Wednesday, May 13, 2009


ahh! Sorry I forgot about this one! After reading everyone's responses, I would have to say that I agree with the majority of people's concerns like the issues of access, what if the kids grow out the computers, will they know how to use them and doesn't Africa have more important concerns on its mind. However, I would like to say that we are being too negative about this great initiative and step in the right direction. I don't think we are giving kids enough credit when it comes to learning how to use the computer. I think that as long as there is someone to guide them through the first steps of turning it on and opening it as well as using the other programs then they will be able to figure out the rest- kids are a lot smarter than we notice. Secondly, I think that they will be grateful enough to have a computer that even as they grow up they will still use it. However, I think that a lot of the issues we have with the program are future ones, not present. I think that while this project could have a positive influence on the kids receiving the laptops there are bigger issues at hand. I really feel that if these laptops were delivered to people in starving areas of the country they wouldn't really care about them, they would be more worried about where their next meal is coming from. I would expect that most of them would sell the computers in exchange for food or other necessities, and to be honest, who wouldn't? People's lives are a lot more important than having a computer. As Compaine said in his article, "a society that has more important issues, such as feeding and housing its people, providing safety and security, and creating general well-being would place access to entertainment and information well down on the list of priorities." I would totally agree with the African government being skeptical about these computers because they have real, pressing issue to deal with. Although this idea is a valiant one, it might be better for people in stable environments that can make use of the computers.

1 comment:

  1. Your concern about children selling laptops flies in the face of the actions of subsistence farmers in Peru and numerous other countries. They initially doubted the value of the computers, and insisted on their children working in the fields from the moment they returned from school until dark. Within a week, they changed their minds, after the children showed them how to use the computer. See for more on this point.

    Sugar software is not about entertainment, but about genuine education aimed at economic growth, and thus at the solution to the rest of the problems of poverty. It is insulting to the developers and to the children receiving the computers to talk about them in this way. It is foolish to sneer at information. Knowledge is power, and the biggest problem of the poor is powerlessness.

    The governments of Peru, Uruguay, Rwanda, Ghana, India, and South Carolina have concluded that XOs for education are worth the cost, when compared with any of the alternatives. The governments of Venezuela, Brazil, and the Extremadura region of Spain have adopted other Linux computers for one-to-one computing, as have Maine and Georgia.

    Once we have digital textbooks, the laptops (particularly the planned $75 XO-2) will cost less than printing, warehousing, and distributing current printed books. There will be no limit on the amount of information made available to children, in contrast with state-mandated limits on weight of textbooks today.

    We are now getting more and more frequent reports of formal studies of outcomes of these programs. Even without the full suite of software and without digital textbooks, we have had many successes. We have begun collecting these reports at