Technology and Child Development: Evidence from the One Laptop Per Child Program

Although many countries are aggressively implementing the One Laptop per Child (OLPC)
program, there is a lack of empirical evidenc
e on its effects. This paper presents the impact
of the first large-scale randomized evaluation of the OLPC program, using data collected
after 15 months of implementation in 319 primary schools in rural Peru. The results indicate
that the program increased the ratio of computers per student from 0.12 to 1.18 in treatment
schools. This expansion in access translated into substantial increases in use both at school
and at home. No evidence is found of effects on enrollment and test scores in Math and
Language. Some positive effects are found, however, in general cognitive skills as measured
by Raven’s Progressive Matrices, a verbal fluency test and a Coding test. 
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