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XO computers: limited effects

The effect of XO computers, distributed to students from disadvantaged backgrounds by the organization One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), has limited effects, according to a study carried out in Peruvian schools and recently published by the Inter American Development Bank, reports the Adjective project.

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The effect of XO computers, distributed to students from disadvantaged backgrounds by the organization One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), has limited effects, according to a study carried out in Peruvian schools and recently published by the Inter American Development Bank, reports the Adjective project.

Unsurprisingly, the students who received laptops developed skills in their use. On the other hand, 15 months after the installation of the computers, the researchers did not find any significant effect on schooling, absenteeism or motivation. In addition, no noticeable effect was demonstrated on math and language performance with one exception, grade 6 students.e year. "A statistically significant positive impact is noted in mathematics and in academic success in general," says one about them. A positive effect on students' cognitive skills has also been demonstrated.

“We cannot validly draw from this evaluation a negative judgment on the OLPC program, we qualify. The interest of an innovation cannot be reduced to a one-dimensional indicator: the average increase in the results of the pupils concerned by the intervention. Many other elements come into play, which can only be assessed by qualitative studies. It has long been recognized that using computers does not automatically lead to gains in passing knowledge tests. "

The study was carried out with 319 schools, of which 209 had obtained XO computers for their students. About 85 % of the young people who received a computer had used it at school the week before the survey and 42 % at home. The most common uses are word processing and surfing the Internet. The games only counted for 20 % of uses. The study points out that the use of computers "did not substantially call into question traditional practices", that 10 % teachers had received technical assistance and 7 % pedagogical support.

Currently, more than 2.4 million children and teachers from 42 countries use the foundation's computers. The country with the most is Peru, with 900,000 devices in 8,300 schools. The project One laptop per child was started in 2005 by teachers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, United States. It is funded by large IT companies.

 

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XO experimentation in Saguenay

400,000 XO computers for students in Uruguay

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About the Author

Nathalie Côté
Nathalie Cote
Nathalie is a journalist. His favorite themes are family, education, health, consumption, the environment and social phenomena. She contributes in particular to the newspaper La Presse.

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