This generated a some of anxiety in the children,” Gonzélez said.

González truly believes the programme will be successful, and is patiently waiting for the computers to get to everyone and for the school to be wired.

In the meantime, the students with laptops have been sharing the machine with their families – many of which cannot afford a computer at home.

It seems to me it starts generating a circle that enriches everyone,” said González.

The Programa Conectar Igualdad website echos this sentiment, “It is essential to work towards a society literate in the new Information Technology and Communication (TIC), with the possibility of a democratic access to technology and information resources regardless of the social, economic or population densities or the most diverse rural and urban geographies.” Last year’s 45-day student protest over deteriorating university classrooms has programme critics arguing that education funds are being spent on laptops when the buildings are crumbling around the students.

González admits there are other things that need attention in the education system but hasn’t heard much criticism in relation to the computer distribution programme.

She said, “It doesn’t take away from anything else.

Using computers as a learning resource is also a priority.” One of the original concerns of providing laptops to children was breakage and theft.

The Programa Conectar Igualdad website describes the computer protection policy: the Argentine government provides two or three years of warranty, depending on the model of the computer, free of charge. candidate at Stanford University in the Communication department.

As for robbery or selling the computers off – the machines are deactivated remotely if they do not have a certain amount of contact with the school property. For her dissertation, she investigated One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programs in Paraguay, Uruguay, and Peru.

Ames concluded in her research that providing free laptops can have incredible benefits but only with the appropriate support.

Programa Conectar Igualdad (Connect Equality Programme) and Plan [email protected] BA are the national and Buenos Aires City programmes providing the laptops.