Plan Ceibal are the leading organisation supporting the spread of computational thinking curriculum and with it the dissemination of micro:bit throughout Uruguay.
The spread of digital tools for education has long been a priority in Uruguay; for example Plan Ceibal’s phenomenally successful ‘one laptop per child’ initiative, which launched in 2007. The programme succeeded in providing all primary school children with laptops for their personal use, and internet access free of charge for the duration of their school education.
Plan Ceibal are offering a computational thinking initiative and curriculum, which includes micro:bit, while developing and improving upon evaluation methodology to help change teaching practice and drive meaningful change to learning for the 21st century.
This initiative began as a pilot programme in 2018 with 500 schools.
Programme design and training materials
- Registration to the programme is multi-faceted: schools, teachers and individual students can sign up to take part
- Each registered member or school receives micro:bits and access to the CREA online platform to access training and modules, where they also connect with schools in the community
- Teacher receive training with micro:bit as the classroom implementation takes place, receiving coaching and support through video conference while directing the classroom in micro:bit activities
- Ceibal’s micro:bit programme utilises Uruguay’s videoconference network, which is among the best in the world, connecting 1500 schools across the country
- This connectivity also supports English language learning as CPD for teachers (supported by British Council) and additional instruction for students via the "Ceibal en Inglés" distance-learning programme
- Content is regularly made available via Ceibal’s micro:bit Youtube channel
Lessons, pedagogy and assessment
- The Ceibal curriculum, created in partnership with Sadosky Foundation in Argentina, was developed for students in grades 4-6 (ages 9 - 11)
- Material focuses on the application of computational thinking concepts through through scaffolded activities. Lessons in the 2019/20 academic year expanded to grades 1-3 (aged 5 - 8)
- Activities require collaboration with peers across topics of decomposition and abstraction to find solutions to real-life issues in the community and at school
Impact and results
Ceibal’s initiative began as a pilot programme in 2018 with 500 schools, and their goal in 2019 was to reach 2000 schools, accounting for 20% of school groups nationally.
By the end of 2020, they aim to reach 150,000 students in Uruguay. By providing teacher and class training in-person and over video conference, they hope to tackle challenges of scale and access.