Rethinking ICT for Development

Richard Newton Rooms
Level 5, Electrical Engineering Building
The University of Melbourne

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Fiorella Chiodo

fmchiodo@unimelb.edu.au

The Failures of One-Tablet-Per-Child Policies in Developing Countries

Why have so many free and low-cost tablet and laptop projects failed in developing countries? The very idea of giving away tablets to poor and disadvantaged schoolchildren seems, at first glance, notable and sensible. Children can learn better and faster if they can gain access to both the Internet and educational programs via tablets. Such ICT for development program would help "leapfrog" development in poor nations by educating and training students for the digital economy and narrowing the "digital divide" that exist between the haves and the haves-not. Yet, these one-tablet-per-child projects have failed in a number of developing countries. This seminar will examine the challenges and failures faced by India, Thailand and Peru in implementing low-cost tablet and laptop projects. The study's findings suggest a rethinking in how we understand digital divide and broader considerations of the politics of policy implementation required for successful outcomes.

About Dr Aim Sinpeng

Dr Aim Sinpeng is a Lecturer in the Department of Government and International Relations, the University of Sydney. She has published several articles on the role of social media and political participation in Southeast Asia in journals such as the Asian Journal of Social Science, Asian Politics & Policy and Contemporary Southeast Asia. Currently she's working on projects examining the dynamics of cyber movements in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and the role of Wikipedia as a site of political resistance in Southeast Asia. For a full list of her publications and projects, please see www.aimsinpeng.com

Seminar Details

Date: Wednesday 7 October
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Venue: Richard Newton Rooms, Level 5 Electrical Engineering Building, University of Melbourne
RSVP: Fiorella Chiodo, fmchiodo@unimelb.edu.au