How A Dentist’s BMW Is Like OLPC

If we were to survey the driveways of 1000 U.S. dentists, we would likely find a great number of them have BMWs, Audis, MBs, Jaguars, etc.

Would it make sense to enact a policy giving BMWs, Jaguars, Audis, etc. to the less successful or poor in the belief that these same people would then somehow become successful financially? Of course not, most of us would realize that the BMWs are a result of education and productivity, not the cause/source of them. There most definitely is a corellation, but it may not be the obvious one. (pic via Wiki)

That’s what I think of when I see that some people are surprised by these OLPC results. Wealthy societies have laptops because they are wealthy. They are not wealthy because they have laptops.

Endeavors and public policy should be judged by their results, not their intentions, regardless of how well-intended the plans may be.

One Laptop per Child: Disappointing results? – ZDNet: Summary: Is the One Laptop per Child scheme producing the results we expected? Simply purchasing a device such as a laptop and handing it to a child is unlikely to turn them into the next Zuckerburg. However, it can teach them basic, valuable skills that will assist them when it is time to leave education and support themselves by joining the work force. At least, this is the view from Peru, where the largest program involving One Laptop per Child, an American charity’s scheme currently operates. Active in more than 30 developing countries across the globe, the aim of the project is to provide children with access to a laptop for educational purposes. However, according to an evaluation of the scheme’s success by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the results may not be as promising as we may have hoped.

The IDB’s evaluation, a study of 319 primary schools in Peru conducted over a period of 15 months, found that the children who received the laptops showed no improvement, and nor did access to such devices lead to increased motivation to learn or more time spent studying.