July 27, 2006

India rejects One Laptop Per Child

Writing about web page http://www.theregister.com/2006/07/26/india_says_no_to_olpc/

One Laptop per Child is Nicholas Negroponte's idea that supplying every schoolchild in developing nations with an inexpensive laptop – around $100 each – will aid education in those countries. Not everyone, it seems, agrees:–

The Indian Ministry of Education dismissed the laptop as "pedagogically suspect". Education Secretary Sudeep Banerjee said: "We cannot visualise a situation for decades when we can go beyond the pilot stage. We need classrooms and teachers more urgently than fancy tools."

It's an interesting question. If your education system is under–funded and under–developed, is computer hardware really the best way to spend $100 per child? Or does giving children laptops have other benefits that reach beyond the educational process?


- 5 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Strangely I was just reading a Wired article updating where the $100 Laptop project is at.

    http://wired.com/wired/archive/14.08/laptop.html

    27 Jul 2006, 19:02

  2. All this fancy pants modern rubbish is really useless in learning when you're a kid. I never once used the internet for any useful work while I was at school. $100 will buy a very decent blackboard and plenty of paper and books. That is all that is needed to educate someone.

    27 Jul 2006, 20:00

  3. Chris May

    I never once used the internet for any useful work while I was at school.

    Sure. But no undergrads ever used it for anything useful whilst I was at university. Times change…

    27 Jul 2006, 20:31

  4. Wikipedia!!!

    28 Jul 2006, 20:04

  5. Chris May

    When I was at university (which was not that long ago!) wikipedia didn't exist. In fact the web only barely existed; the internet was largely composed of NNTP, mail, and Gopher.

    The point I was trying to make above is that I believe that your assertion that " modern rubbish is really useless in learning when you're a kid " might have been trues when you were at school, and it might even be true now (although my two kids seem to absorb quite a lot of educational stuff from bbc.co.uk/cbeebies), but there's every chance that in a few year's time something will come along that's just as revolutionary in classroom teaching as wikipedia is for undergrads. Hence, we shouldn't make decisions based on who should or shouldn't have access to classroom technologies on our experiences of being at school/university, because we're already out of date.

    31 Jul 2006, 17:45


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