Ict4d

  • A couple weeks ago, an unusual request on the Mauritius Linux Users Group caught my attention, one that may interest both tourists visiting Mauritius in the next months, and everybody interested in ICT for sustainable development. It turns out that (see here for details), after the food price crisis of 2008, the Mauritian Government established a Food Security Fund to promote Agricultural Research and Development to improve food security. Besides increasing production of known staple crops, a long-term goal of that Fund is the identification of other interesting crops.
  • The project to deliver One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) for educational purpose in developing countries is doing great in Paraguay. According to developer Bernie Innocenti, this success comes from a way to manage the development of the Sugar educational software that other countries (or any other similar projects, see for example the Teachermate or the italian JumpPC) could and should imitate. Stop: Bernie, what do you like in OLPC Paraguay?
  • Sugar is an educational graphical computer environment specifically developed for collaborative learning in primary school. Initially, Sugar was developed and only used within the famous One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC) launched by Nicholas Negroponte to make special laptop computers, called XO, available to the children of all developing countries. (follow the link to see an Example of the Sugar graphical interface. Today, however, Sugar is usable on any computer running Linux, Mac OS or Windows.
  • During the Assembly for Quality Basic Education in Kathmandu I had the possibility to play a bit with an interesting mini-computer designed for primary school education, the TeacherMate from Innovations for Learning (IfL), and to talk with Seth Weinberger, IfL Executive Director. Of all the computers designed specifically as personal educational devices, the TeacherMate has one of the lowest costs for end users, about 60 USD per unit.