[iDC] One Laptop Per Child - MIT/Negroponte Initiative

Patrick Lichty voyd at voyd.com
Sat Jan 5 12:19:59 UTC 2008

> Why is what to do with the computers/how to use them/how to incorporate 
> into the curriculum/etc up to us (and by "us," I am referring to the West, 
> intellectuals, Negroponte, etc) and not the governments and cultures that 
> purchased the computers? 

(Sits back in chair, pondering)
Good one.  That question has a lot of variables I am not entirely sure of.  
I would hope that this project that was not one that was sold in the spirit 
of 1st World technophilia (you have to know how to run a computer or you'll 
never have a job).

Honestly, Alexis, I don't know.  I would like to hope that the governments 
involved would have a lot of foresight and technological vision, but Africa 
can be a hungry place with knowledge gaps and power problems. The United 
States has these problems with computers in education.  On the other hand, I 
would hope that OLPC has no "pith helmet philanthropy" to it.

On the pther hand, I often feel that Africa is just such a different place, 
and in many ways, so many of the cultures there are socially far more 
different than the Eurocentric models - I'd almost like to say advanced...

I'd love to see kids learning a lot with the OLPC, but I'm just slightly 
critical to hope that Negroponte isn't creating landfill.

I guess it's just the idea about being culturally sensitive about 
administration of educational aid.  I had a spirited conversation with a 
colleague at the Clinton Foundation about this.  

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