Interrogating Gender Divides in Technology for Education and Development: the Case of the One Laptop per Child Project in Ghana

Resource type
Journal Article
Authors/contributors
Title
Interrogating Gender Divides in Technology for Education and Development: the Case of the One Laptop per Child Project in Ghana
Abstract
The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project aims to make low-cost computers accessible to the “world’s poorest children,” presuming that the gadgets will support their empowerment via education. The project’s success globally, however, has been mixed at best, with many countries terminating their purchases due to cost, inadequate infrastructure, and negative side effects. In October 2010, Ghana suspended the country’s 3-year participation. This study examines the complex history and failure of OLPC Ghana in two pilot schools, one urban and one rural, with particular attention to gender bias. The analysis draws on interviews with government personnel, students, and teachers in the pilot classes. Despite lacking electric power in the rural community, UNDP’s Millennium Villages Project played a strong support role, making OLPC somewhat more effective with less of a gender divide in the rural school than in the urban school in Accra. Both pilot schools faced severe sustainability challenges raising decade-old questions about modernity and technological determinism. Further, in both schools, particularly the urban school, a digital divide by gender was evident.
Publication
Studies in Comparative International Development
Volume
52
Issue
2
Pages
174-192
Date
2017-06-01
Journal Abbr
St Comp Int Dev
Language
en
ISSN
1936-6167
Short Title
Interrogating Gender Divides in Technology for Education and Development
Accessed
20/07/2020, 17:33
Library Catalog
Springer Link
Extra
shortDOI: 10/ggtsmj
Citation
Steeves, L., & Kwami, J. (2017). Interrogating Gender Divides in Technology for Education and Development: the Case of the One Laptop per Child Project in Ghana. Studies in Comparative International Development, 52(2), 174–192. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12116-017-9245-y