The 400 classes

Two educational trends are currently revolutionizing education. On one hand, a huge quantity of free educational videos created by educators has been made available online for teachers to use in classes. On the other hand, internet access is spreading at an ever reducing cost.

The 400 Classes incorporates both trends, taking advantage of the almost infinite wealth of audio-visual material to support lectures with educational images as well as provide teachers with new tools to reach out to students and make them think. The project is different from other initiatives by providing free support and relevant contents by relating the materials to the official curriculum. It also works locally with teachers and principals, training them and encouraging the use of new teaching methods in schools via a community of practice.

Los 400 clases.

Los 400 clases.

The purpose of the portal, created by CIPPEC Foundation and Fundación Navarro Viola, is to select and curate published videos and categorize the content of the complementary materials according to classroom topics. The traditional format of rote learning classes is being replaced and reconsidered by teachers through the use of new methodologies.

The project has been built on three main aspects. The first one is based on the idea that basic curricular studies can be interesting; teachers can achieve a paradigm shift in teaching methods used in the classroom by inspiring pupils to learn a range of topics in innovative ways. The second key is that the content is not only for free, but the videos can be downloaded for future offline use, thus ensuring access to them in all schools. Finally, we also work in the creation of a community of practice to support teachers and offer trainings on the use of audio-visual material in classrooms, with providing opportunity for teachers to share and reflect upon their experience in education.

In March 2014 a year after its launch, the site content will be revised and new videos and sections (e.g.: resilient schools) will be included. The training of educators will continue together with providing new tools for teaching, such as exercise guides.

The 400 classes has achieved a big audience reaching 100,000 visits with an average of 318 visits per day in less than a year. Furthermore, the material has been used in other countries such as Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Perú, Colombia, Chile, United States, Ecuador and Venezuela, among other countries. The systematic approach to the method allows it to be replicated and adapted to curricula in other countries of the world.

It is expected that within five years the site will become the reference portal for educational innovation in the classrooms of the region, reaching over 1500 schools and working with over 300,000 teachers.


Axel Rivas is the director of The 400 Classes.

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