1. Lenguas Extranjeras Institutos Normales – Consejo de Formación en Educación-
Next steps for Uruguay's Plan Ceibal
Retrieved from: http://blogs.worldbank.org/edutech/next-steps-for-plan-ceibal
Few projects to introduce ICTs at scale across an entire education system have received
as much global attention as that of Plan Ceibal in Uruguay, which has (among other
things) provided free laptop computers to all public school students.
Anticipating that some of the lessons learned in Uruguay may be relevant to scores of
other countries (developing and developed alike) in the years to come, we at the World
Bank have been keenly following related developments in this small South American
nation over the past half-decade. In additional to maintaining the typical sorts of on-going
dialogues we have with countries around the world on education issues, last
year the World Bank sponsored a study tour for policymakers from Armenia and Russia
to visit Uruguay and see with their own eyes what has been going on, and to talk
directly with some of the people who have helped make it all happen. We also helped
coordinate an online 'ideas festival' to help connect educators across Latin America to
share lessons about 1-to-1 computing initiatives, with a special focus on Uruguay. A
presentation on Plan Ceibal by the president of the initiative, Miguel Brechner, at one of
the previous global symposia on ICT use in education that the World Bank co-sponsors
each year with the Korean Ministry of Education and KERIS each year in Seoul,
remains one of the highest rated sessions in the six year history of that event.
That said, there has not been a terrific amount of information available in English about
the project for global audiences. Those handy with online translation tools can perhaps
make their way around the information-rich Plan Ceibal site .
Considering potential 'next steps' for Uruguay may help shed some light on emerging
issues and options potentially relevant to other countries. This may be especially true
for middle and low income countries which, while perhaps currently not as far along in
the process in rolling out ICTs and connectivity as Uruguay is, would do well to
consider what they may want to do after they have declared their initial large scale roll-outs
of hardware, software, digital content and initial teacher training to be a 'success' --
Prof. Mtra. Graciela Bilat II.NN.
2. Lenguas Extranjeras Institutos Normales – Consejo de Formación en Educación-
and are then faced with the more difficult ongoing challenges of utilizing these
investments to help bring about more fundamental and long-lasting changes to teaching
and learning practices inside and outside of schools.
Prof. Mtra. Graciela Bilat II.NN.
Next Steps attempts to "explore Ceibal and its role in Uruguayan education from the
perspective of whole system reform and what is known about educational change".
Uruguay is not alone in facing the “whole system” challenge. As countries around the
world grapple with the need to better prepare students for the challenges of
globalization and what has been termed “21st Century Skills,” education leaders and
policy makers have increasingly focused on how to raise the caliber of teaching and
learning, not just in a few schools but across entire systems. Fullan argues that a limited
focus on low‐performing schools or on new schools that will start afresh will not
address challenges of scale – what is needed are policies and strategies that focus on the
culture of teaching and leadership. The aim must be to develop the entire teaching
profession and to do so by leveraging the power of groups of teachers and
administrators focusing on student learning. In such a context, applying lessons from
decades of studying educational change, school systems can improve dramatically,
whatever their starting points.
The “drivers” that will engage educators on a sustained basis and lead into cycles of
continuous improvement, must meet the following criteria:
• foster intrinsic motivation of teachers and students;
• engage educators and students in continuous improvement of instruction and learning;
• inspire collective or team work;
• affect all teachers and students.
The report quickly, and quite usefully, summarizes both the Uruguayan school system
(which has some interesting characteristics and quirks that may surprise many
educational policymakers in other countries) and the first two phases of Plan Ceibal,
which it labels "a matter of access" and "adding support elements". This section
represents perhaps the best short primer (a dozen pages or so) from an outsider on what
Ceibal has done to date.
The report concludes by offering four targeted and related recommendations for Plan
Ceibal going forward.