The eWaste of development: What are the consequences of new technologies on the environment, and how can we act responsibly, starting now? [Open Discussion topic, September 2011]
Over the past few years of activity on the ETD forum, we’ve read many examples of how ICT in education projects have improved and innovated practice, making access to education more modern and accessable. At the same time much criticism has been focused on projects that, despite best intentions, focus first on hardware provision without sufficient consideration of how it will be used to improve learning, effectively wasting the investment. Many of us have witnessed firsthand this kind of wasted investment—i.e., underutilization of equipment—but how many of us are still around to see the long-term consequences of high-input ICT projects, such as those designed to give every child access to computers, either through large computing labs, mobile laptop stations, or one to one computing?