Worldfocus Reports on OLPC Rwanda Pilot

   
   
   
   
   

For a great overview of One Laptop Per Rwandan Child, check out this video from Worldfocus correspondent Martin Seemungal who traveled to Rwamagana, Rwanda to check out the OLPC pilot there:


Thanks to OLPC intern, Brian Jordan for the tip. Also, you might want to check out his XO Laptops Arriving at Nonko post for more images of the Rwandan OLPC pilot activities.

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13 Comments

Interesting ...but ask ourselves. Those that do have all the facilities in our homes in more developed areas

How often do we depend on Internet contents to study or to complete our syllabus ?

These kids are of course delighted. Something new will always facinates.

Now would equipping every child with one computer feasible? How much would the installation cost, the maintenance cost and the replacements costs?

Equipping is just 1/3 the overall cost.
Maintaining and running cost forms the other 2/3 as has been reported.

Can a poor country afford it when even developed countries have not tried?

Wouldn't the same amount of money spent now, these Laptops be given to each village to be shared by all students in that village and each teacher with one unit supported by a projector be more effective and far more people would benefit now?

These are pertinent questions.

alan


Alan,

The TCO of the XO is much lower than other computing devices. It consumes fraction of the power of other systems. It is easily stripped down and rebuilt with 1 screwdriver. Has a longer life expectancy than other computers, is more rugged, screen is viewable in bright sunlight and makes a very good ebook reader. Useful texts can be provided electronically and the XO activities are excellent for collaboratively learning. The interface is simple yet powerful and designed with children and collaboration in mind. Over the total life of the XO roughly the same amount would be spent on paper books and paper etc. with slimmer selection of paper books available compared to the number of ebooks that can be stored. The XO can also be used as a measuring device and as a recorder. It sounds like you have never actually seen an XO let alone used one. Alan please do more research before making uninformed comments. Uninformed comments only make you look foolish.

Amused at alan

Looks like you sound more foolish than reply to my post :>)

First and foremost who is talking about the features of the XO? You must be kidding with your comments you dont even know the practical aspect of how computers should be used in a developing country like Africa when a high percentage dont even have basic learning facilities to study. And you here trying to advocate using a laptop per child?

Like said , tell me a developed country's schools that have massively adopted this one laptop per child ? You think even in developed countries all the children as using digital way to study.

Wake up friend... even in developed countries they are massively using text books and papers and you want to talk rubbish about saving paper by using XO? You must be kidding.

First before you make yourself look even more stupid, answer my earlier post. Isn't it better to give one village an OLPC and shared by all and let teachers to have an olpc and project far more effective and cheaper than giving ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD that would cost the country hundreds of millions they have no guarantee that it would succeed when Nigeria has proven it cost too much to do so and given up this silly concept?

I suggest you read the real end result of this "experiment"

http://www.olpcnews.com/countries/nigeria/olpc_nigeria_one_year_later.html

"I fear they will be waiting much longer too as Nigeria has subsequently canceled its participation:
Dr Aja Nwachukwu, the Education Minister, told newsmen in Abuja that the scheme was discovered to be a “white elephant” project. “We discovered that the scheme is a conduit pipe to siphon public fund,” he said."


alan

@Alan:
"Now would equipping every child with one computer feasible? How much would the installation cost, the maintenance cost and the replacements costs?

Equipping is just 1/3 the overall cost.
Maintaining and running cost forms the other 2/3 as has been reported."

This has been covered extensively. See:
http://www.olpcnews.com/sales_talk/price/xo_laptop_total_cost_of_ownership.html
Also contains a lot of links.

"First and foremost who is talking about the features of the XO? You must be kidding with your comments you dont even know the practical aspect of how computers should be used in a developing country like Africa when a high percentage dont even have basic learning facilities to study. And you here trying to advocate using a laptop per child?"

Isn't that the point? That these children do not have the basic learning facilities and their government lacking the means to supply them?

Most lacking are teachers and there seems to be no way of getting them (as 50 years of trying shows).

