[Sugar-devel] NPR story on OLPC in Peru

Dr. Gerald Ardito gerald.ardito at gmail.com
Sun Oct 14 21:11:13 EDT 2012


I also grew up in that world. I fondly remember my first computer class in
high school (1978), learning FORTRAN on the big teletype machine.

When those remarkable moments of learning on the XOs are happening, I know
we are doing the right thing. And I point them out to the students and the
teachers so that they can see what I do.

This has been an effective strategy for bringing others into the

On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 3:44 PM, Kevin Mark <kevin.mark at verizon.net> wrote:

> I wanted to share that we have faced the same criticisms in our school
> regarding the XOs. For the last four years, the teachers and students have
> complained that the devices do not connect well or reliably to our wireless
> network.
> Obviously, in our case, we have a wireless network and essentially
> continuous access to the internet. But, what I have had to fight against is
> that this is the most basic use of any computing device.
> The only way I have been able to stem this tide is to come up with
> projects and programs that made use of the XOs as standalone or mesh
> networked devices. For example, we have done a lot with Memorize and Etoys
> and Scratch (and beginning to work with TurtleBlocks). I have found that
> once the students and teachers are involved with these activities, the
> internet stuff goes away.
> But the bigger point that is missed in the story, and the broader
> conversation, is that the XOs and Sugar tap into non-traditional methods of
> teaching and learning. When this invisible line is crossed, real magic
> happens. It is the conversations which illuminate this invisible line that
> is tough.
> I grew-up in a world before google and before the internet but after
> computers became affordable by homes. We had different expectations of
> these devices.
> This is something that affect the teachers, kids and media pundits today:
> they have seen (even in the remoter parts of the world) 'high speed
> computers with always-on internet with shiny video game worlds'. The is a
> good thing and bad thing. It means that they know an end-point that they
> want to reach but are unsatisfied with what they have. But they don't know
> what I and others of my age knew -- the learning and imagination that was
> done with disconnected clunky machines with 8-bit graphics. Which is
> sort-of what the XO appears to be by comparison. And also the fact that
> learning with computers is not the same as playing world of warcraft and
> you can do the former with an XO and don't need a 3GHZ pentium 7 with the
> latest video card.
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