[Its.an.education.project] Sugar on the EEE PC

Eben Eliason eben.eliason at gmail.com
Fri May 9 12:03:26 EDT 2008

On Fri, May 9, 2008 at 4:09 AM, K. K. Subramaniam <subbukk at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thursday 08 May 2008 1:50:59 pm Albert Cahalan wrote:
>> From time to time, you get "computer day". It could be
>> a few times a year or once a week. Most likely this is
>> decided by the teacher, who must then try to reserve the
>> computers for the desired day. At the beginning of class,
>> somebody delivers the equipment to the classroom.
> How is this different from other shared resources like globes, encyclopedias,
> microscopes, projectors etc.? IMHO, the real issue is not that computers are
> shared but most teachers have not integrated computing media fully into their
> teaching methods.
> Even if you were to provide an computer exclusively to each child, they are
> unlikely to be in use all day long. Programmers in IT companies may spend
> their whole day before a computer, but children do have a life beyond the
> keyboard :-).

You bring up two points both of which, I feel, support the goals of
OLPC and Sugar.  First, child ownership ensures that the kids get to
take the laptops /home/ with them.  Regardless of how much of their
day they spend in front of the computer at school, they are welcome to
use it (not forced to!) on their own outside of the classroom setting,
allowing them to explore and learn in their own way and in their own
time. Second, it's true that many kids can't become engaged with
computers, and in particular with their use in many classroom
settings.  This is why Sugar strives to encourage collaboration and
creation, such that the computer can become a tool that actually
enriches their "life beyond the keyboard." (The laptop can be used to
play music, make home movies, take photos on a hike, read a book, etc.
 None of these would I consider mundane "computer" tasks.)

- Eben

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