So what is more natural than using ICT to improve teacher productivity, ie, laptops? See:
http://www.olpcnews.com/use_cases/education/olpc_xo_improve_teachers.html

And a laptop per village will not do much to help the children. Nigeria stopped after a change in government. This was a political decision which might have been caused by the cost of the project, or by the political "color" of those who started it. A Nigerian government official claiming he stopped a project because of corruption sounds "odd", to say the least. At least we did not get to see WHY this project was considered a failure.

But you have read all these arguments before, didn't you? And you do have a tendency for insulting others instead of giving arguments.

Winter

"Equipping is just 1/3 the overall cost.
Maintaining and running cost forms the other 2/3 as has been reported."

This has been covered extensively. See:
http://www.olpcnews.com/sales_talk/price/xo_laptop_total_cost_of_ownership.html
Also contains a lot of links."

the conclusion ..the maintenance cost

"Reports that the OLPC will deliver a $300 total maintenance plan for deployment look rather plausible given these calculations"

Now plus the cost of the OLPC would make it near US500. Multiply that by the entire student population and you think an African country can afford it?
You must be a joker.

I dont know why you brought up the subject of quality of teachers in this debate. The issue is about why give all the students one each when for the same amount of money give each village an XO and let the teacher control one XO and a projector.

Surely using this method students would be more attentive and it is more relevent to the environment in which the children are currently in ...with their books in their own desk rather than the whole classes cluttered with laptops and chargers all over the places. the distractions among the students would be very much and teachers could do nothing about it.

...and by the way, read the article you posted on teachers and I do say the following statement is really silly...

"Either the teaching will suffer from large classes, or children will get less hours. Without an option to increase the number of qualified teachers, the only other option is to let the children do more on their own. To me it seems either that, or give up on the children. "

Large classes are beyond the teachers or even the schools for the poverty these schools have to face. As to leaving the students to study on their own???? Gosh that is the most stupid statement I ever come across. So do you mean teachers' role is no more relevent and having an XO the children can study on their own?

In fact like I said, the teacher having an XO with contents ready made she/he can guide the lessons and have full control of the class instead of giggles everywhere when their surf the net on undesirable sites.

"And a laptop per village will not do much to help the children. Nigeria stopped after a change in government. This was a political decision which might have been caused by the cost of the project, or by the political "color" of those who started it. A Nigerian government official claiming he stopped a project because of corruption sounds "odd", to say the least. At least we did not get to see WHY this project was considered a failure."

Wrong on all counts... here.

A laptop per village for 50 villages is far far better than giving 50 students in one class an XO each.

That 50 villages can easily benefit 50 X 50 = 2,500 children and the adults can learn too that would be perhaps 4,000 having access to latest ICT.
that is logical and I can not see why you cannot see this simple logic and fact.

...and your comment about it being political is rubbish. Do you know how much it cost that poor school? The cost of electricity besides the cost of the OLPC? Do you maths and it did cost a lot of money. It is definitely not suitable for a school without grid electricity.

The cost killed the project not politics and with a project that would not work... is Nigeria ready to face total failure and purchase millions of such machines? I dont think so.


"But you have read all these arguments before, didn't you? And you do have a tendency for insulting others instead of giving arguments."

Hey you start without checking concluded I would too foolish and even said I have not even seen an XO. I can tell you I know far more than many and had been in the ICTs since the '70s.

Even your answers are so irrelevent and lacks the logic.

The fact is Africa should learn how to walk first before you guys start tell them to run.

You have not even answered me... has any developed country adopted this concept of 1 laptop per child? ARe they not today still using outdated books and papers for their homework assignments ? What developed countries currently only trying to do is to have smartboards NOT ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD. This direction is like what I say, get the teacher to project their lessons with a projector using only one XO for a class not 50 for 50 students.

The matter of fact is current technology does not fit well with the practical way of studying and usage of ICT.

Even today developed countries are not all connected with broadband ...and without broadband how the heavens can you get those "flash based modules" and use them effectively?

The current technology my friend reaches only the 300 million or so connected ones not the 5.7billion unconnected.

This is a facat.

Alan

Alan

@Alan said
"The current technology my friend reaches only the 300 million or so connected ones not the 5.7billion unconnected."

