An Alternative Reading of the IADB Study on Peru's OLPC Implementation

Posted by mbaehrlxer on Apr 18, 2012 11:27 PM EST
OLPC News; By Oscar Becerra
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I was surprised by the beginning of the Economist's article "Error Message" (based on the IADB study) that says the Peruvian Una Laptop por Niño project "did not accomplish anything in particular". The IADB study clearly stated that the project "substantially increased use of computers both at school and at home", "positive effects were found in general cognitive skills" and improved "competence in operating laptops in tasks related to core applications (like a word processor) and searching for information on the computer".

I was surprised by the beginning of the Economist's article "Error Message" (based on the IADB study) that says the Peruvian Una Laptop por Niño project "did not accomplish anything in particular". The IADB study clearly stated that the project "substantially increased use of computers both at school and at home", "positive effects were found in general cognitive skills" and improved "competence in operating laptops in tasks related to core applications (like a word processor) and searching for information on the computer".

The IADB study also says that there was no significant impact on school enrollment or attendance, nor in test scores in Math and Language. Enrollment in target schools was already nearly 100% -- therefore no further increase could be expected. Also, the program focus was not on improving test scores in Math or Language and there were no applications directly aligned with those subjects.

As the person responsible for Una Laptop por Niño for almost five years I hope to shed light on what seems to be, probably unintentional, misleading information.

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