Ethiopia has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world, and the village of Wonchi is no exception. Nobody there can read or write. That’s why I was astonished when I saw what Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop per Child organization did there.
They dropped 20 Motorola tablets, preloaded with mostly literacy apps in the village with no instructions. Within four minutes, one boy had found the on/off switch – an unknown entity in these parts – and he then taught the others. In a few days, they were each using about 50 apps each.
Ed McNierney, from One Laptop per Child discusses the Reading project, the experiment conducted in two Ethiopian villages giving children access to tablet PCs on Click, BBC London. You can listen to the interview here.
OLPC San Francisco Community Summit is a community event that brings together educators, technologists, anthropologists, enthusiasts, champions and volunteers. The purpose is to share stories, exchange ideas, solve problems, foster community and build collaboration around the One Laptop per Child project and its mission worldwide.
During the 2012 SF Summit, the team involved directly in this experiment, presented some of their experiences and details on the research: