One Laptop Per Child… (Article Review)

Another article review…

In this article, Scott Aronowitz discusses the organization One Laptop Per Child (OLPD) program and its efforts to provide laptops to children in third world countries. Aronowitz specifically talks about the durability of these new laptops produced by Marvell and how they are more suited and affordable for “global regions underserved by technology.” $100 laptops. That’s really amazing. Just a few thoughts though…

Currently I am reading a book by Greg Mortenson titled “Stones into Schools.” In this book, Mortenson shares his journey through the farthest removed societies in Pakistan and Afghanistan and his quest to build schools in what he calls, “the last best place.” These are villages that are beyond the end of the road. Literacy rates are almost non-existent, especially among women. These are areas that are developing (Pakistan) and severely under-developed (Afghanistan) in terms of education, life expectancy, and standard of living. These are definitely third world countries. Mortenson states that it is difficult to get desks, pencils, and teachers into these areas so that these people can learn… how are the lap tops going to get there? And, if they do make it there… who is going to use them? Who will teach them how to use them? How will they use them if they cannot even read?

I understand that laptops are a huge technological advancement for some students in some areas, but this is really only addressing a small number of the world’s population. What can be done with these fancy, durable, and affordable laptops to ensure that all students have the same access to technology, not just some (or a chosen few). And, when these students do get a laptop, who is going to teach them how to use it? I think that this author should address this issue. Technology is only useful to those who can get it and use it.

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