ERIC Number: EJ825595
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 1
Can a Laptop Change How the World Teaches?
Knowledge Quest, v36 n4 p72-73 Mar-Apr 2008
In December 2007, the XO laptop was launched in Uruguay. The XO laptop is an inexpensive computer created by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation, which the founders hope will advance education in the developing world. In the frenzy to light up children's faces with the glow of an LCD, it is the librarians and teachers and their role in advancing education that have been left out of the equation. The OLPC has purposely tried to place their project beyond those criticisms on the effectiveness of aid to developing countries by focusing on the project as an educational initiative, rather than as a device giveaway. The idea is based on the work of Seymour Papert and others who believe that computers are uniquely able to encourage children in "learning learning." In other words, a computer provides a platform for children to teach themselves and instill a personal commitment to lifelong learning. Having spent five years managing a one-to-one laptop program for fourth through sixth graders in the United States, the author understands how giving a child a laptop can profoundly impact their learning. However, the OLPC project is faced with a number of immediate challenges that have grabbed the attention of the project and the media. A Nigerian firm has claimed that the XO laptop violates one of their patents. XO also faces stiff competition from low-cost consumer products. In this article, the author suggests that the project must move beyond these immediate challenges and find ways to invest in the teachers as well.
Descriptors: Laptop Computers, Program Effectiveness, Foreign Countries, Developing Nations, Computer Uses in Education, Technology Integration, Access to Computers, Teaching Methods
American Association of School Librarians. Available from: American Library Association. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Tel: 1-800-545-2433; Web site: http://www.ala.org/aasl/kqweb
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India; Peru; United States; Uruguay