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One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) - the future for classrooms?
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation developed, promotes and deploys its XO laptops for...
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19 April 2010
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation developed, promotes and deploys its XO laptops for primary school children. Hundreds of thousands of these laptops are now being used in dozens of economically poor countries throughout the world. There are many issues surrounding this revolutionary approach to ICTs in education discussed in www.olpcnews.com. In Uruguay all primary school children are being provided with XOs through the Ceibal program. This technology supports student-centred learning (constructivism) over teacher-led training. What are the implications for teachers? How are they being trained to maximize the benefits from this technology in their lessons and classrooms? Are there constraints in constructivism or some subjects that are not supported by technology? What about the values that children need to learn when using networked technology?
I had not closely investigated the OLPC situation before and I found it really interesting. Thanks for the idea Julie! I have put this in 'extra content' as it is not exactly following the pathway Julie started but I still feel it is very relevant to the issues surrounding OLPC. Hope this is the way to do it!
‘What a difficult history’ was my first thought. People arguing, resigning and controversy all over the place. Such a great idea but so many interested parties. I was particularly interested in the Microsoft/Linux debate as I instinctively distrusted Microsoft’s motives for desperately wanting their system on the machine. I found this quote in ‘Why Microsoft Must Control One Laptop Per Child’ – see links:
“In this case Microsoft is the heroin dealer wanting to make darn sure they can give out free, or very low cost samples, in potential new markets”
It is interesting that this piece was written in 2008 and by September 2009 I was seeing more articles pointing out that Microsoft Windows was too memory intensive and so it was on less than 1% of the OLPC laptops and all those were donated by Microsoft or were part of the pilot project.
"I am told that, although nearly all countries ask about Windows when evaluating OLPC laptops for children 5 to 10 years old, Sugar wins - it is better adapted to kids, has built-in collaboration, automatic backup, and is free, unlike Windows. “ Sean Daly (Sugar Labs) – Inquirer Review of OLPC 2009 – see links.
Does this mean that Microsoft will not be able to influence/dominate the countries adopting OLPC? I feel an innate sense of satisfaction about this. I feel it is much healthier for children to learn to use operating systems that they can play with, experimnet with and eventually adapt for their own use.
18:50 on 19 April 2010