Multiple Mice for Computers in Education in Developing Countries

Udai Pawar, Joyojeet Pal, Kentaro Toyama
2006 2006 International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development  
A distinct feature observed in computer use in schools or rural kiosks in developing countries is the high student-to-computer ratio. It is not unusual to see more than five children crowding around a single display, as schools are rarely funded to afford one PC per child in a classroom. One child controls the mouse, while others are passive onlookers, without operational control of the computer. Learning benefits appear to accrue primarily to the child with the mouse, with the other children
more » ... ssing out. The obvious technical solution is to provide each child with a mouse and cursor on screen, thus effectively multiplying the amount of interaction per student per PC for the cost of a few extra mice. To our surprise, both the concept and the implementation appear to be unique to date, for the specific application to computers in education in resource-strapped communities, with previous work restricting studies to two mice, or for largely non-educational applications. We have developed software that allows multiple coloured cursors to co-exist on the monitor, along with two sample games with some educational content. Initial trials with both singlemouse and multiple-mice scenarios suggest that children are more engaged when in control of a mouse, and that more mice increases overall engagement. Our results suggest new areas of research in pedagogy for computers in education.
doi:10.1109/ictd.2006.301840 dblp:conf/ictd/PawarPT06 fatcat:stgy3knxxneirjqxjbkabomhky