One Laptop per Child and Bridging the Digital Divide: The Case of Plan CEIBAL in Uruguay (English)

Lucía Pittaluga, Ana Rivoir

Abstract


This article analyzes the changes experienced in the digital divide as a result of the implementation of a one-laptop-per-child national policy. The program has been implemented in Uruguay since 2007, and it is known as the “Plan CEIBAL.” It is an adaptation of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project devised by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Two sources of information have been used: The annual household survey called Encuesta Continua de Hogares (ECH), prepared by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE) of Uruguay, and interviews conducted among relevant local officers and adult persons from households equipped with Plan CEIBAL laptops. It was concluded that Plan CEIBAL has helped to narrow the digital divide in terms of access to computers and Internet connectivity from education centers. Furthermore, additional changes have been verified regarding other aspects of the digital divide relating to the acquisition and use of computers for human development purposes typical of one-laptop-per-child schemes.

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