Sugar Labs @ NDSU

Building a smarter computing culture in Fargo, ND

Technology is not the answer


I think Chris blogged about Kentaro Toyama earlier.  His piece in The Atlantic Mobile certainly forces projects like ours to ask,”what do we think we are doing?” I certainly believe that Sugar, XO, and technology in general are not the answer to educational problems, although they seem to be potentially enriching hardware and software. I am worried about the fetishization of gadgets, including XO.  I agree that clarifying our intent and building our capacity for a Fargo Sugar project and a Sudan XO deployment (if this ever becomes viable) is crucial.

Our intent in Fargo is to try to build a culture of smart computing.  Introduce Sugar early, introduce programming skills, teach kids to make computer art (including digital stories) and design computer games as a way to more active, less passive, more peaceful, less violent interaction with computer cultures. Our capacity challenges seem small here.

Our capacity challenges in Sudan seem immense.  I know from reports out of Sudan right now that teachers are making $100 a month and going on strike. We don’t believe we can give a kid a laptop and walk away, so we have a huge capacity issue to be worried about if we ever lead a deployment in Sudan.  I worry about the lack of electricity in most villages still, and wonder what it will take to build sufficient capacity to run 150 laptops in an environment with limited electricity.  I worry about replacement cycles and ecologically sound disposal.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on March 30, 2011 by in OLPC, Sugar, XO.

Categories

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 952 other followers

%d bloggers like this: