In case you have not heard it in the news, let me tell you that Argentina is implementing not one, but many one to one programs.There is a national program for secondary schools, three provincial programs, at least 5 municipal programs. So what is causing this educational technology fever? Why now? What caused this sudden consensus to include technology in education?This is a question I have been asking myself for quite some time, as I have travelled across the country collaborating with governments and educators.
Educ.ar, Argentina’s National Education portal which was founded in 2000. It was the first such portal in Latin America. The contents, training and vision provided by Educ.ar were key to the adoption of technology in Argentina. Educ.ar launched in 2007 a pilot to test the 1:1 model with 700 devices across 5 different provinces, which set the ball rolling.
One of the districts where the 1:1 model was implemented was the city of Rafaela. The mayor of Rafaela not only embraced the pilot, but went on to invest strongly in expanding 1:1 in his city. Now, bear in mind that in Argentina the education programs are in charge of the provincial governments. But in Rafaela the minicipality has an Education Secretary and a pedagogical team which coordinated the implementation of ICT integration in public schools, provided constant pedagogical support and contents to the city’s teachers. Rafaela is an industrial city which is in dire need of qualified human resources, and it has found in the 1:1 model a concrete answer to improve the education of its inhabitants.
Now let me take you all the way to Tierra del Fuego, to show you a 1:1 model implemented by a pioneering school, Escuela Julio Verne. The project began in 2007 with mobile digital classrooms which have now scaled up to a 1:1 model. I visited the school last month and could verify how the devices have been “naturalized”, how they have become transparent, and how they have become important tools to implement projects
As the school newspaper, which was designed, produced and edited entirely by the students.
This is a classroom at work at Julio Verne today
Theobjective of thisprogramwasto:Improvequality of educationSchool performanceMath, mathematics, scienceFromtheperipherytothe centerPowertothechildren
San Luis has invested heavily to ensure that the integration technology results in a true education transformation. The province has assigned an ICT specialist to each school where the 1:1 model is being implemented, it has invested heavily in teacher training, it has renewed its curriculum and it has implemented provincial-wide project based learning projects such as balance cero, which you are seeing here, where students calculate the environmental impact of their schools using a tool designed by the province, and then compensate their footprint by planting trees provided by each municipality. San Luis also has innovative projects for learning math, reading, science, astronomy, art and chess. As of this year San Luis’s 1:1 program is being implemented in all the primary schools of the province
San Luis is now going a step further with the implementation this year of digital schools. These are based on an open doors policy where students set their own schedules, vacation time, etc, based on their personalized learning program.
Another interesting 1:1 project at the municipal level is the case of Ramallo, in the province of Buenos Aires, where 1:1 is being implemented for al first grade kids.
Pioneros del Conocimiento is the 1:1 program being implemented by the city of ComodoroRivadavia, in all public primary schools of the city. It began in 2010. This program has placed its focus on teacher training as well.
Anotehr important 1:1 project is the one of the province of La Rioja. It is a 1:1 program for all primary schoo students, and includes 80k devices for teachers and students
Plan Sarmiento is the latest of the 1:1 provincial programs and it is being deployed right now by the City of Buenos Aires in all primary schools of the federal district. This is a 1:1 model that ensures connectivity for the netbooks at home and at schools throughout the city via Wimax.
And last but definitely not least, Argnetina’s most important 1:1 program is of course, Conectar Igualdad.The program began began in 2009 destined only to technical schools, but was expanded in 2010 to all secondary schools, special needs schools, and teacher training institutes.
This is a tru double click to the future, and the impact of a project of such dimensions will only be grasped in afew year’s time.
Another important thing to note is that program that comes in 24 different flavors, because the education contienues to be in charge of the provinces, and each province is taking an adapted approach to teacher training, content adaptation, etc.
What is certain about Conectar Igualdad is that is is certainly not only about the devices. The program has developed a desktop for each of the users: teachers, family, stidents, directors, technical advisors with specific contents and online trainings for each
Educ.ar has developed more than 500 offline resources available in the school servers. The netbooks are loaded with 46 different educational software packages
Teacher training is also an key area in which the government has put emphasys
Anevaluation and monitoringteam has already set thebaselinefortheprogra. There’s a team of 32 expertsworking on evaluationwithin Educ.ar, in collaborationwithuniversities, internationalinstitutions and theprivate sector
So what do all of these implementations have in commonConscience that the 1:1 model is not about the device. The devices will be absorbed, naturalized, transcended, changed.Devices eventually become transparent.1:1 providesthetoolstoimprove and reformulateteachingpractices.It is a platform that generates new practices and didactic processesThe objective is not to make education entertaining, but to make it ENGAGING1:1 models have taken learning beyond the classroom, and are facilitating collaborative learning as well
Connectivity, teacher training, and a constant support to teachers to innovate in their schools are some of the main challenges
TED Presentation by Alison Gopnik
La revolución tecnológica llegó al aula: y ahora qué? - Mariana Iribarne