Sep 16, 2009
IDB evaluates effectiveness of computer use in classrooms
Latin American countries have taken the lead in the use of information and communications technologies in education
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has commissioned impact evaluation studies of programs expanding the use of computers in classrooms in seven Latin American countries, including Uruguay, the only country in the world where every child in the public education system has access to a computer.
The studies aim to establish a firm knowledge based on the results of using information and communications technologies in classrooms, with the long-term goal of developing a model that can be replicated successfully at a
In addition to Uruguay, programs that use computers in classrooms have been
The Plan Ceibal, which made Uruguay the first country in the world to give a computer to all students in the classroom, has brought international attention to the South American nation. It is “a pioneering experience for Latin America and the world,” said IDB president Luis Alberto
The IDB could give additional support to Uruguay’s program once it gets the results of the impact evaluation study. “We hope to help the Plan Ceibal grow,”
The Uruguayan initiative was analyzed in yesterday’s seminar, Reinventing the Classroom:
The seminar was attended by the president of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, the president of the One
Moreno welcomed the participants, emphasizing that innovation in education is a priority for the Bank’s actions today. ICTs, he added,
Vázquez discussed his country’s experience with the Plan Ceibal, which required an enormous effort to involve and train Uruguayan teachers, as well as an impressive logistical operation to put computers into students’ hands.
In addition to Uruguay’s experience, other initiatives discussed at the seminar were Portugal’s Magellan Project, the Plan San Luis
Both the IDB’s impact evaluation studies and the seminar have the same goal, which is to seek out the best practices for establishing a replicable model with measurable results.
“At the end of 2015, half of Latin America’s school-age children will probably have a technological device that supports their learning efforts,” said Marcelo Cabrol, head of the IDB’s Education Division, as he opened the seminar’s technical sessions. What this means, he concluded, is that “the entire educational experience must be changed.”