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Blogging Since Infancy: Blogging Workshops In The Schools

Uruguyan Children With OLPC laptop. Image Courtesy Pablo Flores

Uruguyan Children With OLPC laptop. Image Courtesy Pablo Flores

Ceibal Plan is a program of the Uruguyan government to provide one OLPC computer to every school children from 6 to 11 years (350,000). The infrastructures being developed includes wifi internet access in school and public spaces.

Pablo Flores writes about the idea of Blogging Since Infancy project:

Bloggers Since Infancy is an idea that arose at a particular moment in Uruguay’s history in 2007, when the Ceibal Plan started to change our educational vision of children and the role that we must take as a society. At that time, the first stage of the plan was the distribution of laptop computers (OLPC XOs) with access to the internet for all of the children and teachers of the only school of the small interior village called Cardal.

Harnessing the potential of computers, an experimental school blog was created, which included photographs, texts, and schoolwork made with the computers and internet in class.

Pablo tells how the Rising Voices Micro grant influenced the Blogging Since Infancy project:

The microgrant provided by Rising Voices in 2008 proposed to provide blogging workshops in various parts of the country, as a contest of featured blogs, as a way to provide incentives to blogging. It was a simple idea, but with a complex implementation because it meant to be proactive in new places and bringing it to the school and society, after a long distance relationship. For that reason, the project took on different characteristics, posing a constant debate about social participation in education and in particular, Ceibal Plan. In a way, the Rising Voices microgrant was the engine for this discussion and for various actions that took place later.

In 2008, CeibalJAM community was created to learn more about Plan Ceibal’s technologies and to help develop software for the OLPC laptops. It was built with virtually no financial support, based on volunteer effort. CeibalJam has arranged regular meeting and its seventh event took place last month.

Ars-Electronica-ceibalJAM

CeibalJAM has been awarded the Prix Ars Electronica 2010 in the digital communities category. Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most important awards in the field of digital culture.

Pablo Flores continues:

Finally in 2009, thanks to the push provided by another social organization, Tus Ideas Valen (Your Ideas are Valuable), which implemented the First National Blog Contest, where 10 featured blogs written from the Ceibal Plan computers were given prizes.

We had covered the awards of the blogging competition and subsequently featured some of the winning blogs (Part 1, Part 2)

Bloggging workshop in School 93, Maldonado. Image courtesy Gabriela Correa

Bloggging workshop in school. Image courtesy Gabriela Correa

Some of the awards of the competition included special courses on educational use of blogs, video editing and other skills for the respective schools which won. On Saturday April 17, parents, teachers and students of the Escuela 93 de Maldonado – (School 93, Maldonado) took part in two workshops on blogging which was conducted by Diego F. Eng Roselli and teacher Mariana Herrera. Here are some photos of the workshop.

This video shows snippets from the first workshop.

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