[LINK] $100 laptop could sell to public

rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Sun Jan 21 09:17:18 AEDT 2007

Stephen Loosley wrote:

>At 10:35 AM 20/01/2007, Richard writes:
>>The OLPC is driven by fine sentiments and laudable enthusiasm.
>>So what is the sin in asking these questions? 
>If that were all, then, great ... it's comments like in your last post that
>I must say get me down regarding a philanthropic education initiative.
>Eg: > "The entire scheme is wonderful publicity and that's *all*. "
>Which, to me, is unfair and beneath you, Richard. Still, I must admit
>that, though after ten years Link of membership I believe my posting
>re this was my first 'emotional' type response (and which I don't feel
>great about now) a 32 year involvement in education does drive one. .
>After so many years of fighting for education resources, in every way
>I can, it's a difficult habit to break. By all means, whinge-on my friend,
>but please just logically support your arguments, and i will also. Fair?

Refer my now most-recent post: where is there evidence-based research, 
rather than advocacy, which says computers are the best investment in 
primary and high-school education? The Indian response to OLPC - 
"demagogically suspect" I think? - sums it up.

The computer industry has worked very hard over more than two decades to 
market into education, and in doing so has built a pretty much universal 
belief in the necessity of computers in classrooms. But where's the 
longitudinal studies, say, which demonstrate the efficacy of classroom 
computers as a teaching instrument? What tells us that children now are 
better educated than even ten years ago because there are more 
computers? Where's the genuinely independent evidence which eliminates 
mere correlation (ie, a more prosperous society has both better 
education *and* more computers)?

Without this evidence, OLPC as educational philanthropy is vulnerable to 
the simple (and I think correct) criticism that it's simply the wrong 
answer to the question - it's an answer shaped by IT ideology rather 
than educational science. That vulnerability should be answered; and IMO 
the answer needs to be founded on more than fine sentiment.

As to my cricitism that the OLPC is a good publicity device: hasn't it been?


>Cheers Richard
>Stephen Loosley
>Victoria, Australia   

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