[Olpc-open] Olpc-open Digest, Vol 17, Issue 13

tall897 tall897 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 1 23:56:03 EST 2007

You make a good point (please keep us posted about your experience with the
OLPC laptop) but, as a clinical/child psychologist (Ph.D.), I've still
baffled as to why the assumption has gained traction, despite any objective
proof, that providing children with computer access will in any way quicken
their education. Far better that parents should read to their children
beginning when they are two years old and, later, that they do real research
from books (which can be e-books) rather than learn how to produce power
point abominations. Jean Piaget, whose basic concept, that children think
differently than adults, was described by Albert Einstein as being "so
simple that only a genius could have thought of it," once wrote that
whenever you describe to an American the natural development of the mind
their instinctive question is, "How can we speed up the process?" Which is
not to say that the OLPC laptop may not be valuable in providing books as an
e-reader. But apart from this it will, I fear, have no greater impact on
improving education than did the providing of slide projectors to American
teachers in the 1950s, this being that era's wonder gadget. Though the OLPC
is an impressive gadget which I may buy in its likely soon-to-come second

 Nov 27, 2007 4:16 PM, gnome <gnome at greenglim.com> wrote:

> Neophile early adopter, here.  I'll make a confession:  I've used linux
> for years, but I'm no black belt geek, so who knows if I'll be smart
> enough to figure out the Sugar interface.  I bought it anyway, and I'll
> tell you why:  sunlight-readable screen and long battery life.  I do a
> lot of writing, and I like to do it anywhere, including out on the
> beach, on mountaintops, wherever.  I'm hopeful that the Green Machine
> will be a light, sturdy, use-anywhere writing machine.  The small
> keyboard may be a problem, but I've used a Treo.  I know for a fact it's
> bigger than that.
> I didn't pay $400 out of charity.  I'm 100% in favor of the OLPC ideals
> and project, but in monetary terms, 100% would probably be about $25.  I
> paid $400 because it's the only thing out there, at that price, that can
> do what I need it to do.  That's in sunny, cutting edge, Southern
> California. (The warm glow from knowing I'm also helping somebody is
> just lagniappe.)
> So, anyway, the point of all this is that nobody really knows what
> anybody else's priorities are.  Just because I'm an urbanite, doesn't
> mean the Eee is for me.  The life of a rural farmer is different from
> mine, and mine is different from yours.  The Green Machine won't suit
> some people, and will suit others down to the ground.  The important
> thing is to have *choices*.
> And that's the thing that really freaks me out, watching the Intels and
> Microsofts trying to figure out how to squash the OLPC before it gets
> beond them.  It's not that their machines are useless.  It's that we
> need more than one kind of machine, and I worry that they're trying to
> make sure we don't get that.
> quixote.
> --
> http://molvray.com/acid-test
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