[OLPC-Games] Violent games on the OLPC Activities page

Carol Lerche cafl at msbit.com
Thu Jan 17 18:37:49 EST 2008

May I suggest that we take a step back from the debate about doom?  I see a
general problem with the activities page, in that there is insufficient
information there to suggest the audience ian activity is intended for.
There needs to be some way to indicate even if the person using it needs to
be literate or not, and the information about build requirements and
internationalization is Delphic at best.  This iis an area where the Wiki
model is inadequate.  A more  useful way to present the information would be
as the result of a database search where tags could be given as search
criteria.  There needs to be a more systematic effort to keep this
information up to date.  Everyone is proud of the OLPC hardware, and the
state of the system software is already very good.  We will not be providing
what is needed by the classrooms of children in the developing world until
materials appropriate for children at each of the target ages, and in each
of the target languages can be identified.

Naturally those individuals who received G1G1 machines will first make
available the software they want to use.  But just because you like a piece
of software doesn't make it even interesting for all ages of children.  Lets
have some assistance from educators in this, and let them also identify
glaring missing pieces that good teachers will notice.  We have great tools
for teaching science to upper elementary students.  Not so much is available
for younger kids, or for teaching literacy.  Somewhere the activities should
be assessed against threads of the curriculum that every school teaches in
some way.

The fact that teachers need to track what each student has accomplished
isn't evidence of an academic police state.  It is the way a good and caring
teacher makes sure kids don't fall through the cracks, so make sure
assignments can be submitted and recorded  and put tracking/ management
software on the school servers.   This isn't in contradiction to
constructionist methods of teaching.  It enhances that because it allows the
teacher to spend more time observing and guiding children.  All teachers,
especially when underresourced and faced with huge classes will tell you
they spend too much time on bureaucracy.

Carol Lerche
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