Computers To Africa Scheme Criticized
from the caushing-more-problems dept
The question of whether or not computers are useful in schools comes up quite often around here. The general feeling seems to be that computers can be useful, but there needs to be very good training for the teachers on how to really integrate them into the learning experience. So, imagine that same issue, and add on top of it a bunch of old, not always working, computers with very different software on each machine, and you've got some problems to deal with. That's what people involved in a project to ship computers to Africa are discovering. While the idea is noble - to help bridge the digital divide in poorer nations - in practice, it's not working out so great. Once the computers are there, there is costly training that's needed, and keeping computers working while also making sure they all have the same software is taking quite a bit of effort. This doesn't mean the program should be scrapped, but the goals, and how they're achieved should be more clearly figured out. When the best one teacher can do is use a donated computer as a footstool, you know that there are problems.