Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Don't Forget to Give One, Get One This Holiday Season!

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy 40th Birthday, Dynabook!

Thanks to Bill Kerr for alerting me to this fantastic 45-minute video in which Alan Kay, the "inventor of the personal computer," tells the story of the Dynabook invented as a children's machine 40 years ago. Kay and colleagues trace this evolution to the OLPC XO and discuss the work yet to be done to realize this forty year-old vision.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Ask ISTE a Simple Question

Last year, more than 100,000 generous Americans invested in the One Laptop Per Child's Give One, Get One promotion (as explained on this web site created by my Masters degree students). The promotion made it possible to make a personal laptop computer a reality for hundreds of thousands of children in some of the world's poorest countries.

Since ISTE seeks to be the premiere educational technology advocacy group in the world, it seems curious they have done nothing whatsoerver to promote the efforts of One Laptop Per Child or the Give One, Get One promotion ending at the end of the year.

Why not take a minute to contact some of the folks listed here on the ISTE web site or its Board of Directors and ask them why the International Society for Technology in Education is silent on connecting the world's poorest children to the 21st Century?

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The Banned Collection is Back - Issue 4

Two different education magazines refused to publish this article about the One Laptop Foundation's heroic efforts to produce a low-cost, rugged, low-power personal laptop computer for some of the world's poorest children. This rejection was a contributing factor to me ending my relationship with one magazine after more than a decade while a second magazine accused the column of being irrelevant to educators.

One editor was concerned that the article "might offend potential advertisers" and refused publication even after ample documentation was provided to support my claims.

Read The Best Way to Make Enemies... Do the Impossible and see what all of the controversy is about. Please share your thoughts here on my blog!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Students Change the World!

Greetings from Qatar!

My entire "Learning and Technology" Online Master of Arts in Educational Technology class at Pepperdine University collaborated online to create a web site promoting the One Laptop Per Child Foundation's Give One, Get One promotion in which Americans pay $398 and get an XO laptop computer (known as the $100 computer) and a child in the developing world gets one as well. Donors also receive a $199 tax deduction. This special offer runs between today and December 31st.

This learning adventure embraced by students was an opportunity for them to develop technological, project-management and advocacy skills, in addition to making the learning case for G1G1. It was gratifying to receive email messages from students thanking me for the assignment. Having a sense of purpose makes learning more meaningful.

Check out result of the students' efforts at the following URL:

The OLPC Mission

The XO Computer

The Unique XO Interface

Superbowl MVP Tom Brady on the G1G1

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Video from the OLPC Country Workshop

I'm delighted to be a member of the One Laptop Per Child Foundation's Learning Team. The learning philosophy of OLPC and its computer, the XO, are an exciting manifestation of my 25 years worth of teaching Logo to kids and teachers as well as my work with "laptop schools" since 1990.

On May 20th, hundreds of educators, government officials and thought leaders from dozens of countries descended on the MIT Media Lab for a global summit organized by OLPC. Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of OLPC, gave a "State of OLPC" presentation in which he reviewed the organization's amazing accomplishments and presented XO 2.0. He also explained how the success of the Give One, Get One program made the XO cost $100 in developing countries.

Several leaders from countries using the XO (the "$100 laptop") spoke about the need for the XO in their countries, the implementation issues and the obstacles they have overcome. Oscar Becera's presentation, "The Starfish on the Beach: Why OLPC for the Poorest and Most Remote? and How?" was particularly interesting. Many children in Peru live a 4 day walk from Internet access.

My old friend and colleagues, David Cavallo and Mitchel Resnick spoke about learning and computing, while the father of the personal computer, Alan Kay, finished the day with another thought provoking discussion of the computer's unrealized potential in education. Dr. Kay's talk is highly recommended.

Best of all, these videos are all available for you to watch online here

The videos are up to an hour in length and available in Flash and OGG formats. The OGG files are easier on the eyes and larger. If you don't have software capable of playing OGG files, try VLC. VLC is GNU free and cross-platform. VLC the Swiss Army Knife of video players. It seems to play anything, including DVDs encoded for another region!

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