1 The importance of connecting schools

As information and communication technologies (ICTs) become increasingly integral to interactions between people, businesses and governments, policymakers are recognizing the benefits of improved and expanded Internet and, especially, broadband connectivity In particular, policymakers and educators now understand that Internet connectivity for schools can have a wide array of short-term, medium-term and long-term benefits and that many of those benefits identified are only achievable through broadband connectivity.

However, it is also clear that the use of technology in education (computers and connectivity) will have a more positive impact if connectivity and the resulting opportunities and benefits are also incorporated into teaching and learning methods. An Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-financed programme in Uruguay, for example, is maximizing the impact of that country’s Ceibal initiative to provide computers to all students in the country by training teachers and other staff. Uruguay is strengthening the educational components of the plan, improving monitoring activities to better gauge impacts, and extending the use of computers to the broader society, particularly in low-income areas.1

Access to new and better resources, combined with the development of new educational methodologies and pedagogies, will lead to important results in the short, medium and long term.

1: IADB, Computer use in schools strengthened and extended beyond the classroom in Uruguay, available at: http://www.iadb.org/en/mapamericas/uruguay/computer-use-in-schools-strengthened-and-extended-beyond-the-classroom,5839.html

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