Be-a-Byte (www.beabyte.com.br / www.beabyte.com ) is a complete educational project, focusing on total and unrestricted large scale digital inclusion. Initially, Be-a-Byte is a Website that offers video classes and teaching resources to enable computer learning (including a variety of programs (software) and the acquisition of theoretical technical learning, with notions of information security, concepts of hardware and computer networks to all who want them.
P.S. Dear reader, the name Be-a-Byte comes from the expression Bê-a-Bá (something like B + A = BA), a very common expression in Brazil to describe basic knowledge, first classes, content for laypeople, like the “first steps” in learning about any topic, like the idea of a “101” class at college, or the abc’s of something. Of course, since the topic in question is computers, the word "byte" (a digital information unit) "was a perfect fit" as the name of the project. This paragraph, dear reader, is only included in the English version of this project, so that the name Be-a-Byte is not confused with the idea of "to be a byte".
Classes will also be given through the site, friend, and it will be possible to watch them at any time, on the computer. It will also be possible (the site will offer this option) to download (copy) the classes onto the user’s computer, making it possible to watch as often as he wants, including in portable devices, like MP4 players and cell phones (which have become increasingly popular), so it is not necessary to be in front of a computer to have access to our content.
Courses taught on Be-a-Byte will be complete, totally self-taught (anyone can watch them and learn without help from anyone monitoring them), and what is most, at no cost (totally free) to its users.
Be-a-Byte can also be used by those who do not have access to computers in their homes (a large majority of people in the country), as it will promote partnerships with social entities, like Community Centers, Church Groups focused on Children, Adolescents and the Elderly and many others that want to offer these classes for free to those they assist. These partnerships will consist of providing free content of Be-a-Byte to these entities, both through Internet (at the site), and in the form of DVDs, so they can be “played” wherever these entities prefer, at the times and days that are most convenient, using a simple TV, if this is the only option.
Well, I can mention several factors:
a) Free Quality Video Classes: in a universe that puts a monetary value on quality information (traditional educational market), and which, conversely, offers free content, but of dubious quality, on the Internet, Be-a-Byte is already aligning the positive characteristics of these two extreme environments: users, from a wide variety of economic and social levels, will have access to the same information, formatted in the same way, in an accessible an complete manner!
b) Promoting Self-Teaching: carefully thought out to promote the ability of its students to “walk on their own two feet,” the Be-a-Byte Pedagogical Project is revolutionary and committed to their success (actually, it is a revolutionary project precisely because it is committed to its students). The entire “process” of presentation of the Be-a-Byte classes (and access to them) was created to allow people, even the least informed computer users to navigate on the site and learn alone, without help from relatives and/or friends (this was especially thought out for children and the elderly, who generally have more difficulty in dealing with the “digital world” without support from someone to give them a feeling of security).
c) Diversified and Expandable Content: there will not be only one or two complete courses at Be-a-Byte. There may be hundreds, thousands... Any computer program that exists can be taught on Be-a-Byte. And there is a “market” for all of them: operating systems, office programs suites, navigators, email programs, security software, media recorders (CD and DVD) and much more (even games); ranging from the most “professional” topics, like photography editing, to the most “domestic and everyday” like techniques and recommendations to avoid viral infections and/or how to copy a movie DVD to the computer can be the topic of video classes in the project.
And although it is beginning only with computer materials, in the near future, Be-a-Byte could be the stage for other classes focuses on the social aspect, like Portuguese, Adult Literacy classes, Basic Math, Notions of Law, and others.
d) Adaptation of the Level of the Classes to the Student’s Needs: the Be-a-Byte pedagogical project also focuses on the level of the classes, and of course, the level of the student who will watch them. A course in a given program, for example, Microsoft Excel, will be given in several formats: for children, for the elderly, for students, for professionals (at a basic, intermediary and full level). Often, for a given course, students will begin at different points (the elderly, children and professionals), but will end the course as “equals,” watching the same classes (full level), if they demonstrate their ability over the course.
e) Rigid Progress Program: each class will be followed by a questionnaire of up to 10 questions (all specially prepared to test the students’ learning of the content presented in the class). Permission to watch the following class will only be given when the student is approved in the questionnaire. In case he has gotten “less” than the expected points on the questionnaire, he will only be able to redo it after watching the class again. In summary, after each class, the students will be tested to prove whether they are ready to continue with their learning. But the evolution of each student will be individual, in other words, at his own pace.
f) Certificate of Conclusion: at the end of the course, the student will receive (will be able to print) a certificate attesting to his qualification in the recently concluded course. This certificate may be consulted online by anyone (future employers, for example, in interviews for hiring processes).