Friday, June 01, 2007

Jim Klein on OLPC

Jim Klein brings up several good points about OLPC and its inhernet design favoring the learner. He finishes his post with the following -
"We've been so bogged down answering questions about reliability, availability, price, performance, implementation, etc. that we've lost sight of what makes the OLPC a solution that can work. The learner is the goal - not the teacher, institution, or government, but the learner. And empowering the learner always has, and always will, generate more knowledge, skill, and ability than any institution or government can provide."
One would hope that any country's government/educational officials deciding between the learner-centered OLPC and other more market-centered options (e.g. Intel's Classmate PC) will take this point seriously. Assuming one understands the pedagogy and intent behind the OLPC project, the decision becomes a no-brainer.

On another note, Jim starts his post by pointing out common, shallow declarations and questions such as "[The XO] doesn't run Windows", "who will teach the kids to use the machines?" and "how will we protect these kids from Internet addiction?" A specious argument against OLPC Jim didn't mention is, "Kids in developing countries need food, shelter and medicine more than they need a laptop!" True on a superficial level, but I beg to differ.



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