and informal observation.

Therefore, in the following topic are presented some studies in which the Internet is applied in Education.


It is undeniable that the Internet produces new educational relationships that, in a way, facilitate the teacher’s current task, allowing the student “a more direct contact with the world, which meets one more current need: that of direct experience as a modality of learning more conducive to the development of the capacity for creative problem solving” (SOBRAL, 1999, p. 15).

There are, however, negative aspects that deserve to be emphasized, such as the fact that it is more laborious to prepare classes in this model, besides the need for students to be more committed to dates and participate more actively (HARASIM et al., 2005). These concerns are not, however, obstacles to the use of the internet as an effective educational tool, but steps that need to be overcome. Like any other type of teaching, “important issues need to be considered, such as what are the appropriate network technologies, how to integrate networking into the curriculum, how to “teach” and “learn” in network, and how to transform the network into an effective educational environment” (HARASIM et al., 2005, p. 36).

At the same time, there are a multitude of web-based resources and applications that can be used as the main and/or accessory tool in the teaching-learning process. First, the sites give access to various forms of media, which can be used as a source of research, in addition to the possibility of using the construction of web pages as an educational process, by bringing together content research and computer knowledge in one activity. There is also the sending and receiving of files (download and upload) both by e-mail, as well as by content platforms or social networks, in addition to peer-to-peer technology, which gathers addresses for access of the most different and multiple content. The chat or chat room, as a synchronous platform, has today been virtually replaced by WhatsApp and its groups, which serve for the most diverse exchanges of information.

Once called mailing lists, virtual spaces currently called forums bring together people with the same interests and objectives, asynchronously integrating and sharing content. Even though far from their heyday, blogs still resist as simplified forms, through templates, of content sites, creating sorts of mailing lists in their comments.

Despite all these features, perhaps the most operational these days are smartphones that gather, in just one mobile phone, all possible information and multimedia, with text, music, video, photos and applications that allow consultation and research in the most varied types of content. Although many educators still love the use of mobile phones in the school environment, it can be used as an important tool in the classroom, through the installation of programs that contain dictionaries, mathematical games, quiz disciplines, calculators, maps, statistical data, meteorological and climatic, updated news, historical facts, virtual library of different areas.

Therefore, there are endless teaching options through the Internet and its adjacent resources, which are indelibly modifying educational roles, the traditional school structure and the form of access to knowledge. It is therefore necessary to rethink the activities and pedagogical planning so as to integrate these resources into a more dialogical and current educational formation, which brings education to the 21st century, not ignoring the old tools, but updating them and locating them in the midst of space-time with constant changes.


Given the numerous difficulties that the country faces, it is not possible to give up education and, therefore, it is necessary to use the technological resources that exist, the Internet is undoubtedly one of the multidimensional and interdisciplinary tools and can be used to facilitate teaching learning of any area of knowledge.

The Internet is the best one as a technological educational tool, in which the teacher is the master who can conduct an intelligent, rational and dynamic way of using it in each class, leaving its students prepared for the job market, lacking professionals who know how to use the Internet for a source of knowledge, work and research.

Analyzing the knowledge and concepts learned in this bibliographic research, it is affirmed that the educational context is having changes and the use of the Internet is a reality at all educational levels, in elementary school, high school and higher education, making classes of various disciplines more attractive and dynamic.

In the future it is known that the Internet of Things will take over, but in the present this powerful tool, the Internet, is a milestone in the Brazilian and global educational context.


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[1] Postgraduate in Special and Inclusive Education and Neuropoisicopedagogy by FAVENI. Specialist in Methodology of Biology and Chemistry Teaching at UNITER. Graduated in Biological Sciences from UFMT.

[2] Technologist: Information Security Technology by UNICESP and Computer Networks by UNEB.

Posted: January, 2019.

Approved: July, 2019.

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