Sunday, June 08, 2014

Has the time for computer assisted education really arrived?

There is a very positive article in The Economist about the use of personal computers in K-12 education. I quote extensively:
At $199 per pupil, per year, for tablet, set-up and software, Amplify looks pricey. But research by the Gates Foundation shows that spending on America’s schools has more than doubled in the past four decades......Amplify is the first ed-tech firm to deliver a product pre-loaded with the middle-school curriculum for America’s Common Core State Standards Initiative, which specifies what pupils in most states must learn by the age of 18. It claims its system, currently being piloted, means children progress far faster through literacy and comprehension material. Indications from broader independent studies are promising. 
Kuepa, based in Buenos Aires, already provides courses for schools across middle-income Latin America. The Aakash tablet from Datawind, a firm set up in Canada by two Indian brothers, is selling for $64, and comes loaded with a basic school curriculum. India’s government aims eventually to provide every child with something similar.
The intent to develop great hardware and software for schools has been around for many years, and in fact follows similar intent for radio, television, film strips, movies, etc. Lets hope it is now to be achieved. 

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