Saturday, March 10, 2007

It is always interesting when ...


... one of your posts is up for discussion -- in someone else's blog!

Two days ago, Wayan Vota's OLPC News blog (which has excellent -- exhaustive and definitive -- coverage of OLPC-related news and opinion) featured my post.

In the comments section, Lee Felsenstein makes some excellent points about the nature of the OLPC project:

[...] If this were indeed an education project then it would proceed from the basis of an analysis as to what is wrong with education in the developing world and how it could be fixed. There would be copious and detailed references to research results, there would be pilot studies under way and a coherent argument would be advanced as to how the laptop or some other system - not just a device - would function to attain the desired results. There would even be discussion and argument as to what the desired results are and how they would be measured.

All this would be required if it were in fact "an education project". But what is happening? The whole argument rests upon a few anecdotal observations by Nick, some parables by Papert, and the boundless zeal of many computer geeks who know - just know - that if only laptops with cute user interfaces could "pop out of the box" into the hands of kids everywhere the world would be a "Much, Much Better Place". [...]

Oh, by the way, Wayan's post also informs us that the price of each OLPC '100 dollar' laptop is actually more like 208 dollars!

2 Comments:

  1. Wayan said...

    Hahah! I figured you would freak when you realized it was the $208 laptop (before servers, training, Internet, etc). Now check out the full OLPC Price discussion.

  2. Yogesh said...

    Abi:

    One more OLPC article appeared in Business Week. It seems that media blitz has started to make profit out of misery of developing world:

    http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/mar2007/id20070301_063165.htm

    In the end, the winners shall be hardware and software suppliers, and people who started this brilliant idea. The voice of protesters shall be ignored.

    The machine is described on its official website.
    http://www.laptop.org/laptop/

    It nowhere resembles the actual working laptop. In $200, one can buy a stripped down version/refurbished laptop. It seems that after the start, the price of OLPC laptop may be gradually increased to $150 to recover the cost.

    Our govt. has taken a wise decision of not participating in the program. The best way would be to let corporate world donate used desktops/laptops to schools.

    Thanks,

    Yogesh K. Upadhyaya
    New Jersey, USA