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June 2010

Low-Cost ICT Devices

What Low-cost ICT Devices are Available to Educators Today?

From single-purpose educational aids like the Teachermate to commercial netbooks that can be re-purposed for the classroom, information and communication technology is dropping in cost while increasing in functionality and robustness. Soon, these ICT devices will be like slates in the 1800′s – ubiquitous.

In 2008, infoDev at the World Bank complied a Quick guide to low-cost computing devices and initiatives for the developing world to try and record the most prominent or promising of these devices.

For June, the Educational Technology Debate will attempt to update and organize this list through two efforts…

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One Mouse Per Child: Simultaneous Participatory Educational Interaction

One Mouse per Child is oriented towards working simultaneously with an entire class using an interpersonal computer. In our case, this consists of a PC, a projector, and a mouse for each child participating in the activity. Experimentally we observed in a classroom that on a 1024 X 768 pixel projection, on a conventional 1,5 mt. x 1,5 mt. screen, up to 49 children could adequately work simultaneously in a classroom.

Each student must solve a series of exercises, which are generated according to the child performance through a set of pedagogical rules incorporated into the system. In the learning process the teacher has an active mediating role. A teacher (personal) mouse enables to directly intervene with each of the students’ learning process, according to what the teacher considers to be pedagogically convenien

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TeacherMate: Individualized, Teacher-Assisted Instruction

For the past twenty years Innovations for Learning, a Chicago-based nonprofit, has been passionately committed to two ideas:

  1. effective education requires individualized instruction
  2. technology can greatly assist teachers in individualizing instruction.

These ideas have led to this singular goal: create an effective system of individualized instruction that is affordable, replicable and scalable. In our attempts to accomplish this goal, we have focused on several key principles:

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Input Your Favorite Low-Cost ICT Device for Education Today!

Back when infoDev at the World Bank complied a Quick guide to low-cost computing devices and initiatives for the developing world, the educational community was a buzz about the promise of netbooks.

Now, several years on, how as the field changed? What new tools are available for teachers to improve their curriculum delivery? For students to master it? And for administrators to understand better the links, if any, between ICT investments and educational outcomes?

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Let’s Focus on Educational Media, Not ICT Devices

I propose that the ICT4D community should reduce its emphasis on the creation of innovative devices and focus more on the creation of effective educational media for existing low-cost devices. Market forces are making computers far more affordable, but are not producing quality educational media suitable for education in developing contexts. This lack of digital […]

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InfoDev UNESCO

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