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Brazilian government spends big on nearly 500,000 tablets for local teachers

by Doug Drinkwater

November 27 2013

Brazil is forging ahead with a plan to equip thousands of teachers with tablets
Brazil is forging ahead with a plan to equip thousands of teachers with tablets

The Brazilian Ministry of Education looks set to spend a serious amount of cash on deploying tablets to local teachers. According to various reports, it plans to purchase and deploy more than 460,000 devices in early 2014.

Speaking to members of the press recently, education minister Aloizio Mercadante confirmed that the institution intends to distribute approximately 460,000 tablets to teachers from the sixth to ninth grade in public schools in early next year.

The tablets are a mix of 7-inch and 10-inch devices from local vendors Positivo and Digibras, with each 7-inch device costing approximately $130 and every 10-inch version coming in at roughly $200. The minister has not disclosed how many teachers will get their hands on these tablets.

(Worth reading: Apple claims iPad holds a staggering 94% of the education market for tablets & Atari founder Nolan Bushnell thinks tablets can cut learning time in schools)

The purchasing decision got the go-ahead after the governments of all Brazilian states made the requests to the federal government, which in turn analysed the orders and contacted the local companies that won the tender for the tablet deployment.

This news may be seen as a progressive step for education IT but the project hasn’t gained widespread approval in the country. Wi-Fi access is restricted to just 60,000 secondary schools in Brazil and there have also been concerns on how teachers will use the tablets.

(For other examples of how tablets and apps are transforming education, check out TabTimes.com/education)

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