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An Up-Close Look at South American Laptop Programs

Remember when the folks from the Consortium for School Networking invited us to Montivideo and Buenos Aires last November to explore some of the world's most progressive 1-to-1 laptop programs and enjoy seasonal high temps in the low 70s?

Yeah, me neither.

But after a week-long visit to observe Uruguay's Plan Ceibal, the world's first nationwide educational laptop program, and some similar developing initiatives in Argentina, CoSn has released a new report detailing the travels and observations of about a half-dozen top officials.

In all seriousness, the document is a good introduction to the giant undertakings going on in Uruguay and Argentina, as well as an explanation of the motivations behind them, and the political realities that make them possible. A central theme is the ability of a more centralized government than our own to enact change more swiftly, as well as a cultural perception of laptops and Internet connectivity as tools in the war against poverty that goes beyond education.

It's also free, unlike most CoSN reports that are generally available only to members. Then again, after not inviting us down to South America, it's the least they could do, right?

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