Big 1 to 1 Summit @ the Summit 2010:
“Equity, Access, Opportunity for All – Learning for the 21st Century”
In June, over 80 policy makers and educators from around the world gathered in Maine to participate in the Big Ideas Global 1 to 1 Summit, hosted by AALF, the Maine International Center for Digital Learning (MICDL) and IdeasLab of Australia. The Summit brought together people involved in city, state or national ministries of education in more than ten countries, who are planning or already have 1:1 initiatives. It was a unique opportunity to share knowledge and tackle issues that were surprisingly similar despite the diversity of the group. A main goal of the Summit was to create connections and build strong networks so we may all learn from each other.
“Education is the absolute key to unlocking the potential of any population–whether in the developed or developing world–and we are on the cusp of technological change which can engage and deepen the entire education enterprise,” said Bruce Dixon, president of AALF. “The reason this conference took place Maine – worldwide reputation of the Maine laptop project and their experience with one-to-one digital learning.”
Since the inception of the Maine project in 2002, other states and countries have undertaken similar projects, including the entire countries of Australia and Uruguay, where every primary student has a laptop as part of the everyday learning experience, as well as many individual schools and school districts around the world, from Sweden to Singapore. Starting with twenty-five students at a school in Australia twenty years ago, it is estimated that some 5 million students are learning in a one-to-one laptop environment today.
“We set up this conference because there is so much going on in so many places, we thought it made sense to begin a systematic process of comparing notes and lessons learned,” said Angus King, former Maine governor and chair of MICDL. “Every year, the technology improves–both in capacity and price–and we think it’s urgent that we figure out how to take the idea to the next level. The accelerating demands of the 21st century economy won’t wait for us to evolve small improvements to current education systems; we need to figure out how to do transformative change–and get it right the first time,” King continued.
Featured speakers at the conference include Karen Cator, Director of Educational Technology in the US Department of Education, Miguel Brechner Frey, President of the Technological Laboratory of Uruguay, Harvard professor Chris Dede, one of the authors of the new US national technology plan, and Sugata Mitra of Newcastle University in the UK whose work in India was one of the inspirations for the film Slumdog Millionaire.