Plan Ceibal 2020: future scenarios for technology and education—the case of the Uruguayan public education system


Work data:

ISSN: 2195-2248

Type of work: Article (academic)


e-Learning and Instructional Technology | Education


ceibal, 1x1, olpc


In the present work, a set of future studies were implemented in order to answer the following question: What will the future scenarios be within the next 5 years regarding new technologies in the public education sector in Uruguay? For this purpose, two panels (consisting of 20 participants internal to the programme and 25 international experts external to the programme) were set up to conduct a Delphi study. In addition, a historical analysis of the use of Internet resources at schools (traffic and users connected to the network) was developed. This section of the study brought us the following findings: Primary and middle public school centres have experienced an exponential growth in Internet use as measured by traffic downloads and uploads, as well as by connections. Traffic doubled every 1.5 years, and connections had doubled roughly every year in the period from 2011 to 2015.

The study integrated the Delphi results and the analysis of Internet use as a method for prospective scenario planning, based on which four main possible educational and technological scenarios for 2020 were identified. This approach allowed us to define the possible technological future for the national education and technology policy.

We found that the key challenges were not technological, but social and cultural factors. Some of the challenges to be explored are (1) How can we understand the role(s) of teachers better?, (2) can we rethink how technology is being used, adopted and adapted in learning environments?, and (3) what systemic changes are needed to respond these possible scenarios better through policy development? The findings suggest that problems and challenges presented by new technological innovations in education are not solved by more technology.

Finally, we consider an approach such as this could work as a framework to help develop public education and technology policies in other countries with middle to high incomes that have strong orientations toward public education, including much of Europe.