The One Laptop Per Child Association has posted a statement distancing itself from Satish Jha, an entrepreneur who founded the Association in India. The Association's beef with Mr Jha relates to what it describes as “certain recent statements”. It seems highly likely this piece about India's Aakash project, which aimed to give …
"[The OLPC Foundation] then goes on to say it 'applauds the efforts of the Government of India as it continues to examine new and innovative ways to educate the children of India. And we know how to handle whistleblowers.'"
"New and innovative" is fine but really, they need teaching methods that actually work because kids need to be educated. And there is no tech that is going to ever replaced a conscientious teacher.
But my applause to Jha, who seems not to know, or more likely not to care, that the main purpose of IT in education (as opposed to administration) is to funnel money from students and governments into the pockets of tech companies. Tut-tut-tut.
The Government of India deserves lots of applause for its effort to 'continue to examine new and innovative ways to educate the children of India', if the operative word is examine. Few other governments have examined as widely and deeply or continued for as long.
I do wish we had the ability to create a placeholder comment posting here on behalf of Mr. Jha, so that we could upvote his position that bullshit in lieu of actual progress is eminently recognizable, in spite of what the eminent sputter in denial.
Re: OLPC failed
Actually the OLPC did not fail but, as you stated, MS got involved and turned it in the Surface fondleslab which in turn failed.
Re: OLPC failed
OLPC in South America is an astounding success.
Do you work at being an ignoramus? It's like you're incapable of understanding reality.
Yeah i have an OLPC laptop
from the buy 2, get 1 promo they did. Lovely machine, running sugar linux. At the time with its almost water proof casing (including totally waterproof keyboard) and dual wifi to create grid networks, it is still ahead of whats commercially available out there. Retail seems to think the only computers people want are shiny silver ones that break from just looking at them.
Re: Yeah i have an OLPC laptop
can you run musescore on it?
the demonstratable problem with "helping the poor leapfrog"...
the demonstratable problem with "helping the poor leapfrog" is the unfortunate tendency of the poor to fail to continue keeping up the moment the "help" is removed. The spending on "poor" (for simplicity just going back to the protestors who demanded increased "aid" instead of Apollo expenditures) has increased to many times the entire Moon program expenses per year. Many people who were unemployed or unemployable in the 60's now share a home (or case number) with their never-employed adult grandchildren. Even during the boom times of the Dot Com here in Silicon Valley, social services expenditures (for actual client services as well as developing the means to deliver those services to an ever expanding demand) were still increasing hand over fist. Economy going up? the dependent class increases. Economy sucking? The demand for services increases. When things improve? The *increase* in demand is all that slows.
You can lead a horse to water, but as long as there is a mechanism that he gets sufficient water to survive no matte what, you cannot make the horse work. Nor can you make the horse learn. Access to educational resources that would break the poverty cycle is available over most of America, but they're not being taken advantage of.
In America at least, the *attitude* and *culture* are the greatest drivers of poverty. And seeing how badly American Cultural Imperialism...err..Pollution (Indian Idol, television and movies preferred over activity and actual experience, and the search for Wealth Uber Alles) has infected India and much of the civilized world, I suspect the attitude problem will need to be surmounted before any number of shiny subsidized tech toys will make a true difference.
In principle, I think the idea of something like a $25 computer is laudable. Raspberry Pi costs roughly that amount and has enough processing power that it'd be nice to have around. The trouble at present is the cost of a screen for a device like this, but the price could be kept pretty low.
That said, this sounds like sour grapes over Aakash, but I haven't used it, maybe it is pretty bad.
You won't go far wrong in saying that the XO laptop is almost unknown outside of Spanish speaking Central and South America.
That raises huge questions about the cultural biases and assumptions that may have been woven into what was essentially a product of the MIT Media Lab.
Large swaths of South America have done a phenomenal job of taking their post dictatorship countries into the "modern world". They've done a lot to put technology-centric teaching into the schools and worked to develop technology-centric businesses. They've developed/developing the infrastructure to support a OLPC type program.
Air dropping PC's onto starving 3rd world people is a nice idea (sort of, I guess) but people in the Northern Hemisphere take for granted the massive infrastructure that has been built up for generations that supports a technology oriented civilization. South America is the only place that has worked to try and develop a similar infrastructure, hence the success of the program there. It is no accident that Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are increasing their presence on the world stage. They've worked hard for it.
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