Building a smarter computing culture in Fargo, ND
Mark Warschauer, as some of you may remember, was pretty critical of 4 OLPC deployments around the world. I think, however, he would approve of what OLPC Australia is doing, and I certainly mean him no disrespect (just trying out a catchy title). Below is a reposting of Sridhar Dhanapalan’s email to the IaeP (it’s an education project) list.
You may be interested in a review I have written of the OLPC Australia
It contains the video of a talk I gave at the linux.conf.au conference
in January, and a more detailed explanation of that talk.
Some of the key points:
* We have a comprehensive education programme that highly
values teacher empower?ment and com?munity engagement, with a focus
on building sustainability.
* The investment to provide a connected learning device to every
one of the 300 000 children in remote Australia is less than 0.1% of
the annual education and connectivity budgets.
* For low socio-economic status schools, the cost is only $80 AUD per child.
* Our programme is available to any school in Australia, for $380
AUD per child.
* Our programme is schools-centric, with a strong focus on the teacher.
* A teacher must undergo training and earn a certification to
qualify to receive XOs for their class.
* Training is conducted online, and hence scales very well.
* We have an online community to provide peer-driven support,
assisted by OLPC Australia personnel.
* Technology development and deployment is guided by the principle
that it must be manageable by non-technical personnel.
* Our technology platform is open and not locked-down, providing
maximum opportunity for children to learn and empowering
schools/communities to own the deployment for themselves.
* We are seeing real educational results from our efforts, and are
engaged in longitudinal and detailed evaluation.
* Our supporters include corporations and members of parliament at
state and federal levels, but we can always use more help :)
Please have a read if you are interested, and contact us if you would
like to take part in our mission.
We will be releasing more information on this educational programme in
the coming months.
One Laptop per Child Australia