According to the article, Rwanda is now the largest African client for the OLPC initiative. About 120,000 machines have been purchased, and the English-language newspaper in the country devotes a weekly guide for how the XO machines can be used.
It seems that the focus here is not necessarily making students tech-savvy, although teaching computer literacy is an aim of the program, but also increasing the level of student engagement in education. There are still a couple of challenges to be worked out before the laptops can be used to their greatest potential, says the article. For instance, parts of Rwanda experience power outages that hinder usage of the laptops, and students and teachers are still working to close the language gap, as Rwanda’s official language only recently shifted from French to English.
Earlier this month Kathleen wrote about Rwanda’s efforts “to digitize and disseminate” the national curriculum as part of the country’s push toward the “Education for All” goals set by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
Combined with this latest piece this is an interesting story about the way that technology is transforming learning in a much different way than we’re used to hearing about here in the United States. Check it out here.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.