Give every school child a laptop: that’s a good idea. And in Uruguay, that’s what has happened. News reports about the new policy – emerging at the same time as the country goes to the polls – have put Uruguay on the map of global efforts to smash the ‘digital divide’. Plan Ceibal has rolled out the laptops, produced in the One Laptop Per Child project, to every schoolchild in the country, regardless of location or their household incomes.
The cool machines use free ‘open source’ software, which means none of the state’s funds end up swelling Microsoft’s coffers; and means the kids will have access to lots of new educational programs (and updates on a regular basis). Other countries are making the OLPC laptops available and are on their way to having their school kids using the latest technologies. But Uruguay seems to be leading the charge: felicidades, Uruguay!