In The World’s Fair : The Problems with One Laptop Per Child Ben Cohen (a colleague of mine from school) presents what his students, all engineers in training, find to be problematic about OLPC.
He follows uphere. While my problems with OLPC are parallel to his students, I think there are much more interesting secondary effects of training people on these machines as a form of ‘literacy’.
BBC NEWS | Technology | ‘$100 laptop’ sparks war of words:
Chip-maker Intel “should be ashamed of itself” for efforts to undermine the $100 laptop initiative, according to its founder Nicholas Negroponte.
He accused Intel of selling its own cut-price laptop – the Classmate – below cost to drive him out of markets.
hmmm, i think the intel design might actually be more servicable.
Top Ten Issues of One Laptop Per Child:
1. The Community of Learning vs. The Cult of the North American Individual: The name OLPC is a problem as the focus is on Personal Computers for Individuals ignoring the fact that community feedback is crucial part of learning. Self directed learning cannot be effective without feedback from peers, parents and teachers.
number one… hits the cultural issue squarely on the head.. should we be exporting our social anomie, individualism, and ‘aculturalization as informationalization’? should we? to what end?
HRD hopes to make $10 laptops a reality-India-The Times of India:
Having rejected Nicholas Negroponte’s offer of $100 laptops for schoolchildren, HRD ministry’s idea to make laptops at $10 is firmly taking shape with two designs already in and public sector undertaking Semiconductor Complex evincing interest to be a part of the project.
So far, the cost of one laptop, after factoring in labour charges, is coming to $47 but the ministry feels the price will come down dramatically considering the fact that the demand would be for one million laptops. “The cost is encouraging and we are hopeful it would come down to $10. We would also look into the possibility of some Indian company manufacturing the parts,” an official said.
this is the way one laptop per child should be….
Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops – New York Times:
So the Liverpool Central School District, just outside Syracuse, has decided to phase out laptops starting this fall, joining a handful of other schools around the country that adopted one-to-one computing programs and are now abandoning them as educationally empty â€” and worse.
This is an interesting move. Let’s follow the logic… Can’t make the kids behave, Can’t make the network more secure, or faster, take away their access to the network. So, failure in administration of technology and failure to model and disseminate ethics, rules, and mores makes things “educationally empty — and worse.” Balderdash.
‘$100 Laptop’ to Cost $175:
That’s partly because at least seven nations have expressed interest in being in the initial wave to buy the little green-and-white “XO” computers – Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Pakistan, Thailand, Nigeria and Libya – but it remains unclear which ones will be first to pony up the cash. The project needs orders for 3 million machines so its manufacturing and distribution effort can get rolling.
hmmm, it just doesn’t roll off the tongue like $100….
Free Music Project: Creativity on Children’s Machine XO:
While we are all impressed by mini TamTam, the OLPC XO music generation software, not every child is a composer at heart. But every child can find joy, fun, creativity, and education in music.
We wanna sing & dance!
That’s the idea behind the Free Music Project, a library of the best free music the web has to offer from Freeculture.org:
well this is a plus…
African Foldaway House:
Rajan Harinarain, a South African entrepreneur and inventor has come up with a temporary foldaway house for use in emergency situations complete with electrical wiring and fittings, doors and windows that can be erected by a small team in 5 minutes.
The patented structure weighs less than a ton, collapses to under a foot in height and can be modified with insulation/ventilation for hotter or cooler environments.
seems much more practical to give housing than to give computers….
Have Laptop, Will Learn?:
So, if this project is a huge success and actually causes some global reconceptualization of what learning is all about, it could have a positive impact on libraries. On the other hand, having Intel, Microsoft, and the worldwide education establishment poo-poohing your initiative is, as we used to say in Iowa, a tough row to hoe.
ALA posits optimism without real thought about OLPC. Why do people think this is a good idea? because people think that technology is a good idea. I’m with Bill Gates, fix the vital infrastructure of health and education, and technology will resolve itself.