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10 years ago @ Educational Technology... - Technology and Child D... · 2 replies · +1 points

Over at the World Bank Development Impact Blog, Berk Ozler has a long, interesting post on OLPC evaluations:

What I want to talk about is not so much the evidence, but the fact that the whole thing looks a mess – both from the viewpoint of the implementers (countries who paid for these laptops) and from that of the OLPC.<

Yes, he is a little late to the debate, but he makes good points. The first one is the basic question I've been asking about OLPC for 6 years now:

Let’s go back and think for another second about whether it would be reasonable to expect improvements in mastery of curricular material if we just give each student a laptop in developing countries.

Overall, its worth the read, and the comments below the article are telling. There are still those in ICT4E that don't seem to have learned the OLPC lesson: you cannot just drop off a techno-gadget and expect long-term change without a long-term change strategy and intervention.

10 years ago @ Educational Technology... - UNESCO Working Paper S... · 0 replies · +1 points

GSMA and Mastercard Foundation just rleased a report on mobile phones and youth across 4 countries in the developing world and their findings were intriguing.

First, as you might expect, youth love their phones, even more than clothes, cars, or bank accounts.

Surprisingly, youth prefer to receive educational content via via voice, not SMS or mobile web or any other of the many ways we've been delivering content to them. Go figure.

10 years ago @ Educational Technology... - UNESCO Working Paper S... · 0 replies · +1 points

When we talk about mobile phones, I hope people realize that we are still talking about basic feature phones, not iPhones or even Android phones. If we look at the US market, arguably one of the more saturated mobile phone markets, we find that feature phones account for about 40% of all NEW phone sales - and this in the country with high smartphone adoption. The feature phone install base (those that already own a phone) is still over 70% feature phones too. So yes, smartphones are growing, but they are no where near saturation.

10 years ago @ Educational Technology... - Learning British Engli... · 0 replies · +1 points

I am particularly impressed that uses of Janala are paying for this service. That shows that users do find it of real value and suggests that it could be scaled up in Bangladesh and rolled out to other countries on a cost-neutral or even profit generating price point.

10 years ago @ Educational Technology... - UNESCO Working Paper S... · 0 replies · +1 points

I do think that many schools in North America are going to far in the name of "protection" to the point where they've pasted into outright censorship. And rather than investing in more and more complex software to keep up with filters and the like, they really should use these simple steps to eliminate the biggest boogieman in the schools debate: porn.

10 years ago @ Educational Technology... - UNESCO to release rese... · 2 replies · +1 points

Or even using mobile phones outside of school completely. My advice is to start mLearning initiatives outside the classroom where 100% penetration isn't an issue and many-to-one-device is already an expected norm.

10 years ago @ Educational Technology... - UNESCO to release rese... · 5 replies · +1 points

Before we all get too excited about the educational benefits of mobile phones, I'd like to remind everyone that not even mobiles have a 100% penetration rate. In fact, only 52% of Tanzanians have a mobile - and I doubt those are children, especially children outside wealthy areas.

10 years ago @ Educational Technology... - UNESCO to release rese... · 0 replies · +2 points

Google Translation: I just finished a research on the use of mobile phones in initial teacher training at the Ecole Normale Superieure d'Abidjan in Ivory Coast. I worked on a population of 60 teachers of Mathematics who are in year internship. Initial results suggest that these teachers use their mobile phone to interact, with trainers and resource persons. Moreover, they use mobile phones to find information, store and access it at any time.

10 years ago @ Educational Technology... - Where is the Focus of ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Your first point should count double for the OLPC Peru activity, which is an outlier among ICT4E interventions:

1. Avoid generalizing results from studies done on specific models/intervention types (and their particular choices for equipment, content and implementation) to “ICT for Education” as a whole.

The approach taken in Peru can be generalized only on the approach promoted by OLPC's leadership - that laptops alone, without an integration into curriculum and the teacher training to facilitate it, will somehow create an implementation miracle:
Best represented by this equation, it was marketing brilliance - it sidestepped the hard work of deployment with a politician-friendly solution: just hand out a thing and skip the messy human issues. As we now have seen, this didn't work.

However, this is not the approach of most ICT4E interventions, which are working on the human change management as much as the technology problems. I would prefer more a focus on the human side, but at least we're getting past the helicopter drop deployment conversation - finally.

10 years ago @ Educational Technology... - All 1-to-1 ICT4E Progr... · 0 replies · +1 points

I am really proud of Christoph's start at what should become the go-to list of all the ICT4E programs around the world that attempt (or succeed) at 1-to-1 laptop interventions. Please do be sure to include the programs you know about on the master spreadsheet - your input will directly increase and impact the global one device per child effort