And a few months ago Karen Cator, Educational Technology Director at the US Department of Education, replied to a question from Miguel at a learning technology conference. She shares a few views from her Department, from Secterary Arne Duncan‘s interest in Uruguay’s leadership in empowering children, to issues of how long it takes to transition to such a program in our world of independent, federated states. Some states are saying that ‘by 2014 they want to be like Uruguay in terms of… laptop access‘.
La RepÃºblica recently published an article on the history of Plan Ceibal and how it is seen and referenced by programs in other countries:
Nuestro paÃs es consultado constantemente por otros estados interesados en aplicar el programa de â€œuna computadora por niÃ±oâ€…
Uruguay tiene presencia mundial no solo por el fÃºtbol. El Plan Ceibal hace que nuestro paÃs tenga una presencia importante en grandes eventos. â€œHace algunas semanas, fui a un congreso con veinte mil personas en Estados Unidos, y el primer dÃa no dejaron de hablar de Uruguayâ€, explicÃ³ Miguel Brechner.
Read the whole piece (in Spanish).
We invite the submission of papers to be presented at the eduJAM! 2012 summit. It will take place Friday-Saturday, May 11th-12th.
A summary of the main contributions from all the papers and the mention of the authors will be published on the event’s website and in the media after the summit. See more details in the document linked here and on our website.
Llamados a Ponencias – eduJAM! 2012
Invitamos a la presentaciÃ³n de ponencias que integrarÃ¡n el Encuentro de Desarrolladores Uruguay: eduJAM! 2012 a desarrollarse el 11 y 12 de mayo. Un resumen de los principales aportes del conjunto de las ponencias y la menciÃ³n a sus autores serÃ¡ publicado en la pagina del evento y en los medios de comunicaciÃ³n posteriormente al encuentro.
Mas detalles en el archivo aqui o en nuestra web.
Last week we shared excellent news from OLPC MÃ©xico: Sonora’s plans to distribute XO laptops to 350,000 children across their state over the next three years. A few days later the head of Microsoft in Mexico commented in a Sonoran newspaper that ‘while giving computers to students is a good thing, the Sonora project will fail because XO laptops use Linux instead of Windows.‘
In the same article the Microsoft spokesperson claimed the OLPC project in Uruguay had been a failure due to “Internet security and privacy issues” and that it changed to Wintel machines. Miguel Brechner, head of Plan Ceibal in Uruguay, corrected those misimpressions. There are 570,000 XO laptops in Uruguay schools, all running Sugar for elementary school students and Linux for middle school students, with no security or privacy problems. While dual-booting Windows was available for years as an option for OLPC deployments, almost none chose that option. (Uruguay tested it out, but opted for Gnome-on-Fedora instead.)
This misinformation from Microsoft is a pity; they seem to have no internal incentives to make accurate statements or to advance education. We applaud the work of the Sonora and Uruguay communities to their students, and look forward to their continued success!
Uruguay has now deployed over 500,000 XOs to students from 1st to 9th grade, since 2007. This includes a nationwide laptop deployment, a nationwide wifi rollout, teacher training, material development, and maintenance & repairs.
They note a number of beneficial side effects:
* 15,000 unregistered students were registered
* roughly 1/4 of parents are getting connected through their students laptops
Miguel Brechner, the compelling head of Plan Ceibal, gives a talk about the impact of the Uruguayan program, which has now reached almost 500,000 children and teachers in the country. He discusses impacts on the lives of children, plans for the future, and empowering teachers. (He also seems to be experiencing a revelation of epic proportions in the opening sequence of this video.)
From his talk:
“There is no magic here. Ceibal will not solve Uruguay’s problems, but it is a technology that can help us solve them.”
“En Uruguay hay dos banderas: la primera la selecciÃ³n uruguaya de fÃºtbol, y la segunda el Plan Ceibal.“