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Tom Franklin :: Blog :: One Laptop per child

April 24, 2007

The first One Lap Top Per Child school has received its computers, and I am sure that the teachers and children and community are very pleased with them. You can see more pictures at http://news.com.com/2300-1041_3-6175025-2.html?tag=ne.gall.
including children smiling with their shiny new computers.

While there is something to be said for Negreponte's One Laptop Per Child programme, and the computers cost $100 each and are wind up I do wonder if this is the most useful use of resources in a country that has huge class sizes, considerable poverty and easily curable diseases.

It seems to me to be part of the furore over the "digital divide" from a few years ago, which wasn't a digital divide at all, it was, and is, a wealth divide. Poor people have less access to technology because they are poor. The solution is not to give them bits of technology but to address the underlying causes. But that is more expensive, more difficult and if really done would affect the life styles of the rich:
first OLPC school

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Posted by Tom Franklin


  1. Yup. 'bout right. But the *idea* of the $100 laptop as one component of shift to appropriate technologies is not a bad one. The problem is that it will only "work" in the context of a lot of other components, which would start to address the underlying causes and hence threaten the "world order".

    George Robertsgeorge on Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 05:15 UTC # |

  2. I had heard about that programme before. I think it is a good initiative. Hopefully it will achieve its purposes. Providing “unprivileged” children  with similar learning opportunities can only be good.

    But there other projects as important as this one that sometimes are unknown to most people. Have you heard about The Digital Workforce Education Society ?


    "The mission of the Digital Workforce Education Society  is to provide residents in urban and remote global locations, who have little access to education and financial resources, with post secondary education, training, and professional development programs. We provide distance education services to locations that are convenient and familiar using the latest audio/visual, communication, and computer technology.   DWES is dedicated to providing solutions to labor shortage, workforce improvement and communication problems by closing the Digital Divide in urban, rural and remote areas and in supporting education professionals in the delivery of their content to global audiences.”

    Just sharing the work of a team, which I think it is worth look at as a good example and a good practice. ;-)

    Cristina CostaCristina Costa on Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 08:17 UTC # |

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