Ethiopian Kids Teach Themselves Using Only Tablet Computers

Can tablet computers educate the world? In two Ethiopian villages, illiterate children with no schooling are quickly learning their ABCs—and more—with Motorola Xoom tablets provided by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization. OLPC is experimenting to see if the children can teach themselves to read by playing around with the tablet and its preloaded educational apps and games. So far, the program has been a success—the children quickly figured out how to turn on and use the tablets, and within five days they were using 47 apps per child, per day. They retained information from the apps, and even customized their tablet desktops (working around OLPC software set up to prevent them from doing so). While the study is still in its early phases, these results confirm that technology will be an invaluable resource for educating the uneducated.

Can tablet computers educate the world? In two Ethiopian villages, illiterate children with no schooling are quickly learning their ABCs—and more—with Motorola Xoom tablets provided by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization. OLPC is experimenting to see if the children can teach themselves to read by playing around with the tablet and its preloaded educational apps and games. So far, the program has been a success—the children quickly figured out how to turn on and use the tablets, and within five days they were using 47 apps per child, per day. They retained information from the apps, and even customized their tablet desktops (working around OLPC software set up to prevent them from doing so). While the study is still in its early phases, these results confirm that technology will be an invaluable resource for educating the uneducated.

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