[Olpc-open] A Right To Learn Freely (from waveplace)

Timothy Falconer timothy at immuexa.com
Thu Apr 10 14:06:40 EDT 2008

Hi folks,

Here's an article from our latest Waveplace newsletter, which might  
be of interest to OLPC and Etoys enthusiasts:


A Right To Learn Freely

A child has the right to their own wonder, to their enthusiasm, to  
their innate curiosity as they explore the world around them. A child  
has the right to ask questions and be heard, to hear answers from  
adults without impatience or contempt. A child has the right to  
create beauty as their heart compels them, to be encouraged in their  
community without fear of apathy or ridicule. A child has the right  
to learn freely.

Too often we adults get caught up in ourselves, in the demands of  
each day as we try to survive. Nowhere is this more true than in the  
poorest areas of the world, where survival demands its due in every  
moment of every day. Too many of our children have the eyes of  
adults, weary well beyond their years, their wonder stolen much too  

But there's a new hope this year, arriving in the form of little  
laptop computers from OLPC. With these new laptops, Waveplace  
Foundation is teaching Caribbean kids to become digital storytellers,  
to use these little machines to help nurture their talents for the  
benefit of all.

As adults, we see computers as a tool for our work. We see only their  
pragmatic side, and so think of computers as a necessary job skill.  
At Waveplace, we see something else as we watch children with their  
new laptops. We see pride in their eyes at being given such a special  
gift. We see excitement as they learn to do wondrous new things. We  
see determination to solve the next puzzle, a look we imagine on  
their faces in the future as they tackle the world's troubles.

To a child, having their own laptop is like having a special  
confidant, a secret sharer, one with infinite patience and continual  
encouragement. In the Waveplace course, children learn to program  
these computers, which is a creative and effective way to teach  
problem solving. The confidence they get when they're able to do this  
is incredible. It's changing how they feel about all learning. They  
become more enthusiastic and more engaged.

More than this, these laptops connect them to the world. Just as  
books have carried wisdom through the ages, these computers connect  
children to teachers and students from afar. Even as the harshness of  
their home begins to crush their spirit, these laptops are a window  
to what's possible, to the certain knowledge that they have a right  
to learn, and grow, and dream.

Not bad for two-hundred bucks.


The rest of the newsletter can be found here, which includes news  
from our St John pilot, which concluded two weeks ago:


You can also subscribe to get our newsletter mailed monthly:


Take care,

Timothy Falconer
Waveplace Foundation
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/olpc-open/attachments/20080410/177a27de/attachment.html 

More information about the Olpc-open mailing list