Is the One Laptop Per Child Enough? Viewpoints from Classroom Teachers in Rwanda

Ayodeji A. Fajebe, Michael L. Best, Thomas N. Smyth

Abstract


This study examines the implementation of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program in Rwanda from the viewpoint of primary school teachers involved with the program. It seeks to understand how these teachers feel about the program, how they incorporate the low-cost laptops into their classrooms, and their impressions of the laptops’ impacts on their students. Results of the study reveal that the teachers like the initiative, but recognize many challenges in adapting the program to their realities. The teachers think of the initiative primarily as a computer literacy and rote learning project, and they report outcomes along these lines. Beyond learning computer skills, the teachers note that the program has had both positive and negative impacts on several students—some have become more empowered as learners, and some have become rude and disruptive in class. Most significantly, the teachers often view themselves, and not their students, as the primary users of the laptops, and they have found ways to employ the laptops for both personal and school-related work.

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