OLPC News is carrying a response from Oscar Becerra
(former Chief Educational Technologies Officer in the Peruvian Ministry of Education) to the Economist
article that was rather critical of the Peruvian OLPC (or Una Laptop por Niño) project. We linked to the article and the report it was based on
in early April. "It was never the program's primary goal to improve Math and Language test scores. What we expected was that the children's lives would be improved by giving them more options for their future -- something the study has proven because the children are more proficient in the use of 21st century tools (Table 5 of the study shows a dramatic increase in both access and use of computers by the treatment group) and have better cognitive skills (Table 7). It remains to be seen if with appropriate adjustments in strategy those improved cognitive skills will translate into better test scores. I don't agree with the Economist's biased reading of the study.
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