Wayan Vota makes some comments on a Wall Street Journal article about the OLPC. He comments, as I’ve said before, that it’s not just the hardware. It’s the software that’s worth looking at (See Alexandre van de Sande’s post about the interface; a very clear explanation – emphasising the community aspects of learning)
We aren’t shipping Windows. If countries want to use “the standard”,
Community aspects aside, what’s interesting to me is that children can adapt. Many UK computer users have moved from BBC-B / Acorn Archimedes in school, perhaps a Sinclair or Vic 20 at home, have used Windows 3.1 – and are now using XP or Vista. We’ve managed the change quite easily. Are they really thinking that Windows won’t change between now and the time that a 7 year old is ready to go to work? Or, perhaps, they’re suggesting that while Western Kids can cope with those changes, kids in the majority world can’t.
In the UK, more and more schools are moving to Linux based systems. It’s cheaper. That may well take off even more with the Asus EEE, which is similarly priced to the OLPC.
I can see that officials in some countries might think that Windows is the way that they ought to be going, but I’m sure that’s as much lack of knowledge about the alternatives, (most likely due to M/S’s dominance of the market place), than a particular reason for wanting to have Windows.
It’s worth noting that this article was first posted on November 26th, before the “Give one Get one” project started shipping; so few people had had access to them. (Still waiting for mine..).
Via: Stephen Downes