Blinded by technology: has our belief in Silicon Valley led the world astray?

When Microsoft programmer Kentaro Toyama was sent by his employers to India in 2004, charged with using technology to improve education, he expected to swoop in armed with gadgets and effect whizzy social change. It didn’t quite pan out like that. Toyama had some early successes at Microsoft Research India, including the invention of a device that allowed multiple mice-wielding pupils to control one computer at the same time. (MultiPoint, a problem-fixer for classrooms that had too few computers, won awards.) But he quickly came to see that technology was not the “magic cure” export his employers – and, indeed, many in Silicon Valley – seemed to expect.

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