In this post we explain how the partnership between FlashStart and Plan Ceibal, the visionary educational project launched by Uruguay in 2007 and closely monitored by organizations such as the World Bank, will grant to all the students enrolled in public compulsory education in Uruguay a safe and protected web Internet experience.
Elena Deola – 1 December 2021
© UNICEF/UNI144430/PIROZZI / STUDENTS USE A LAPTOP ISSUED THROUGH THE PLAN CEIBAL INITIATIVE, AT A RURAL PUBLIC SCHOOL IN URUGUAY, AS PART OF A PROJECT TO REDUCE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE.
Plan Ceibal: a cutting-edge project
A new client has just been added to the long list of companies, organizations and institutions that have already chosen FlashStart to protect themselves from cyberthreats and from the dangers of the digital world. It is Plan Ceibal, a project by the government of Uruguay that aims to spread technological know-how among the new generations, starting from primary schools.
Plan Ceibal was born in 2007 with a presidential decree. The project name is an acronym for Conectividad Educativa de Informática Básica para el Aprendizaje en Línea which we may translate as Educational Connectivity to Basic Information Systems for Online Learning.
The project has had, right from the beginning, a cutting-edge vision: building an innovative educational system that looks to the future and exploits technology in order to develop the learning potential of each and every kid, their creativity and critical thinking at an age when learning is easier. With this vision, Plan Ceibal has become one of the most studied and followed educational projects in the world and is among those monitored and considered as an example by the World Bank.
Given the general objective of spreading technological know-how, the first target of Plan Ceibal was that of promoting the spread of technology itself. Starting in 2007, every kid enrolled in public primary school and every teacher has received a personal laptop. As reported by the project website, in 2009 Plan Ceibal reached the target of “One laptop per child” when also the students in private primary educational institutions received their laptops.
Since 2010 Plan Ceibal has gotten bigger: the project acquired the status of State Policy and hence received sufficient funds to grant a laptop also to the students in secondary school and to those attending UTU, the Technology University of Uruguay.
Looking at the future: skills on top of technology
On top of widespread technological coverage, Plan Ceibal has worked on making Internet available in all schools across the national territory and on spreading the necessary skills to manage and better exploit technology in the learning sector.
In 2011, since every student and teacher in compulsory education was by then provided with a laptop and given that the wireless network had spread to all high schools, also the most remote ones, Plan Ceibal focused on the development of online educational platforms. These include, for example, the Biblioteca Digital Ceibal, which grants free access to textbooks online.
One of the turning points of the project was the launch of Aprender Tod@s, a program for “digital inclusion” whose aim is to attract also the kids’ families towards workshops on the use of laptops and on the functioning of Internet. This project includes the families of all the students in compulsory education but also those of kids who are still in pre-school, to make them understand better the importance of technology and the benefits it can have.
2013 was the year of three other important platforms:
» PAM, the Platform for Adaptive Maths, a platform to teach mathematics online, which actively integrates students and teachers in the learning process
» LabTeD, the digital technology workshop that, in partnership with digital companies, organizes IT programming courses for students
» Diseñando el cambio, a project that promotes the use of critical thinking to design tools and services aimed at satisfying the evolving educational needs of secondary schools.
Plan Ceibal and English: internationalization of the project….and of young Uruguayans
In 2012 Plan Ceibal started tackling another of the problems in the educational sector in Uruguay: the shortage of English teachers in primary schools, especially in the most remote ones. This shortage meant it was difficult to exploit the age when learning a foreign language is easier.
Therefore, a project called Ceibal en Inglès was launched. The partner for this project is nothing less than the British Council itself, the internationally-renowned institution dedicated to promoting the spread of the English language and culture. The program, which keeps running, has reached more than 80,000 children in over 550 primary schools in Uruguay. In 2020 it won the British Expertise International Award for International Positive Social Impact.
In practice, the program provides English lessons remotely in video-conferencing to kids aged 9-11 with the aim of making them reach an A1/A2 level of the CEFR, the Common European Framework for Languages, with three classes per week of 45 minutes each.
Ceibal en Inglès is one of the cornerstone projects of PlanCeibal and, as such, its results are constantly monitored. As reported by the British Council website, at the end of 2014 tests showed that thanks to Ceibal en Inglès students who learned English remotely obtained results similar to those of in-class learning.
Moreover, 56% of students who attended one to two years of online classes reached an A1 level and 43% reached level A2. Only one percent of the students who learned English with Ceibal en Inlès did not reach the aims of the project.
STUDENTS WITH PROTECTIVE MASKS ATTEND CLASSES AT A PUBLIC SCHOOL IN MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY, ON MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2020. LIFE IN URUGUAY IS SLOWLY RETURNING TO NORMAL WHILE LATIN AMERICA IS STILL IN THE MIDST OF THE CORONAVIRUS STORM. AP PHOTO / MATILDE CAMPODONICO
Evolution and safety: the choice of FlashStart
With Plan Ceibal, Uruguay has shown how much they believe in digital culture and how they want to act from the basis: through schools, the institutions that provide the grounds for tomorrow’s adults. Today, FlashStart has become partner of Plan Ceibal in this technological transition, a transition whose importance, also following the Covid epidemics, has become clear to everybody.
FlashStart today is present on the market with various offers. The basic tool it offers is an internet content filter suitable for all companies and organizations that want to ensure their users enjoy a safe navigation, free from dangerous contents. The FlashStart internet content filter acts as a checkpoint that blocks the access to dangerous websites, the download of trojans, malware and other malicious contents and phishing attempts.
Moreover, FlashStart’s webfilter is completely cloud-based. This is one of the fundamental features, which makes it a perfect solution also for companies and organizations with branches in remote areas, where the Internet connection represents the main way to connect to the outside world.
Plan Ceibal, a program active on all the territory of Uruguay, has chosen FlashStart to grant the protection of all its web net.
Request a quote now and discover how FlashStart can help also your company to defend itself against cyberthreats.
FlashStart for schools
One of the main reasons that has pushed Plan Ceibal to choose FlashStart as its partner in granting internet safety for young Uruguayan students is its trustworthiness, both on-campus and off-campus. FlashStart indeed grants continuous protection:
» On-campus: within the school network FlashStart is set at the router level. All the traffic passing through the router is hence examined by a checkpoint that blocks access to dangerous and undesired contents.
» Off-campus: outside the school network, Plan Ceibal can set up FlashStart as end-point application on each device it distributes to students in the program. In this way, FlashStart makes it possible to have a safe online learning experience and young students, who are easy and often unaware targets of cyberthreats, will avoid falling into the traps of hackers.
Today more than ever before the option of online learning has become essential in order to grant the continuity of educational services.
FlashStart: protection for companies and organizations
Besides schools, FlashStart is more and more chosen by companies. Indeed, on top of granting the protection of each device provided to employees and collaborators, FlashStart is a safe and trustworthy tool to prevent collaborators from accessing undesired contents.
Indeed, FlashStart can be customized to satisfy the needs of companies in two ways:
» Companies can decide to block access to distracting contents at specific times by scheduling time blocks. For example, the company can choose to deny access to social networks and online shopping platforms during work hours while allowing it during breaks.
» Moreover, companies can choose to set users’ group profiles and allow, for example, the marketing team to access social networks and the purchasing department to navigate on online shopping platforms while denying access to the other departments.
You can activate the FlashStart® Cloud protection on any sort of Router and Firewall to secure desktop and mobile devices and IoT devices on local networks.