Providing Lesotho's Children with Keys to the World

This is the story of our efforts to end the vicious cycle of poverty, disease, inadequate education, and early death
in a remote rural community in Lesotho, Africa, by providing quality education and life skills
to the young children there. Join us on our journey ...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sharing: When Tablet Turns Teacher

Six months ago, One Laptop Per Child's Nicholas Negroponte started a grand experiment.  He and Matt Keller dropped off dozens of iPads tablets for children in two very remote villages in Ethiopia.  Prior to the experiment, the villagers were completely illiterate and had had no experience with electronics.  Then Negroponte and Keller left, without giving the villagers any directions other than how to charge the iPads tablets with a solar panel.

Read more about this experiment along with other thoughts on young children teaching themselves to use technology at When Tablet Turns Teacher by Gillian Tett in FT Magazine.

The unofficial results so far from the Ethiopian study are very interesting and thought provoking, with all kinds of possible implications for education and aid.  If nothing else, it seems to me to indicate that we could dramatically jump-start children's education just by providing them with cell phones or tablets before they enter school.  And it reinforces the idea of letting children use laptops in unstructured settings.

While finances prevent L2L from providing every child with a cell phone or tablet, we might want to consider refocusing our energy on the laptop lending library and less on classroom instruction, at least for the youngest children.

I welcome your comments and thoughts.

- Janissa