Well ... a famous Asiatic quote says that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."

I say congratulations to OLPC for taking the first steps to reach the 5.7 billion unconnected.

Frank Daley said...
"Yes Well ... a famous Asiatic quote says that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."

I say congratulations to OLPC for taking the first steps to reach the 5.7 billion unconnected."

I do agree with you on this one. :>)

... it is just that when we have limited resources and viewing the impracticality of giving one such high tech to a child who may not have even an exercise book" exclusive is definitely not using the available resources to the fullest.

The good thing about OLPC is that it can be cheaper for the developing world to have access to technology.

ONE per child? I dont think so. OUr education set up is not geared to that kind of environment even in developed countries.

alan


@allen:
"Now plus the cost of the OLPC would make it near US500. Multiply that by the entire student population and you think an African country can afford it?
You must be a joker."

The $300 included the XO. But that is immaterial. If there is no money, they won't buy it. So why make all this noise. You must address those governments, not me. I won't buy these children a laptop.

@allen:
"...and your comment about it being political is rubbish. Do you know how much it cost that poor school? The cost of electricity besides the cost of the OLPC? Do you maths and it did cost a lot of money. It is definitely not suitable for a school without grid electricity."

Something in Nigeria that is NOT political. How exceptional. Nigeria is one of the big oil producers but it cannot get itself to refine it's own oil. Given that the responsible politician refuses to tell us why the OLPC project is a failure, we cannot decide that that was the real reason they scrapped it. But if you know, please tell us.

I do know that Nigeria spends below average on education. See my comment in:
http://www.olpcnews.com/countries/nigeria/olpc_in_nigeria_budget.html

@allen:
"Hey you start without checking concluded I would too foolish and even said I have not even seen an XO. I can tell you I know far more than many and had been in the ICTs since the '70s."

Which was what I wrote, you have seen the arguments before.

@allen:
"You have not even answered me... has any developed country adopted this concept of 1 laptop per child?"

Actually, yes. In my country every high school child is expected to have a computer with internet access.

As we are rich, we do not expect to pay taxes to get them back as computers. We buy them ourselves.

@allen:
"Even today developed countries are not all connected with broadband ...and without broadband how the heavens can you get those "flash based modules" and use them effectively?"

Read up on how the XO is supposed to be used. Eg, look for the Nepalese project.

@allen:
"The current technology my friend reaches only the 300 million or so connected ones not the 5.7billion unconnected. "

And we should not try to get it to the others?

Btw, technology reaches the USA, Europe, and large parts of Asia (eg, China now has most internet connections). That adds up to more than 300 million (which was the 2000 number). Actually, it adds up to 1.4 billion internet users in 2008 (actually, internet usage):
http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

Winter

@winter
"The $300 included the XO. But that is immaterial. If there is no money, they won't buy it. So why make all this noise. You must address those governments, not me. I won't buy these children a laptop."

That is exactly my point. These are poor oountries and even without corruption blah blah coming in, to pay for one per child when they can do much better doing the smart way... one teacher a laptop and a projector and one XO per village for the child to do homework and access whatever he wants at his own time not school time.
@winter
"Actually, yes. In my country every high school child is expected to have a computer with internet access.

As we are rich, we do not expect to pay taxes to get them back as computers. We buy them ourselves."

Now you use the word "expected" not "have it". That means your school have not tried it out yet to find the impracticality of using laptops for each student in class.

Can we say for sure , right now practically none? dont talk about future ...now.

@winter..

"The current technology my friend reaches only the 300 million or so connected ones not the 5.7billion unconnected. "

And we should not try to get it to the others?

Btw, technology reaches the USA, Europe, and large parts of Asia (eg, China now has most internet connections). That adds up to more than 300 million (which was the 2000 number). Actually, it adds up to 1.4 billion internet users in 2008 (actually, internet usage):
http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

It has been reported that other than Korea the broadband penetration globally are still very low. US right now to by 2010 would only reach 50%.

Your figures include dial ups. We are talking about broadband. Many areas in cluding many cities do have broadband and even more dial ups.

