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May 2010

What happens when *all* children and teachers have their own laptops

Michael Trucano's picture

results from the widespread use of educational technologies are just beginning to bloom all over UruguayWhat happens when *all* children and teachers have their own laptops -- this is usually phrased as a question, but a few places are allowing us to begin to reformulate this into a declarative sentence.  One such place is the state of Maine in the northeastern United States; another is the South American country of Uruguay, where under Plan Ceibal all primary school teachers and students in government schools now have their own free laptops (previous blog posts about the Uruguayan experience can be found here and here).

Alicia Casas de Barrán, the director of the National Archives of Uruguay, spoke yesterday at the World Bank about what is actually happening under Plan Ceibal.  Through various examples, she highlighted the fact that many of the 'externalities' resulting from this ambitious initiative may in fact be central to its eventual value to Uruguayan society.

Interactive Radio Instruction : A Successful Permanent Pilot Project?

Michael Trucano's picture

 
Despite their increased diffusion through rich and poor communities around the world, many people still have serious reservations about large scale investments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) within education systems.  Spirited and long-running related debates related to their costs ("too expensive", their critics say),  appropriateness ("students needs lots of things before they need computers") and impact on learning outcomes ("we haven't seen any") continue in many places, and reasonable people can (and do!) take different sides of such debates.  There is, however, a low-cost educational technology with a long history that has demonstrated postive impact in many developing countries -- educational radio, specifically what is known as interactive radio instruction (IRI).