4.3.2 Saturation

Another distribution strategy is saturation. This involves selecting a small number of schools, but then providing LCCDs to all students, in all grades, in those schools. The benefit of this approach is that the pilot can be tested across a range of grades in one environment. Also, this often requires fewer LCCDs and minimizes resentment among children that might arise if some students have LCCDs and others do not. 171

One way of achieving saturation with a wider school distribution is through sharing the LCCDs, particularly where schools are operated in shifts. For example, this was done in a few areas of Brazil. One drawback is that students cannot take the LCCDs home to share with parents. This can be an issue where the intent is to implicitly raise household computer and Internet connectivity by having parents and siblings use the devices. It may also be a problem if school administrators are counting on students to recharge the LCCDs’ batteries at home.

Another factor influencing the distribution for testing would be school and community acceptance. In Afghanistan this was one of the reasons cited for the selection of the first pilot school:

“The parent's attitude, community acceptance, [and the] teacher's and school's representative overall attitude towards OLPC were the major factors for selection. Also the school size and the number of students in that school was the best match for our first pilot school.” 172

171 Schools in the Solomon Islands requested that they be saturated in the next phase of trials but the education ministry decided that evaluating the impact across different provinces was more important: “That the Ministry consider allocating 250 laptops from the next batch of laptops to complete (saturate) all grades in each of the three trials sites before expanding to other schools and provinces. This is to ensure that each whole school participates in the trials, providing more data for evaluation and allowing all teachers to collaborate and develop teaching ideas. The 75 initial laptops would be used for grade one at the three Marovo schools, and the Ministry would consider whether to use additional laptops via SPC for completing these schools or to expand single-class trials to other provinces. Laptops were distributed to Batuna and Patukae schools for all the grade one students and teachers, plus a few for key teachers in neighbouring secondary and vocational schools, fitting with the Ministry's requirement to evaluate impacts in each sub-sector.” http://wiki.laptop.org/images/c/ca/Solomons_OLPC_Deployment_Report_Aug08.pdf

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