The Impact of a One Laptop per Child Program on Learning: Evidence from Uruguay

Produced by: 
Banco de México
Available from: 
October 2014
Paper author(s): 
Gioia de Melo (Banco de México y Universidad de la República del Uruguay)
Alina Machado (Universidad de la República del Uruguay)
Alfonso Miranda (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas)
Education - Health

We present evidence on the impact on students' math and reading scores of one of the largest deployments of an OLPC program and the only one implemented at a national scale: Plan Ceibal in Uruguay. We have unique data that allow us to know the exact date of laptop delivery for every student in the sample. This gives us the ability to use days of exposure as a treatment intensity measure. Given that there is some variation in the date of laptop delivery across individuals within the same school, we can identify the effect of the program net of potential heterogeneity in the rate schools gain improvements on students' achievement over time independently of the OLPC program. Our results suggest that in the first two years of its implementation the program had no effects on math and reading scores. The absence of effect could be explained by the fact that the program did not involve compulsory teacher training and that laptops in class were mainly used to search for information on the internet.


Research section: 
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