Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sustainable Development and ICT: A case study of OLPC
by Larson, Kelsey Powell, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2013, 62; 10305837
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis argues that the introduction of technology in primary education in developing countries can be a catalyst for sustainable social and economic development, if and only if local contexts are taken into account. It is widely accepted that primary education is essential for economic development, and that information and communication technologies (ICT) have allowed populations in developing countries to “leapfrog” certain stages of development. However, the combination of these two variables must be approached with a thorough understanding of local contexts. One of the more highly publicized efforts to combine ICT and education is the One Laptop Per Child project. Despite its utopian intentions, the organization itself is controversial and their current model of ICT integration is not sustainable. Despite open support from the United Nations in the context of the Millennium Development Goals, the program relies on technological determinism and ignores existing educational structures and practices, adheres to a “one size fits all” model with no appreciation for local contexts and conditions, and does not take into account potential negative consequences associated with technology introduction. Following analysis of One Laptop Per Child and other initiatives that seek to engage students using ICT in the classroom, the author draws conclusions regarding best practices in order to construct a roadmap for the future of ICT-enhanced primary education for development.

Keywords: Education, sustainable development, ICT, One Laptop Per Child

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Carlson, Kerstin
Commitee: Perry, Susan
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: International Affairs
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Information Technology, International Relations, Educational technology
Keywords: Developing countries, Information and communication technology, One Laptop Per Child, Primary education, Sustainable development
Publication Number: 10305837
ISBN: 9781369494013
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