One Laptop Per Child revisited

In my latest rant about OLPC I probably sounded a little extremistic. I’d like to add that I don’t think that computers are generally bad for children. Especially in the developing countries there is probably good use for them, especially when it is not possible to have schools or something similar. I think I got a little annoyed because many discussions that I’ve seen take the OLPC as a cure for many problems that it can’t be, and the focus is mostly on technical issues, on 3rd world issues and others, but not on the children. When done right, the OLPC is surely a nice opportunity to help the developing countries. For this to work we would have to include the children and the special needs of 3rd world countries into our focus. And that doesn’t (only) mean childish themes and desktops. That means reasonable and sustainable pedagogic concepts that are tailored to these children in these countries. If there’s documents about this please point me to them, I am really interested.

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4 Responses to One Laptop Per Child revisited

  1. Jeff Waddell says:

    laptop.org is where the open development of this project is taking place. Being child focused is very important to many if not all of us doing this work. You are invited to come a participate and help make this technology the best it can be for it’s intended audience.

    Thanks

  2. Probably the best resource is the laptop.org wiki:
    http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Our_mission
    http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Learning_Vision
    http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Educational_ideas

    There is also a planet (mainly focussed on the technical issues though)
    http://planet.laptop.org/

  3. Bill Kerr says:

    hi roman,

    Thanks for rethinking your views. Some of the negative points you made about the OLPC are answered directly on the OLPC myths page

    I particularly like this bit which is at the bottom of the page:

    “Then what?

    * Oh, just another 200 or so countries where 6,000+ languages are spoken, major health problems, the odd civil war or tyranny, a little of this and a little of that, you know. No shortage of challenges. The perfect setting for a flowering of ingenuity that will put the Industrial Revolution to shame. I’m counting on the brainpower and energy of a few hundred million hungry children. You and I can’t out think them, especially not in advance.

    So are you going to stand there cursing the darkness, or teach people to make candles?”

  4. Paul Johnson says:

    I agree, the OLPC is a not the solution but a starting point for development. This project needs to be handled in a sensitive way. Different needs and cultures must be addresses properly. Only then will the One Laptop Per Child project be a success.
    http://www.portableuniverse.co.uk

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