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Two Years of One-to-one Computing in Sri Lanka – The Impact on Formal and Informal Learning in Primary School Education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2012 / [ed] T. Bastiaens & G. Marks, Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) , 2012, 1192-1201 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One-to-one computing is a concept that has been implemented in different ways in different countries during the last years with more than two million laptops distributed in 40 countries. In the frequently discussed One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project the standard concept is to combine internet access with the idea of primary school students sharing digital content with individual non-shared computers. The Sri Lankan setup is a bit different since content development has been prioritized and internet facilities have been left out in a pilot project involving 13 schools and around 1000 computers. The aim of this article is to describe and discuss the impact on formal and informal learning during the first two years of the Sri Lankan OLPC initiative and its positive and negative side effects. Research data was collected during 2010-2012 when 6 of the 13 schools in the Sri Lankan OLPC initiative were visited. Recorded semi-structured interviews are combined with group discussions and observations. The outcome of the Sri Lankan OLPC pilot must be seen as successful despite the problems with hardware support and the lack of internet or intranet access. Computer based training with content in local languages has been implemented and used in a way that has been beneficial for students, teachers as well as parents. Findings show that there is a positive impact on formal as well as informal learning and that the positive side effects are greater than the negative side effects. The XO computers used in the pilot project are relatively fragile and difficult to maintain and without a more organized hardware support some schools have more than one child per laptop. Our recommendation for a future extension of this pilot project is to replace the XO computers with some kind of more robust PC tablets. We find the Sri Lankan OLPC initiative promising and worth extending to more primary schools. However, there is for the moment not easy to find out what the future decision will be and the answers from the Ministry of Education have been vague.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) , 2012. 1192-1201 p.
Keyword [en]
One-to-one Computing, OLPC, ICT4D, E-learning, Sri Lanka
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82270ISBN: 1-880094-98-3OAI: diva2:567247
E-LEARN 2012, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, October 9-12, 2012
Available from: 2012-11-12 Created: 2012-11-12 Last updated: 2013-03-04Bibliographically approved

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Mozelius, Peter
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