An Introduction to OLPC Paraguay

   
   
   
   
   

After previously helping OLPC in Ethiopia Daniel Drake, a long-term OLPC contributor, is currently in Paraguay to support efforts to implement OLPC there. The implemention is run by a dedicated organization called ParaguayEduca and was enabled thanks to a 4,000 XO donation by SWIFT:

We are working in 10 schools in Caacupé, approximately 3600 children and 150 teachers. This covers over 50% of the city. As is typical for OLPC deployments, the children get to take the laptops home and share with their family. The government supports the project and has installed electrical infrastructure at all the schools, and good relationships with Personal, a major telecommunications company, has resulted in full internet connectivity in all 10 schools.

ParaguayEduca's teacher training

It's encouraging to see this level of support, many OLPC deployments in other countries certainly don't have the luxury of being connected to the Internet or having a reliable power infrastructure.

However what's almost more important is that ParaguayEduca is focusing on closely working with teachers and offering teacher training from day one:

The teachers are a major strength to the project here; they are very excited about the laptops, and even gave up 4 weeks of their vacations to attend laptop training sessions. The training featured a lot of internet-based activities, and was carried out by 20 "formadores," local people recruited by ParaguayEduca in order to train the teachers.

Giving up 4 weeks of vacation? That's what I call commitment! On a more serious note I'd be very interested in looking at these internet-based activities to understand what the teacher training in Paraguay focused on. I'm convinced that a lot of these training materials could be reused in other places such as Peru and Uruguay and (if translated) would also be of use for other pilot and deployment programs.

In general I strongly believe that there's a great potential for the various South American OLPC projects to learn from each other by exchanging information and experiences. For example the teachers in Paraguay already have the possibility of looking south to Uruguay where Plan Ceibal has lead to a wealth of information and experience with using XOs and Sugar activities in the classroom.

At the end of the day I'm very excited about OLPC and Sugar arriving in Paraguay and it will be interesting to follow ParaguayEduca's progress over the coming months.

You can read Daniel Drake's full blog-entry on www.reactivated.net/weblog.

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2 Comments

How much money is needed to first put the ICT program in place with the use of the OLPC machine?
What about the maintenance cost? The response could help my country to move forward.
I would be interested to monitor the progress of the Paraguay computer program.

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