Do you know that even in Nigeria their business district today is still using dial ups? Now with such kind of connections , how are children able to access multimdia flash based systems using XO? What kind of materials will they get other than plain text? On dial ups you pay by the minutes and would any sensible child use dial up to study?

Your 1.4 billion figure includes both dial up reach and broadband reach.

In many areas where broadband is not available and must have satellite links at say 64Kbps links, what kind of stuff can they get? Mind you OLPCs do not have CD drives and contents from this sournce is practically out unless someone put them into a thumb drive. That would be ackward. Dont you think?

Alan


@Alan:
"Do you know that even in Nigeria their business district today is still using dial ups?"

Why broadband? The internet grew up on dial-ups. The XO's are not designed or distributed to browse YouTube 7/7.

In the educational sphere, who cares about broadband. And the use-cases with low bandwidth internet have been plenty and are discussed on OLPCnews and OLPC wikis.

Why everyone doubts that modern age high schools in the developed world expect their pupils to use computers ans internet at home is a mystery to me. Is my country then that advanced?

In the Netherlands every high school child I know of has a computer and internet available, either at home or at school. And the education policies are build on that idea.

See, eg, (Dutch)
http://www.boa-amsterdam.nl/media/cms/pdf/Rapport_IJslab%20BOA_V3.pdf

Winter

@winter,
"Why broadband? The internet grew up on dial-ups. The XO's are not designed or distributed to browse YouTube 7/7.

In the educational sphere, who cares about broadband. And the use-cases with low bandwidth internet have been plenty and are discussed on OLPCnews and OLPC wikis. "

That shows you still need to know more before you debate here. Why broadband?

1. broadband provides the rich animations that flash today is designed to have. Without such facilities , you get dead text for browsing the Internet and what do you think the small African child wants to look for from the Internet - which is about the only outside source of information. They cant get much otherwise because they do not have Cds to play with and cannot do so.

2. The digital divides of the world rests on the implementation of the broadband to rural areas.

3. Broadband can have unlimites usage and the user need not bother about hours on the net trying to find something.

... reasons good enough?

So you expect the African child to really learn something with minute by minute dial ups if it does not disconnect half way. If this be the case you think that is suitable for a class using XO?

@winter
"In the Netherlands every high school child I know of has a computer and internet available, either at home or at school. And the education policies are build on that idea."

Oh I forgot... these XOs are for kids in Primary ! You are talking about HIGH SCHOOL! Even that we dont doubt that almost(not all ) high schools do have a computer. There you are how are they using their computers? Besides browsing the Internet for facts, which need not be animated (unlike for an African child so facinated by it), any text based information would do. All the Dutch high schools chaps would care about is how to get their home assignments done using computers and that is fine.

You think what your HIGH school students would be in the same position as this destitude African child without even basic educational materials to be higher tech than your HIGH SCHOOL students?

Are your primary, kindergarten and even secondary students expected to have laptops? No right? They still hug heavy schoolbags with lots of exercise and text books to school am I right?

Compare then this African child and your dutch primary school students. Who do you think can afford a computer more and yet their schools do not practise that! Why an African country that is poor?

There must be something wrong!


@Allan:
"So you expect the African child to really learn something with minute by minute dial ups if it does not disconnect half way. If this be the case you think that is suitable for a class using XO?"

So you think the internet has no chance of making a splash on dial-up? Like it did in the 1990's.

For a child that does not even have access to a phone or a library, dial-up is a revelation. ANY access to the world is.

@Allan:
"Are your primary, kindergarten and even secondary students expected to have laptops? No right? They still hug heavy schoolbags with lots of exercise and text books to school am I right?"

Our children have enough trained teachers and plenty of books. Every primary school has a library.

Why bother them with a laptop if they do have enough teachers?

But in the developing world, the children lack all this so they need a way to improve teacher productivity and access to course texts. For that a cheap laptop with networking could be a very efficient solution.

As was discussed in:
http://www.olpcnews.com/use_cases/education/olpc_xo_improve_teachers.html

Winter

People said the money would be better spent on food or whatever.
The laptop is giving food of information and knowledge to minds, which may be the real solution to problems.
Teach a man to fish and he eats for life rather than continually giving him a fish.

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