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The OLPC in green and white  (Source: The OLPC Wiki)
Nigerian children get caught up on the Internets with porn

One of the aims of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project is to give the underprivileged new opportunities and experiences they otherwise wouldn’t have. Interestingly enough, some school children are using their laptops to browse pornographic Internet sites.

According to a Reuters report, a reporter at the official News Agency of Nigeria discovered pornographic images on the donated laptops from a U.S. aid organization. It is unclear whether or not school children were actually caught in the act of browsing such websites.

"Efforts to promote learning with laptops in a primary school in Abuja have gone awry as the pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials," reported the News Agency of Nigeria.

Perhaps in response to the discovery of the OLPC’s side features, a representative for the laptop project said that the computers will now be fitted with filtering software.



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RE: In a country where Aids runs rampant
By TomZ on 7/23/2007 1:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
Why do you think it is smart for developing nations to gamble hundreds of millions of dollars on something so unproven? Hundreds of millions of dollars that could otherwise be spent building more schools, hiring more teachers, buying more books, etc. - i.e., other things that are proven beneficial for education.

Maybe there should be some studies first? No, they decided there was no time for that. Just field trials to test out the communication infrastructure. They'll do studies post-mortem to figure out if there was any educational effectiveness. But by that time, the money will be potentially wasted.

In the US, and I'm sure in other developed nations, we have a lot of experience with computers in education. And still, we have not got to the point where we put the computer as the #1 tool for education, have we? Have you heard of any schools closing, teachers losing their jobs, to computers lately?

The problem with we techy-type is that we think, often incorrectly, that technology can solve all the world's problems. OLPC is no silver bullet in this repect.


RE: In a country where Aids runs rampant
By omnicronx on 7/23/2007 2:01:20 PM , Rating: 2
First off i think you need to become a bit more informed,
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_myths
They do not claim that this is the so called silver bullet as you have been calling it.

quote:
Hundreds of millions of dollars that could otherwise be spent building more schools, hiring more teachers, buying more books, etc. - i.e., other things that are proven beneficial for education.

I think your sentence should finish with two simple words, 'In America'. Other than that it applies to nothing, Africa is not the America so for the last time stop comparing the two. What works for your country will not necessarily work for others, and vice versa. The main difference between the two are these children actually want to learn, and i can not say the same about American children these days. So if nobody is willing to shell out the billions instead of hundreds of millions to get these kids books, teachers, etc.. why not go for the next best thing. Nobody says a laptop replaces books, teachers etc.. but to say they will not help them at all, and it will be more of a negative than a positive is plain stupid. I think it is a win if they get these kids interested in something, and actually get them to interact, which once again, is better than nothing.

quote:
Maybe there should be some studies first? No, they decided there was no time for that. Just field trials to test out the communication infrastructure. They'll do studies post-mortem to figure out if there was any educational effectiveness. But by that time, the money will be potentially wasted.


Wow so many things to say about this one.
1: Nobody has done anything like this before, so if anything this is a stepping stone to start a chain reaction such as push new things such as communication infastructure on the government
2:post-mortem? what the hell are you talking about, what does waiting for the kids to be dead have to do with anything, and how would you learn anything from that regardless.


RE: In a country where Aids runs rampant
By TomZ on 7/23/2007 2:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
Funny you would mention Africa. I was thinking about Africa too, in this context. One of the things I thought was amazing was the leadership school that Oprah Winfrey built for "only" $40M. In my opinion, initiatives like that are what can help developing nations, not technology toys like OLPC.

Oprah built a school for $40M that will educate hundreds of students per year that would otherwise not have any education at all. Don't you think that will have a lot more impact than distributing the equivalent cost in OLPCs?

You keep arguing that giving kids OLPCs is better than giving them nothing at all. And I agree with that, but it's not the point! The point is that money that is being spent on OLPCs could be better spent building more schools, hiring more teachers, buying books, etc. The money is being spent, why not spend it on something known to be worthwhile?

Also, I never said that giving them OLPCs would be negative. It is negative only relative to giving them something that will be certainly truly beneficial for education, like giving them education itself! What could be more beneficial than that?

RE port-mortum, I'm saying that it will be studied after the OLPC program has ended, not after the kids have died. Sheesh.


RE: In a country where Aids runs rampant
By omnicronx on 7/23/2007 3:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
I am done arguing,

quote:
The point is that money that is being spent on OLPCs could be better spent building more schools, hiring more teachers, buying books, etc. The money is being spent, why not spend it on something known to be worthwhile?


my final point is, the money needed to do what your are saying is atleast 1000 times more than what is needed for this laptop initiative, if the money were there i would say go for it, give them the teachers they need, but it just is not there. I believe this is a great stepping stone in that direction, to getting all kids the schooling they need, but it has to start somewhere, and will never happen all at once.

one final thing is that although it is great what oprah is doing, it only effects a tiny fraction of the kids in need, even if 20 or 50 of these were to open, the OLPC would probably still touch countless more children, and allow more people to at least have some learning access.


By wordsworm on 7/25/2007 3:39:06 AM , Rating: 2
Omni... just 1 regular school text book costs about $100. For the price of 1 regular school textbook, these students have the vast libraries available on the Internet at their command. They have a voice. They can communicate with each other. No person of any intellectual capacity would argue against the laptop program. It's the best initiative in the history of education since the textbook, pencil, and paper. There's no point in arguing points with people who believe Oprah's program is better than this in either scope, breadth, or importance.


"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis











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