One Laptop Per Ethiopian Child Surprises


In reading through Daniel Drake's impressions of OLPC Ethiopia, I came across a fun story of how technology diffusion in the developing world can be both completely normal and mind-blowing. As told by Daniel, here's Professor Tom Postmes and Dr Nina Hansen's experience as researchers looking at the effects of the XOs on Ethiopian children:

Ethiopians engaged by XO laptops

OLPC Ethiopia Updates

On their journey to the school, they describe how they saw a child in a field, tending to his cattle. In one hand, he has a whip for controlling the animals. In the other? An XO.

Later in their journey, still before reaching the school, they find a child under a tree using his XO. Unlike all the other kids, he's not at all excited about their presence, or them taking photos, and has no interest in seeing those photos on the camera display. He's glued to his XO screen. They peer around to see what is draining all his attention, and they see the child looking through the Nature images bundle. This kid is fascinated by photos of the Eiffel tower, space shuttles, etc. His horizons just exploded...

The researchers were also intrigued by the way some of the children were using the Record activity. Some of these children do not have access to mirrors, and were using Record to look at themselves. Being social psychologists, Tom and Nina were excited about the changes this will have on the childrens' self-perception and self esteem.

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"Ethiopian child surprises" did not surprise me one bit. I have lived in 2 countries and taught in 17 more since 1960. [I was not in 5 star hotels but in the bush.] I have known from the beginning of XO the value it would be to kids. It is so sad that P has such a poor knowledge of marketing but what is worst, he will not listen to anyone. Liscense it's manufacturing to anyone who wants to make and sell it. I would like to see an NGO manufacture and market it in every country of the world.

your idea is gooed but shall to high scool studentes