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Hi Imaduddin,

Thanks for your comment. A quick response:

I am quite familiar with research that has emerged, and is emerging, from the various OLPC projects around the world -- a topic which has been covered many times on the EduTech blog in the past, including specific attention to the IDB study on Peru (for which I was a peer reviewer, and to which I link twice in the blog post above).

In the short blog post above, I have intentionally refrained above from providing value judgments on whether any of the projects or initiatives listed as 'good' or 'bad'. By highlighting the fact that such projects have occurred, or are occurring, my hope is that some of the policymakers supporting similar sort of programs in other countries may take a step back and ask, 'is there anything we might be able to learn from other places who have done, or are doing, or plan to do, similar things?' Where policymakers decide to ask such questions (and we actively encourage them to do so!), we are most happy to put them in touch with key decisionmakers and stakeholders who were involved in such projects in other countries, and with researchers who have observed and evaluated such projects.

A consistent theme on this blog is the power of learning from failure ( Indeed, given the number of 'failed' projects to introduce educational technologies into education systems around the world, this is fertile ground for research and learning. However one may feel about individual projects, my opinion is that it would be (to adopt your terminology) 'misleading and dangerous' to ignore lessons from such projects.

To quote from an earlier post on the EduTech blog (

"In business and in international development circles, much is made about the potential for 'learning from best practice'.  Considerations of the use of educational technologies offer no exception to this impulse.  That said, 'best practice' in the education sector is often a rather elusive concept (at best!  some informed observers would say it is actually dangerous).  The term 'good practice' may be more useful, for in many (if not most) cases and places, learning from and adapting 'good' practices is often much more practical -- and more likely to lead to success.  Given that many initiatives seem immune to learning from either 'best' or even 'good' practice in other places or contexts, it may be most practical to recommend 'lots of practice', as there appears to be a natural learning curve that accompanies large scale adoption of ICTs in the education sector in many countries -- even if this means 'repeating the mistakes' of others.

But do we really need to repeat the mistakes of others? If adopting 'best practice' is fraught with difficulties, and 'good practice' often noted but ignored, perhaps it is useful instead to look at 'worst practice'.  The good news is that, in the area of ICT use in education, there appears to be a good deal of agreement about what this is!"

By providing this excerpt from an earlier blog post as part of my comment here, I don't mean to imply that any of the country initiatives listed above (OLPC or otherwise) are failures -- or successes. Rather, it is to suggest that, if you are going to try to do something, it may be worth your while to go talk to some of the people who have already attempted something similar. Whether they succeeded or failed (most likely they have done some of both), you just might learn something as a result.