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July 28, 2011

Students Develop Tech Tools To Improve English Literacy in Uruguay

Seven students from Carnegie Mellon’s campuses in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Doha, Qatar, have been working with government education officials in Montevideo, Uruguay, this summer to develop new technological tools for teaching English in Uruguay high schools.

The students are developing applications for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) XO laptop computer and for Facebook. Both the OLPC and the Facebook tools will encourage students to practice their English skills during their free time and make it easier for teachers to distribute practice material.

The students are part of the innovative Student Technology Experience (iSTEP), organized by the TechBridgeWorld research group in the Robotics Institute. TechBridgeWorld develops and tests technological solutions that are customized to meet a community’s needs. iSTEP provides students with the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to real-world challenges in developing communities.

The group of iSTEP interns will end their fieldwork at Liceo 39, a public high school, tomorrow, July 29. Silvia Pessoa, a graduate of Liceo 39 who is an assistant teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, is an adviser to the 2011 iSTEP interns.

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