The Center for Research Ceibal Foundation was created with the vision of establishing an autonomous body of national and international recognition to explore, create and promote excellence in research. Its establishment represents a unique opportunity for promoting research, analysis and knowledge transfer, which will support policy and decision making of different actors in the education system and to better understand the use of digital technologies for creating better learning opportunities. The Foundation seeks to provide guidance to Ceibal Plan annd other national and international educational actors in education and technologies related issues, both inside and outside the formal educational system.
Since its creation, Ceibal Foundation has developed several initiatives for creating regional and international partnerships with research centers, government agencies, educational institutions and universities. Among those initiatives, it is relevant to oultine the joint fund “Digital Inclusion: Education with New Horizons” created with the National Agency for Research and Innovation in Uruguay (ANII). Ceibal Foundation also leads its own research projects.
On the other side, Plan Ceibal is the first program of educational technology based on the model 1: 1 (one student per computer). It is one of the most important programs undertaken by the Government of Uruguay to minimize the digital divide through three pillars: equity, learning and technology. Since 2007, Ceibal Plan has provided a device to every student and teacher of kindergarten, primary and secondary, also insuring Internet access connectivity in schools. The initial objective of the program was to reduce the digital divide, promote digital inclusion and ensure the integration of ICT in education for improving the quality of the learning process. In this area and since its early beginnings, Plan Ceibal has developed several other activities to promote the use and integration of ICT in the classroom, improving students' motivation, the learning and teaching process, among others.
To date, Plan Ceibal has about 750,000 beneficiaries, each of those with their own device. Since 2011, Ceibal has focused in providing the educational community with a wide range of digital content, developing learning management systems, creating a learning platform for Mathematics, English language, digital libraries among others. The programme operates through large scale databases, fueled by a series of educational activities and management. The data availability represents a valuable opportunity for research and analysis.
To foster and support excellence in research projects that promote the development and use of scientific knowledge in topics that include social inclusion, education and technology.
· To promote, develop and lead research projects of multidisciplinary nature, which comply with the Foundation strategic lines of the research. This will support Ceibal Plan in the fields of knowledge related to deep learning and the mediation of digital technologies in education.
· To coordinate and consolidate excellent research and cooperation networks with postgraduate students (doctoral and postdoctoral), academics and universities, agencies, think tanks and other research centers at national, regional and international level, improving the understanding of the impact, opportunities and challenges offered by learning enriched by digital technologies.
· To encourage and promote informed, research-based discussion and knowledge transfer, collaborating with government agencies and regulatory bodies in order to provide support and input based on evidence that are especially useful for management and public policy, as well as other actors concerned.
· To create mechanisms, skills and strategies to promote the obtainment of national and international co-funding opportunities to provide sustainability to the research projects, as well as to enhance visibility and national, regional and international recognition of the research conducted within Plan Ceibal.
Ceibal Foundation seeks
· To increase support for exceptional research projects by providing funding mechanisms.
· To promote and develop capacity-building in research in fields of knowledge that integrate social inclusion, education and technology.
· To support the exchange with researchers in a wide variety of disciplines.
· To support the development of analytical capabilities to increase the existing information and data generated by Plan Ceibal.
· To provide training and long life learning opportunities for graduate students and audiences interested in creating links and international knowledge networks.