OLPC 2011-2012 research/papers

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This page provides reviews and links to reports and research OLPC related. The material includes evaluations and follow up on OLPC deployments and research regarding One Laptop per Child projects

Contents

2011-2012

Warschauer 2012

Warschauer, M., Cotten, S.R., Ames, M.G. (2012) One Laptop per Child Birmingham: Case Study of a Radical Experiment. Massachusetts Institue of Technology. International Journal of Learning and Media. Volume 3, Issue 2, pp. 61-76

The article presents findings regarding a study on the OLPC Birmingham deployment, an initiative that put 15.000 XO laptops in the hands of students from first to fifth grade on primary level. The paper offers a great overview and background on OLPC as well as the specific features of the Birmingham 2008 OLPC deployment. The research includes an interesting body of research on 1:1 projects that offers a good view of potential positive, neutral and negative impacts of such initiatives and that is worthy to read.

  • Statistics:

1. 15.000 XO laptops
2. Two focal schools (for multisite study)
3. First - fifth primary school grades
4. 95% African-American students
5. 3 states (multisite study) Birmingham, Colorado and California

  • Methodology:

1. A pre-post survey
2. A multisite case of study
a. 25 hours classroom observation
b. 30 interviews to teachers, students and staff
c. District wide survey for teachers and students
d. Students online writing samples analyses

  • Findings:

The paper classifies the findings into three main areas:
- Low level of interest and use by teachers and schools.
Although the authors recognize that some of the results could be overstated, an interesting analyses on low level of laptop usage in the classroom with an 80.3% of surveyed students indicating they never used the XO at school (20.4%) or use them a little (59.9%) with just a 19.7% using it often at school. These findings are contrastive to the ones found on the two other sites where students reported a 2 – 1.8 hours average usage.
- Inadequate social and technical infrastructure
Lack of sufficient teacher training prior to deployment, absence of a support system inside and outside the school, no connectivity as well as critics around the hardware are among the findings.
- Types of XO use
Interesting data from the post-test survey that suggests laptop ownership does not increase the use of the laptops for design or academic purposes.

  • Discussion:

The Technocentric Approach, Child Ownership and the XO laptop hardware were identified as the main characteristics that differed from other laptop initiatives and that could be directly related with the “unimpressive results” of the OLPC Birmingham program.


Mora, Barragán & Urrea 2012 (Unpublished)

Mora, A., Barragán, S., Urrea, C. (2012) Forthcoming. Ed-Media Conference 2012. The One to One Model, One Laptop per Child, On the Strengthening of Education and Culture.

An outstanding research design made over a public-private owned initiative deployed in the Vichada department, Cumaribo and La Primavera municipalities in Colombia. The study was aimed to determine if a 1:1 project dynamic, together with the adequate social infrastructure, provides the environment for autonomous learning skills building, at what level might this occur and what are the contextual elements to consider The cultural recovery and strengthening of the Sikuani indigenous community, local capacity building (self-sustainable model) and the exploration of autonomous learning skills are among the distinguishing factors of the study.

  • Objectives:

1. Educational skills reinforcement
2. Technical skills development
3. Managing skills development
4. Technical support centers installation
5. Language and math 2-5 grades improvement
6. Cultural empowerment

  • Strategies:

1. Learn by doing
2. Learning through projects
3. Autonomous learning

  • Research methodology:

1. Experimental research using mixed methods
2. Surveys
3. Control group usage. Mixed and indigenous schools were included
4. Correlation analyses over dependent and independent variables

  • Statistics:

1. 11 schools
2. 800 students
3. 30 teachers
4. 40 community members

  • Early findings:

- Community and cultural scope
Interesting development of cultural documentation and recovery dynamics were found using the laptop technology as a bridge; design and creation of new content are remarkable.
- Educational scope
Family involvement, change in classroom strategies; executive teachers’ abilities development and culture-centered projects are among the dynamics found here.
- Technological scope
Infrastructure development; increased digital literacy levels and local capacity installation (through technical support centers) are the main findings
- Managerial scope
Improvement on managerial and administrative dynamics in the Educational Institutions was found.


Evaluations

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