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Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Nigerian eLearning Program for OLPC & Classmate

Peter Vlam of Africa News put me onto an interesting story regarding education and technology. Learning About Living is a new eLearning program to teach children in Nigeria about sexual health, HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality and gender violence. Young people in Lagos, Cross Rivers State and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja will be piloting the project, which is specifically designed for the OLPC, Classmate and government computer programs.

Nigerian eLearning Program for OLPC & Classmate

Learning about Living being tested on a Classmate

What I find the most interesting about this program is how the NGO behind it, Butterfly Works, is working to make it compatible with normal computers, the trendy new OLPC and Classmate, and also for the mobile phones. I’m curious to see how it works on a mobile phone, but it’s a good sign when an organization works to make their software available on the platforms that their users actually use.

Though the program has been tested on the OLPC and, it is made for secondary school children, whereas the OLPC is aimed at primary students. They have plans to develop a primary school version just in case the Nigerian government decides to buy into the OLPC program.

Ineke Aquarius, Program Director for Butterfly Works, informs me that they are working to make the program accessible by other African countries that have bought into the OLPC. First target: Ethiopia, who purchased 50,000 OLPC’s.

[Update: Great article on OLPC and Classmate at ZD Net]

4 Comments

  1. Without local content, OLPC, Classmates and all the other initiatives will fail. Good on butterflyworks.

  2. Thanks for your nice article Eric!

    Just wanted to add that the free mobile phone services that are part of Learning about Living are developed by our partner Oneworld UK. Young Nigerians can ask their personal questions for free either through the website, through sms or call the hotline service.

    http://www.learningaboutliving.org/south/online

  3. Thanks for letting us know about this Hash! Looks worthwhile following closely.

  4. Ian Michael Ikyumen

    May 3, 2010 at 10:41 am

    We appreciate your effort in bringing to the awareness of many Nigerians of the new mellinnium learning trend that has brought new innovations in education across the globe. It will be appreciated if the case of One Laptop Per Child and One Laptop Per Teacher is represented to our Government for reconsideration. If not it is obvious that we shall remain on the negative side of the International Digital Divide. We should follow the example of Uruguay, which was the first
    country in the world to purchase a full order of laptop and distributed freely to every primary school child.

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