Monday, June 22, 2009

East Africa gets broadband

Kenya has abolished sales tax on computers and in last week’s budget ended the sales tax on new mobile phones. more

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Microfinancing with mobile phones in Nairobi

I just launched a project called Mobile Movement, a microfinancing website that connects young entrepreneurs in the slums of Nairobi with the rest of the world using mobile technology.

We just launched and would love to get loads of people to log on. The youth in Nairobi are standing by their phones, and answer any and all questions! We also have a Facebook application if anyone is interested.

Mobile Movement is a partnership with a UN agency (UN-HABITAT) and is a winner of the Digital Media and Learning Competition at the MacArthur Foundation.

Leba Haber (ITP)

randomised evaluation of dumping computers (+training) on schools in Columbia: no effect

Barrera-Osorio, F. & Linden, L. (2009), 'The use and misuse of computers in education : evidence from a randomized experiment in Colombia', World Bank Policy Research Working Paper (WPS4836)

This paper presents the evaluation of the program Computers for Education. The program aims to integrate computers, donated by the private sector, into the teaching of language in public schools. The authors conduct a two-year randomized evaluation of the program using a sample of 97 schools and 5,201 children. Overall, the program seems to have had little effect on students' test scores and other outcomes. These results are consistent across grade levels, subjects, and gender. The main reason for these results seems to be the failure to incorporate the computers into the educational process. Although the program increased the number of computers in the treatment schools and provided training to the teachers on how to use the computers in their classrooms, surveys of both teachers and students suggest that teachers did not incorporate the computers into their curriculum.

- thanks Yishay for this info

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Maker Faire Africa

a celebration of African ingenuity, innovation and invention, will take place August 14-16 at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT in Ghana's capital, Accra. - This event is free to the general public - more