How Brazil is doing it
The government of Brazil had a vision for the future of education: the “Um Computador por Aluno” (“One Computer per Child”) program, which was designed to revolutionize education in Brazil by integrating technology into the classroom. That was in 2005. By 2011, Brazil was distributing 150,000 Intel-powered classmate PCs to more than 300 schools in 27 states across the country, with plans to distribute a total of 900,000 by the end of 2011. This required planning, and this is how they accomplished it:
Step 1: Research
- Audited current information and communications technology infrastructure capabilities and limitations
- Determined basic guidelines and pedagogies
- Planned for massive deployment in later phase
- Defined assessment plan and metrics for success
- Established coordination and supervisory structure
Step 2: Partnerships
- Collaboration with Ministry of Education, local academia, and research institutes to shape policies
- Public-private partnerships with global as well as local businesses, nonprofit organizations, developers, and more
Step 3: Pilot projects
- Information and communications technology tested in five schools in five cities
- Pilot project results reviewed and analyzed
- Best practices developed and implemented
Step 4: Build and distribute
- Request for bids were sent out to local manufacturers who could build and deliver classmate PCs using Intel product reference designs.
- Teachers were trained on how to integrate eLearning into their classrooms. Training is provided by the Brazilian government, and states and municipalities provide follow-up and continuing support.
Step 5: Expand
- Eventual distribution of 900,000 classmate PCs across Brazil
- Training for thousands of teachers
- Flexible financial model: States and municipalities can buy a computer at a fixed price, tax-free, through a local manufacturer. In turn, states and municipalities may borrow the money from a $350M credit line funded by the federal government.