Accretions - article on OLPC published and available!

Fata Morgana
2011-01-12 02:58
article on OLPC published and available!
Public
The article on One Laptop Per Child that I co-wrote with Mark Warschauer has been publicly released! You can download it at http://jia.sipa.columbia.edu/files/jia/033-051_Warschauer_bluelines.pdf.

Can One Laptop Per Child Save the World's Poor?
by Mark Warschauer and Morgan Ames


Abstract:
The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program is one of the most ambitious educational reform initiatives the world has ever seen. The program has developed a radically new lowcost laptop computer and aggressively promoted its plans to put the computer in the hands of hundreds of millions of children around the world, including in the most impoverished nations. Though fewer than 2 million of OLPC’s XO computers have been distributed as of this writing, the initiative has caught the attention of world leaders, influenced developments in the global computer industry and sparked controversy and debate about the best way to improve the lot of the world’s poor. With six years having passed since Nicholas Negroponte first unveiled the idea, this paper appraises the program’s progress and impact and, in so doing, takes a fresh look at OLPC’s assumptions. The paper reviews the theoretical underpinnings of OLPC, analyzes the program’s development and summarizes the current state of OLPC deployments around the world. The analysis reveals that provision of individual laptops is a utopian vision for the children in the poorest countries, whose educational and social futures could be more effectively improved if the same investments were instead made on more sustainable and proven interventions. Middle- and high-income countries may have a stronger rationale for providing individual laptops to children, but will still want to eschew OLPC’s technocentric vision. In summary, OLPC represents the latest in a long line of technologically utopian development schemes that have unsuccessfully attempted to solve complex social problems with overly simplistic solutions.
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Sam
etler
2011-01-12 22:24 (UTC)
(no subject)
Congrats! I'll add it to my reading queue.
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The Limitless Potential of a Slap to the Face
starchy
2011-01-12 22:36 (UTC)
(no subject)
Congratulations! This is great stuff. I found the commentary on how OLPC distributions can actually increase economic-education divides was particularly thought provoking.

May I share the link?
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2011-01-12 22:43 (UTC)
(no subject)
Sure -- it's all public now!
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rubrick
rubrick
2011-01-12 23:13 (UTC)
(no subject)
I read most of this (skimmed some parts). It's terrific. Bravo.
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jofish22
jofish22
2011-01-12 23:53 (UTC)
(no subject)
yay! congratulations, and congrats in particular for saying very explicitly and very early on in the article just how wrong NN is.
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Renee H.
vexillate
2011-01-13 06:29 (UTC)
(no subject)
This is one hot (sexy) abstract. I honor you for putting your reputation and name behind the truth. Facts lead to conclusions which are unsavory to some. Yet facts rule the Universe. That some facts are unwelcome, is an irrelevant fact.

Recently I revealed the fact that our company effort to mount a BETTER sales campaign had resulted in 5 sales during the Christmas season, vs. 100 sales the previous Christmas season under the old system. That fact was not welcome to the people who had proposed the "better" sales campaign. They felt they had failed, and proposed many many-many-many-many reasons why the failure was not the result of the BETTER sales campaign idea.

What must be learned, what is difficult that to learn, is that the campaign failed, yet the BETTER campaign idea was still a good idea, regardless of its subsequent failure. I want to encourage new ideas, yet still accept and learn from failures.

I am reading the entire article you wrote, now.
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(Anonymous)
2011-02-16 06:39 (UTC)
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