Peru’s Ambitious Laptop Program Gets Mixed Grades


About a quarter didn’t want the computers coming home, fearing theft, the development bank researchers found. Meanwhile, two in five children didn’t take their computers home because their school wouldn’t let them.

Some schools didn’t have enough electricity to power the machines.

And then there was Internet. Less than 1 percent of the schools studied had it.

Patzer blogged about the frustration he witnessed when children and teachers struggled with the laptops’ old, buggy software and, not understanding how to update to improved versions, “promptly boxed them up and put them back in the corner.”

Marcone questioned whether the IADB study measured the right aptitudes among those who did use the machines.

“What was evaluated was a paper and pencil test,” he said. “What if they had tested 21st-century skills?” he said. Skills such as those developed by the audiovisual tools the laptops possess?

Marcone has already made modifications to the program, including making the XO laptop part of Peru’s university teacher-training curriculum this year.

His office will continue to support the laptops, replacing broken ones as well as distributing 41,000 that were destroyed in a warehouse fire earlier this year. It plans to expand rural Internet penetration and put new support resources online. But it won’t be trying to give out one laptop per child.

“The ministry is not going to do another macro project of this type. It is not going to make multimillion-dollar purchases and distribute (computers) like candy.”

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Posted by on Aug 1st, 2012 and filed under Techline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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