2 Low-cost computing devices for education

Low-cost computing device is a relative term, given the wide differences in economic development around the world. A USD 100 difference in the price of a computer may not seem significant in a developed country but can make an enormous difference in a developing country. For example, in Benin, “…the cost of a generic PC is equivalent to a teacher's salary for eight months.” 4

The increasing prevalence of mobile devices, including lower-cost smartphones and more recently, tablets, also has sparked consideration of mobile devices as platforms for the delivery of educational content, or m-learning. This can include SMS messaging, multimedia live classroom sessions, webcasting and podcasting, text recaps of lessons, educational games, multiple choice tests, and mobile whiteboards for interactive discussions. 5

5 World Economic Forum, “Accelerating the Adoption of mLearning: A Call for Collective and Collaborative Action,” (2012), p. 4. Available at http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GAC_AcceleratingAdoptionMLearning_2012.pdf .

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