Uruguay has a fairly strong public education system that serves more than 83% of children in the age between 4 years and 15 years.
Uruguay is the leader in fixed Internet connection speed. Building on the connectivity, Ciebal plan is fostering a new kind of education which relies heavily on Internet. Ciebal Plan is a key intervention for raising digital Uruguyan natives. Each child who enters the public education system throughout the country is provided access to computer and free internet connection from the school. Not only internet access the program provides for many resources to teachers and students such as educational courses, training programs etc. through technology.
The program was announced in December 2006, and came into being 2007. The program implemented vide a state policy, wherein a 100% of the schools are given devices and access to Wi-Fi. A digital library that comes with Ciebal program gives access to school and college textbooks. CREA and Adaptive Mathematics Platform were added to Ciebal program in 2013. The unique platform teaches robotics, programming and 3D modeling. The program is not only collection of resources, but also brings about key intervention in pedagogy. To that end, Ciebal has integrated with Global Learning Network, an alliance of seven countries – Canada, United States, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Holland and Uruguay. In 2015, program expanded its objective of bringing everyone under digital umbrella by rolling out a plan for achieving digital inclusion for lower income retirees.
“A new framework that includes 21st century competencies is being adopted to enrich the traditional formats and ways of teaching and learning.”
Innovations in Ciebal
Network Global Learning
The idea is to collaborate and identify new ways of teaching and learning in educational institutions. The methodologies identified help educational institutions to analyse and evaluate teaching practices thereby helping analyze, measure new and innovative approaches to learning.
Digital Technology Laboratories (LabTeD)
To expand logical thinking and creativity in STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with a focus on teaching educational robotics, programming, physical-chemical sensors and 3D modeling. LabTed provides equipment – robotics kits, 3D printers and other materials – to schools, as well as training courses with permanent support for teachers and students. Arranging Robotics, Gaming and Programming Olympiad are other intiatives to foster student’s interest.
CREA Educational Platform created under Ciebal Plan combines pedagogy and technology to deliver weekly classes with foreign language teacher through the video conferencing system. Remote teachers work from Uruguay and other countries such as Argentina, Philippines etc.
Youth to Schedule
To expand possibilities of labor in areas of high demand, Youth to Program project was started in 2017. In this project, young people (17 to 26 years old) are taught programming skills through Ceibal’s video conferencing infrastructure. The design of the courses includes workshops, reading material or distance tasks, as well as various activities with companies: job interviews, guided visits to companies, technology talks or discussion panels.
Digital Library of Uruguay
The Library hosts textbooks for Basic Cycle and Public Education Baccalaureate. Multimedia content is also part of the library. The content of library are interactive and can be accessed from any device. Only registered user with Uruguayan identity can access the content. The content may also be made available for offline viewing, and can be borrowed subject to Terms and Conditions.
Ceibal Project has strategic principles: equity of knowledge, equal opportunities for children and youth, and the provision of tools to learn not only knowledge given by the school, but also knowledge that the child can learn by him or herself. Thousands of children and teachers in Uruguay learn through ed-Tech ecosystem created by Ceibal. New ways of teaching, innovative pedagogies and cutting-edge pedagogical projects are the main focus of the organization that today is understood as a vibrant innovation in the education laboratory.
All these new challenges require the creation of new instruments to assess and recognize knowledge and skills. Issues such as educational data mining and learning analytics are among the main challenges envisioned in the Plan Ceibal agenda. Although the foundation principles of the organization, grounded on digital inclusion to ensure equal access to technology and connectivity for every student and teacher, are still at its main drivers, they are also subject to constant revision. This is due to the ever-changing character of the organization and its evolving and dynamic agenda, which is constantly seeking to offer solutions to a changing educational landscape.