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).
Plan Ceibal’s first pilot, in Cardal, began 5 years ago on May 10, 2007. The town has a sign commemorating the event. And tomorrow they will host a celebration of the program’s fifth anniversary with a small festival, starting at 11:30. If you’re nearby, come and celebrate 😉
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.
There are roughly 58 million primary school students in Latin America, according to UNESCO’s latest dataÂ from theirÂ Education For AllÂ initiative. Â 5% of children in that age range are not in school. Â And 5% of them use XOs: 1.5 million children have their own, and Peru’s urban initiative is giving another 1.5 million students in urban schools access to XOs through a program where groups of 3-5 students share a laptop.
That’s a lot of budding Pythonistas, Scratcheros, and Linux users!
Now if only my own home country would start providing computers and connectivity to its students as a matter of course…
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!