Laura Hosman - Technology for Development: No Shortcuts


I stumbled across this great TEDxIIT talk by Laura Hosman, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Illinois Institute of Technology, thanks to a blog post by Nick Doiron. As a lot of her comments and thoughts are based on experiences and impressions of OLPC deployments in different countries I really think it's well worth watching.

In my opinion Nick's comments sum up the talk quite nicely:

She's speaking directly from experience in Haiti, Senegal, and the Solomon Islands. And it's brilliant and honest about what it takes to make a program with a tangible, sustainable impact. We need to send this to everyone who applies for OLPC laptops.

He ends by asking:

What can we do to help her convince laptop-hungry countries to put sustainability first?

Please let us know what you think we can do in the comments.


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1 Comment

Hi Laura et al.
The Florida Virtual School motto is: “Any Time in Any Place on Any Path at Any Pace.”
The motto was used years ago to describe Florida’s PC learning program in schools. Now, it’s more applicable than ever with inexpensive tablet PCs becoming readily available.
For example, the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project out of Boston & MIT will have available a 7” x 10” tablet PC for about $75 each next winter.
Millions of OLPC laptop PCs have been provided to other countries already at a cost of about $200 each. Peru & Uruguay have decided to provide each primary school student in their countries with an OLPC laptop. Tablet PCs probably will accelerate and expand the projects.
The key is to provide course material which can be used in schools and for practical applications – sanitation, hygiene, construction, water works and other applicable “How Stuff Works” projects.
Hope you can use this info.
Incidentally, John Kolm, a member of our Rotary Club of Rockville, has led an effort to build a 150 student primary school in Haiti; it will open this fall. Now planned is to provide each student with a tablet PC.