Skip the OLPC and Give ‘Em Playstations

A story from the New York Times about one study that revealed how grades and educational aspirations dropped when poor families in Romania were given vouchers to help defray the cost of computers and internet access.

If we really want to help poor kids, whether in Romania, sub-Saharan Africa, or America’s housing projects, we may want to focus on approaches that provide structured, supervised access through after-school programs or subsidies that bring technology into low-income schools. But just giving kids computers? Might as well just ship them PlayStations.

If you have any doubt, just ask any public librarian whose job it is to help manage public computing.