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:
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.