Toward a Successful Plan for Educational Technology for Low-income Communities: A Formative Evaluation of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Projects in Nigeria and Ghana
Bellarmine Anthonia Ezumah, Howard University, United States
Howard University . Awarded
Copious educational technology projects have been implemented in several low-income communities by multilateral institutions, individuals, and governmental agencies. Statistics show that the majority of these initiatives fail to accomplish their objectives, thereby wasting colossal amounts of money, talent, and resources. Scholars aver that poor planning and implementation are the major deterrents to a successful technology project (Flagg, 1990; Osin, 1998; Warschauer, 2006). Responding to this problem, the current work seeks to provide a model for an effective plan for introducing educational technology that will yield a better result for elementary education. Using as a case the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), a computer program initiated by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte to enhance education in low-income communities, this study specifically evaluates the planning and implementation strategies employed in the OLPC pilot projects in Abuja, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana.
A participatory research approach was employed and qualitative data were collected in situ using in-depth interviews and questionnaires with parents, school leaders, students, public educational officials, community leaders, subject-matter experts, and OLPC personnel involved in the OLPC projects at LEA Galadima Primary School, Abuja, Nigeria and Kanda Primary School, Accra, Ghana. The project under study is a Western initiative; thus, the dominant paradigm of development communication theory and its alternative, the participatory action research, were employed as the theoretical framework.
Results from the study allowed the researcher to posit a model toward a better plan for educational technology adoption in low-income communities. Some highlights include the need for every country to establish a standardized educational technology objective, ability to raise funds enough to keep it going, the need to incorporate local materials as major content, and acknowledging input of local experts, and the teachers' role in the entire process.
Ezumah, B.A. Toward a Successful Plan for Educational Technology for Low-income Communities: A Formative Evaluation of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Projects in Nigeria and Ghana. Ph.D. thesis, Howard University.
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