Cavin Mugarura

Cavin Mugarura


35 comments posted · 2 followers · following 0

557 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - There Are No Technolog... · 0 replies · +1 points

statements like these "The sad reality, our students in developing countries, with the last century education they are receiving, have no place in this lab." are guided by ignorance. Many people's understanding of developing countries is limited to what they see on CNN.

students from developing countries, work in NASA, Google, Microsoft, and all the leading research institutions. There is even a boy from Malawi, who dropped out of school, and built a windmill by reading books from a church library, a feat a majority of his peers in developed countries, might not easily replicate. The full story can be seen o this link (

557 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - 3 Reasons Why Sloppy T... · 0 replies · +1 points

one of the things that is not addressed is conflict of interest, if you work for an organization, that benefits from use of computers, in the classroom, is it possible to advocate, against introduction of computers in education. without that, this debate simplifies to a lobbying process

563 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - How Computer Configura... · 0 replies · +2 points

Larry Cuban's wrote a master piece "Over sold and under used - computers in the classroom - he did his research in a developed country, but some important lessons can be learned from his publication.

In developing countries, computers are deployed in education institutions without a clear ICT policy. Simple but important details, are ignored. To make matters worse, most departments procure IT equipment independently, so its easy to find one department using Linux, another mac, and another Lab with Windows machines. Documentation is very minimal if present, ending up with a situation with many computers that dont talk to each other. The networking equipment is bought with disregard to whether it can communicate with other devices in a different department.

To have an effective computer lab in an education institution, its important to have a campus wide network irrespective of the absence or presence of the internet.

567 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - OLPC in South America ... · 0 replies · +1 points

There is no proof to show that virtual desktops are cheaper than the alternatives, i remember someone on this list, made similar remarks, but the numbers did not add up. If you are referring to thin clients, with a flat screen monitor, the cost could be well over $ 300. There is also an inherent disadvantage of having a central failure point. Can you please provide more details, on how the costs were reduced by these virtual desktops, it would be interesting to learn.

567 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - OLPC in South America ... · 1 reply · +1 points

While a 56k line might be affordable, what effect would it have on a lab with 1,000 computers.
The eGranary project looks good on paper, but a reality check might make me less excited about it. It assumes night follows day, and in ICT project planning, this is not true. One of the assumptions, is that Universities have networked computers. A typical university might have 20 or more computer labs. Do these labs talk to each other? Is there an incentive for this to happen? Technically its easy to do so, but the reality is different. Are there any incentives to have these labs talk to each other. The only incentive, i can think of, is having funding from the education ministries, tied to certain benchmarks, like inter connected labs throughout the university. Defaulters would miss out on funding or have their budgets slashed. This is just one of the several measures that can be put in place. I have seen very good ICT initiatives turn into white elephants, and the problem is coming up with technical solutions without foreseeing the bottlenecks ahead, plus sustainability.

567 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - OLPC in South America ... · 4 replies · +1 points

This is a good and detailed article, one of the things i can note, several ICT initiatives look at the Internet as the 'holy grail' , i dont subscribe to this belief. A lot can be achieved with or without internet. The success of an ICT project has little to do with internet. I have expressed this before, that countries should focus on developing national backbones, which will have better benefits like tele medicine, e learning, improved financial access through inter connected (networked) bank branches, etc. Even if internet connectivity is in place, the connection speeds, and bandwidth limits will not be sufficient for video streaming, and other services that require vast resources. I have written a paper (not published yet), that explains how this model can be an alternative to the internet. I have also highlighted a business model to make it sustainable. i can share it with anyone interested.

580 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Does Google Make Us St... · 0 replies · +1 points

Carr brings a twist to the story, however this debate is probably 20 or so years old. In high school calculators are introduced in later years, based on the principle that they will make students less astute in solving arithmetic problems.

I am cautious to agree or disagree because this is a complex field and intellect is not holistic since it varies from one individual to another based on several factors.

The closest example, i can relate to is open source software versus commercial which operates on the principle of the cathedral and the bazaar (fronted by Eric Raymond). If i was to agree with this argument, then the proliferation and wide usage of open source software would have killed creativity in the software industry. The evidence seems to suggest something different.

Programmers have modified and recreated software tools that have given the commercial alternatives a run for their money. Linux overtook its rivals on the server, Apache has more than 80% market share for web servers. Linux has over 15 distros (versions).

All these success stories can be partially attributed to the proliferation of search engines, crowd sourcing and collaborative ICTs. In the New York times, an article was posted highlighting how spell checkers are responsible for bad english. The use of tweeter and sms, has also been blamed.

These technologies, are here to stay, do they have negative consequences, yes they do, do they have positives, i think everyone agrees, however to blame them entirely is not different from throwing out the baby with the bath water.

584 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Let's Focus on Educati... · 0 replies · +1 points

The $ 10 tool looks very promising. I visited the playpower website, and found no information on how to acquire these devices. Am also curious to know whether the $10 is the real cost, or subsidized.

594 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Live Debate Impression... · 0 replies · 0 points

my contributions end here.

594 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Live Debate Impression... · 1 reply · +1 points

Allen, i wish you were right. If you go to a national park and you fail to see a weaver bird, it doesn't prove , they are no weaver birds in the park. You will have to come up with a better methodology to substantiate your statement.
Its very easy to say, ICT investments are wasted, and the burden of proof is being placed on one side, i wonder why this is the case?

I look at ICT investments in schools as a cost cutting measure (among other benefits). Every year, a lot of funds are spent by Governments to purchase books (printed copies), if a good number of schools had computers, then e books or electronic resources would be a cheaper alternative.

I have stated in earlier posts that ICT projects have a high failure rate, in relation to other disciplines like Engineering (Road construction, etc). The reasons for this are varied, but you have to separate a failed project from the intention. If you fail to win the Olympics, it does not mean the objective is bad, you simply failed, due to a myriad of factors, such as strategy, poor planning, etc.