The new version of the Magalhães laptop is already reaching the hands of the first and second year students of the first cycle, as well as some teachers, João Trocado da Mata, Secretary of State for Education, confirmed to Agência Lusa.
In all, 22,644 laptops will have been delivered, and by the end of the month, another 11,000 pieces of equipment should be distributed.
It is recalled that the Ministry of Education foresees the delivery of 250 thousand pieces of equipment to students and teachers of the first cycle, but it is currently giving priority to the 100 thousand students of the second year that in the last academic year did not receive laptops. According to statements by a ministry source to Diário de Notícias, by the end of October all computers will be delivered to these students.
Agência Lusa also mentions a survey carried out by the Statistics and Education Planning Office (GEPE), to which it had access, where it appears that 8% of first cycle teachers claim to use the laptop every day, while 4% use the equipment four times a week and 14% three days a week. The majority, 24% of respondents, use Magalhães twice a week.
At the conference that took place in Portugal Tecnológico, last Saturday, Isabel Alçada, Minister of Education, took stock of the measures in the Technological Plan for Education and said that in January parents will already be able to enroll their children in the 1st year of basic education through the Internet, similar to what already happens in higher education.
The validation of the registration will be done using the citizen card as an authentication mechanism.
This is one of the measures of the Ministry of Education inserted in the Digital Agenda, which also includes the creation of a virtual mathematics tutor, a distance learning platform to answer questions to students outside school hours.
For now this platform will be launched in three pilot schools, but the Ministry intends to generalize access by 2015.
João Trocado da Mata also affirmed that once the goal of a computer is reached for every two students in schools, the next challenge is to integrate technologies in the teaching process.
For 2012, it is also promised to launch the parent’s portal, which will allow online access to information about absences, grades and even summaries of classes.