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Appears in:
Pages: 6368-6375
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain

RESEARCHING ICT IN LATIN AMERICAN SCHOOLS: UNEQUAL RESULTS IN THE AFTERMATH OF 1 TO 1 MODELS

P. Ames

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú & Institute of Peruvian Studies (PERU)
The introduction of information and communication technologies (ICT) in schools is growing in a much rapid speed than before, especially in the last decade. Indeed, since 2005, when the One Laptop per Child Project (OLPC) was launched at MIT, the one to one programs (1x1), where each student has one computer, spread over several countries. Whilst in North America and Europe the introduction of ICT started long before that, in Latin America such kind of programs spread in schools that never had a computer before.

This paper asks about how this massive introduction of ICT translates into the school scenario and what are the perspectives of students, teachers and head teachers about them, focusing in a case study country.

Peru is one of the first countries in Latin America embracing the OLPC model, and thus makes for an important case study. The OLPC project distributed XO laptops to the poorest and more remote rural schools first -although ultimately it will reach all schools- as a way to compensate and improve education in rural areas.

Since 2008 about 900,000 XO laptops had been distributed all over the country. The intensive distribution of such equipment in the last years, along with a greater availability in the Peruvian market, is rapidly changing the technological landscape in Peruvian public schools: The National School Survey, reports 83,4% of primary schools having computers in 2011. Urban schools showed a higher percentage (89,1%), but rural schools were not so far behind (81,5%).

There is no doubt ICT have much to offer to renovate and improve traditional teaching and learning (Gee, 2004). However, to attribute a transformation power in ICT themselves may obscure the fact that, even as innovative and powerful technologies may be, they are integrated in particular social contexts by specific social actors.

Several studies stress that the use of ICT cannot be isolated from the sociocultural environment. They remind us that ICT are not discrete innovations but systemic ones and their value depend in great extent of a wider ecosystem in place that includes the hardware, the connectivity infrastructure, peripherals, applications, and various services from installation, maintenance and technical support to the training and software creation and digital contents, as well as the characteristic of the users. All of this may lead to diverse results.

ICT are not just technical knowledge, a discrete ability that produces changes in people regardless of their context. On the contrary, ICT are a social practice; they are embedded in soial contexts. This conceptual approach comes from the New Literacy Studies, an approach that warns against reifying technologies and reminds us the social, cultural and political contexts in which they are used, starting with literacy but useful as well to the study of ICT.

The paper is based on qualitative data gathered during 2014 as part of a study for the Peruvian Ministry of Education. Primary and secondary schools were selected from the national survey on ICT in education.

The methods used were interviews, classroom observations and participatory sessions with students using a variety of methods (drawing, photography and video, prototyping). Research participants included 69 male and female students, 13 teachers, 10 head teachers and 5 ICT specialists as well as 9 local authorities from three regions: La Libertad, Puno and Ucayali. In each region, we visited a rural and an urban community.
@InProceedings{AMES2015RES,
author = {Ames, P.},
title = {RESEARCHING ICT IN LATIN AMERICAN SCHOOLS: UNEQUAL RESULTS IN THE AFTERMATH OF 1 TO 1 MODELS},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {6368-6375}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Ames
TI - RESEARCHING ICT IN LATIN AMERICAN SCHOOLS: UNEQUAL RESULTS IN THE AFTERMATH OF 1 TO 1 MODELS
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 6368
EP - 6375
ER -
P. Ames (2015) RESEARCHING ICT IN LATIN AMERICAN SCHOOLS: UNEQUAL RESULTS IN THE AFTERMATH OF 1 TO 1 MODELS, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 6368-6375.
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