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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 09:40 PM
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Laptops a reality now for Uruguay kids
Source: Agence France-Presse

Laptops a reality now for Uruguay kids
Last Updated : 2009-11-22 12:09 PM
The Himalayan Times - Agence France Presse

LAS PIEDRAS: A laptop is now finding its place alongside a notebook and pen in schoolbags in Uruguay, the first and only country to offer Internet-connected computers to all public primary school students. In the small town of Poquitos, some 30 kilometres north of Montevideo, about 20 students study The Odyssey by singing, drawing and even rewriting Homers epic poem with the help of their apple-green laptops. Judging by the smiles, the pupils are loving this newfound way to participate in literature class.

Here I drew the picture of Ulysses arriving on Calypsos island! exclaimed nine-year-old Facundo, pointing at his computer screen.

In all, 380,000 computers have been distributed free of charge to public school students and teachers in this South American country of 3.34 million sandwiched between Argentina and Brazil.

The decision has not always pleased the teachers. Some would have preferred to use the funds to reform the local school system or to increase teacher salaries.

But student enthusiasm has won them over and they now use the XO mini computers several times a week.

Read more: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=...
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rayofreason Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 09:56 PM
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1. Computers are nice...
...but to use them as tools to effect real learning is much more difficult than just buying laptops and handing them out.

The real question is "Is there a plan to use these these tools in a meaningful way?" and "Is there appropriate professional development of teachers?"

Otherwise, nice gesture and money down a rathole. Especially when for the cost of one laptop one could provide a teacher with sufficient professional development to make meaningful use of an entire classroom laptops.
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 10:11 PM
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2. You can read about their actual use by actual users here.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 07:25 AM
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3. It's good to see Latin America embrace public education while the US does it best to gut
it with charter schools.
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