[Grassroots-l] [realness] Re: [squeakland] a school is not a building

Mike Dawson mike at paiwastoon.com.af
Tue Dec 7 01:17:53 EST 2010

Hi All,

Well for education, as with anything, there is a limited amount of
resources available.  However this does not mean one or the other -
there are various forms of blended learning.

In my humble opinion the answer to persuade people is very simple -
independent research.  Look concretely at what are the objectives of the
education system supposed to be?  To impart a certain core body of
knowledge?  To impart certain skills (learn learning?).  To enable
children to think creatively?  To enable children to become productive
employable members of society?  Now devise measurements of those factors
and compare.

The research has to compare the cost and time required for conventional
approaches that could involve teacher training, schools, bricks, to the
OLPC / technology enabled approach.

School and everyone going to school is a critical social activity - call
me old fashioned but my favourite form of kids collaborating is by
talking to each other, in person!  

In reality school time is so short anyway in many developing countries
(here in Afghanistan 2 - 2.5hrs/day half the year) that OLPC is a needed
supplement to missing human and physical resources.

None of what we're looking to accomplish really needs computers.
Teachers sufficiently trained and capable with sufficient resources
which would take generations could accomplish the task.  The question is
the relative cost and time to deliver.

And it's not just laptops and hardware that one needs - it's content,
infrastructure and support.  Which can get costly.

One piece of research to consider is the appendix to a US Dept of
Education "Evaluation of Evidence Based Practices in Online Learning"
May 2009 - has a fair bit of discussion.  Interestingly enough even
where it cites that there is little difference between those taking part
in blended or purely online activities and the conventional version that
in itself could be evidence of it being at least as effective, which if
the bricks and mortar are not there, is a big improvement.

Hope that helps.



On Tue, 2010-12-07 at 12:28 +0700, Kim Rose wrote:
> Why does it have to be one or the other -- "instead"???????  I'd build  
> a case to try to find a way of supporting both.
> Kim Rose
> Viewpoints Research
> On Dec 6, 2010, at 3:18 AM, Timothy Falconer wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > A favor:  help me make this case (or refute it) as we prepare once  
> > more for Haiti ... "spend money on training & laptops instead bricks  
> > and mortar".
> >
> > http://waveplace.com/news/blog/archive/001035.jsp
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Tim
> >
> > --
> > Timothy Falconer
> > Waveplace Foundation
> > http://waveplace.org
> > + 1 610 797 3100 x33
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > squeakland mailing list
> > squeakland at squeakland.org
> > http://lists.squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland

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