The aim of this paper is to illuminate the impact that the implementation of the Plan Ceibal imposes on the existing school infrastructure and how the use and upkeep of available facilities might need to be altered and changed to accommodate the new technology. Uruguay is, through the Plan Ceibal, the first country to provide every public primary school child with a laptop free of charge. The Plan represents a major investment to promote digital literacy and improve the quality of education.
Empirical data are drawn from a multiple case study of five public primary schools. Particular attention is given to how school facilities and their immediate surroundings mediate the successful introduction and adoption of individual laptops.
Plan Ceibal has the potential to change traditional teaching methods and behavioural patterns, which will in turn have an impact on how facilities and spaces are used. Questions are raised regarding the ultimate effectiveness of the initiative and if the aspired to improvements might be curtailed by a lack of investment in other areas, such as the school infrastructure. We argue for a context-sensitive view on research that not only considers the technology and potential changes in pedagogical approaches but also the physical environment in which these changes are to take place.
Research into facilities and asset management has an important role to play in the achievement of effective learning environments and the successful uptake of information communication technology (ICT) initiatives.
The research was conducted with the support of The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT), Grant: IB 2011/4533.
Cardellino, P. and Leiringer, R. (2014), "Facilitating change in primary education: the role of existing school facilities in ICT initiatives", Facilities, Vol. 32 No. 13/14, pp. 845-855. https://doi.org/10.1108/F-04-2013-0026Download as .RIS
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