The U.S. State of Maine
. South Korea. Portugal
A number of places around the world have made very large, (hopefully) strategic investments in technology use across their formal education systems featuring so-called "1-to-1 computing", where every student has her own laptop or tablet learning device.
(I provided an annotated list of such places in an earlier EduTech blog post on Big educational laptop and tablet projects -- Ten countries to learn from
One of the largest national initiatives of this sort is largely unknown outside that country's borders. To the extent that Turkey's ambitious FATIH project is
known around the world, it is probably as a result of headlines
related to plans
to buy massive
numbers of tablets
(news reports currently place the figures at about 11 million
) and interactive whiteboards
will be placed in classrooms, labs, teacher rooms and kindergartens). The first big phase of the project began in 2011 with 52 schools receiving tablets and interactive whiteboards as a sort of pilot project to test implementation models, with results (here's one early evaluation report
) meant to inform later, larger stages of (massive) roll-outs.
The project's acronymic title, FATIH (which stands for Fırsatları Artırma ve Teknolojiyi İyileştirme Hareketi,
or 'Movement to Increase Opportunities and Technology'), deliberately recalls the conqueror of Istanbul, Fatih Sultan Mehmet. Speaking at the project's inauguration
, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan noted that, “As Fatih Sultan Mehmet ended the Middle Ages and started a new era with the conquering of İstanbul in 1453, today we ended a dark age in education and started a new era, an era of information technology in Turkish education, with the FATİH project.”
What do we know about FATIH,
how might it develop,
and how might lessons from this development
be of interest and relevance to other countries
considering ambitious plans of their own to roll out educational technologies?