[p2p-research] Thanks for: Suggestions wanted for education to p2p practices and attitude

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 26 22:30:52 CET 2009

>Yes, but TeacherMate and similar are much less vaporware than OLPC.

What makes you think that OLPC is vaporware?, it's massively deployed in
peru, ruanda, etc... Whenever its effects have been studied, the results
have been dramatic, like doubling rates of attendance, etc..

OLPC is definitely not based on the assumption you assume, it's based on
constructionist learning principles, on cooperation with the teacher, but
yes, it aims to make children partly autonomous of dysfunctional school
systems, based on their desire for self-learning. The result of OLPC
villages is that the children are now teaching literacy to their parents.

It's probably not a miracle drug, but I think it is already way beyond the
common prejudices against it,


On Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 12:27 AM, M. Fioretti <mfioretti at nexaima.net> wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 26, 2009 11:51:41 AM -0500, Paul D. Fernhout wrote:
> > I see you talk positively about "TeacherMate".
> > "The great educational minicomputer that didn't want to exist"
> >
> http://stop.zona-m.net/education/great-educational-minicomputer-didnt-want-exist
> Yes, within the context that is (I hope) clear from that and from this
> other article:
> http://stop.zona-m.net/education/schools/one-hour-xo-laptop-nepali-school
> that is: it seems to me that devices like those can automate and make
> much more efficient the low-level parts of "traditional" teaching.
> I agree with the spirit of what you wrote (and thanks again for always
> being a gold mine of reference! I am always amazed by how quick you
> are to produce them). However, I also think that there are a lot of
> good teachers around, who _do_ want to "educate" and not just
> "school".
> Make them more efficient and good things will happen anyway, (much)
> sooner than with some Grand Plan. A lot of those teachers operate in
> such extreme conditions (classes of 70+ childrens of several ages)
> that *any* support can make their work much better.
> I just heard from a lady who works for an NGO in Latin America that
> she sees all the time children in 3rd/4th grade still unable to read
> because a) classes are too big, b) teachers only know and practice
> very old methods. When this lady had permission to teach there the 3Rs
> (she's a retired teacher herself) the way it's been done in Italy for
> 3 decades now, children learned to read in a few months, not years.
> And children who learn early to read well are people who may change
> the world much sooner than with the OLPC or any other radical
> revolution. So I agree with you and Gatto that there's tons of things
> wrong in the current system, but between "optimizing" it today and
> waiting for some grand metamorphosis to happen, I'll chose the first
> any time.
> > Anyway, we can build our political assumptions into our
> > infrastructure.  TeacherMate builds in a very different (and
> > anti-P2P) set of assumptions into our infrastructure than the more
> > pro-P2P OLPC project.
> Yes, but TeacherMate and similar are much less vaporware than OLPC.
> Frankly, at least by some of its fans (starting from NN) OLPC seems to
> me really based on the assumption that if you just throw a bunch of
> laptops to a bunch of kids and go have a coffee, when you're back the
> children will have magically educated themselves, P2P-ly working
> together.  That's crap. When I posted my original request here
> somebody pointed out something very right: P2P-like miracles,
> collaborative work, self-learning and so on only happen, or tend to
> exclusively happen, with people who already have the right
> prerequisite skills.
> > Here is another curiosity to think about. The homeschooling
> > movement has quietly grown to a size where one and a half million
> > young people are being educated entirely by their own parents.
> That will be the subject of another article I already have in the
> pipe. Stay tuned!
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