Mark Beckford

Join the Debate: 1:1 vs. Shared Access Computing

Infodev and UNESCO have developed a new discussion and debate forum to explore the role of ICT in learning in developing countries. Called the Educational Technology Debate, it promotes a multi-week discussion over one month with two participants debating two sides of an argument, and additional user comments supporting or refuting either side. Check out the latest debate between myself and Walter Bender, CEO of Sugar Labs, the non-profit organization that provides the software for the XO laptop of One Laptop Per Child, and recently, the “Sugar on a Stick v1 Strawberry” which allows users to experience Sugar on any computer through a USB flash device.

I started the debate with a position that supports shared access computing as a more economically feasible approach than 1:1 computing (1 computer per 1 student), the premise being that with very limited resources available to governments, it is better to get more students access to a shared computing device part time than it is to significantly fewer students access all the time.

Over the next few weeks we will post additional responses and potentially evolve our position. So join the debate and comment on the current discussion at 1:1 Saturations and Computer Labs: Can Their Benefits Bring a New Model?