The Case of the Occasionally Cheap Computer: Low-cost Devices and Classrooms in the Developing World


Work data:

Type of work: Article (academic)


ICT Infrastructure | ICT4D




The quest for the low-cost computer has been one of the most signicant pursuits of ICTD since the 1990s. This article examines the experiences of low-cost computing projects in developing regions and looks at some of the common entrepreneurial and technical problems faced by past and current initiatives. Focusing speciacally on the domain of education, we look at the quest for low-cost devices and consider their economic and socio-cultural appropriateness to the typical classroom in the developing world. Using field studies and interviews conducted in rural Indian classrooms, we show that shared rather than single-user devices constitute a more realistic and sustainable approach for low-cost computing projects targeting children’s education