Miguel Brechner's keynote this morning focused on the CEIBAL one-laptop-per-child project in the schools of Uruguay. Uruguay is only a small South American country, about the size of Wales, and with a small population, and in the past it has not been particularly well known for its educational achievements. But today the spotlight was well and truly on Uruguay. In a gently humourous style, and laced with football analogies (he delighted in reminded his audience that Uruguay had once beaten Brazil to win the Soccer World Cup), Miguel Brechner demonstrated how giving a free laptop to each child has liberated them to learn in their own way and in their own time. Children now really want to go to school he said, and are upset if they miss even a day. He showed how the education landscape has been changed in Uruguay, and how social equality is being achieved among the youth of his country. Clearly very passionate about his cause, Brechner argued that not only should is access to broadband absolutely essential for education, in today's connected world, it should also be considered a human right. While many of us had heard these mantras before, given that Negroponte's vision has been in existence for well over a decade, we were all nevertheless impressed by the manner in which this project had been implemented, in humility, a great sense of purpose and with an eye on the future for Uruguay's youth.
Via Steve Wheeler