Feeds

Schoolkids given WORLD'S CHEAPEST TABLETS: Is it really that hard to swallow?

What's the point of one device per child?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Return on investment

Will every kid that gets their hands on one of these tablets dive in, learn, and explore? Certainly not. I suspect that regardless of the tools made available that kind of curiosity is only truly present and encouraged in a small fraction of children. This, however, doesn't make the project as a whole worthless.

It is not the majority of individuals who grow up to be inventors, engineers and scientists in any society. They are a rare lot, and governments need to both nurture the young and fledgling as well as provide inviting environments for the mature and practicing.

History tells us that these curious thinkers are the people who drive technological development. They are the ones who keep economies moving; the more of them a country manages to get, the bigger the advantage they have over their neighbours. "Investing in the children" in this fashion is good ROI, even if the tablets on offer aren't remotely top of the line, or even have regular internet access.

In some of the poorer parts of the India, Rs.1,500 could reasonably be the better part of a month's income for some families – a heavy price to ask of the poorest. Yet, when I think to my own childhood, the cost of the PCs I used growing up wasn't that different. I'm pretty sure that the first PC my folks bought was at least a month's gross income for both of them, probably more. The second certainly was.

The One Laptop Per Child project: kids at the Kagugu Primary School, Kigali, Rwanda, get to grips with new computers

A similar project aimed at kids in the developing world, One Laptop Per Child, gives the children Quanta computers. This pic was taken at the Kagugu Primary School, Kigali, Rwanda by Rory Cellan (licensed under Creative Commons)

"One device per child" projects are never easy. They aren't going to meet all the lofty goals that so many people decide to heap on them. Ultimately, however, these projects don't have to meet those goals to be successful. They only have to provide these kids something they didn't have before: a window into the world.

With that kind of head start, I think India's children will be more than capable of building a very capable nation on their own. Even if what they come up with is nothing at all like ours. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER
'Supply chain sources' give up the goss on new iLappy
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.