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

M. Fioretti mfioretti at nexaima.net
Fri Nov 27 05:57:05 CET 2009

On Fri, Nov 27, 2009 04:30:52 AM +0700, Michel Bauwens wrote:
> >Yes, but TeacherMate and similar are much less vaporware than OLPC.
> What makes you think that OLPC is vaporware?

You are right, I used the wrong word, sorry. I should have said
something like "much less hype and much more able to deliver big
improvements in short times with a fraction of the investment".

> 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

Massively deployed, yes. Whether it is actually working and being used
as originally advertised is another matter entirely. Of course
attendance rates increase when there's a new shiny toy in school that
nobody else in the valley has AND when (as they do in Nepal) the
school gives you the XO but keeps the charger... It would be the same
if they put in each classroom a 128 inches plasma monitor running
different cartoons every day.

Besides what I described here:


while I was in Nepal I talked with people using OLPC there and in
other countries. I got more than one confirmation that OLPC is used
and doing good but not because it'ts the OLPC as Negroponte "sells"
it: that is, people take it because it's the only cheap laptop they
can get in volumes, but then don't really care about mesh networking,
put their own software on it and use it a-la-teachermate, that is as a
teacher support tool. Meaning that yes, it's doing good, but not
because of:

> 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.

Of course. The result of the first wave of *any* mass schooling that
reaches some community is children teaching literacy to their
parents. I just don't buy the idea that this happens only where the
OLPC arrives, or because the OLPC is used as Negroponte advertises

What I'm saying is that, probably, any other improvement of
traditional teaching, with or without ANY computer in the classroom
(remember the lady I mentioned in my previous post) or any other
"trick" to lure children and their families into regular attendancy
(the World Food Program gives daily meals to children... but only in
the schools they build) would have given similar results, and maybe at
a lower cost.

But yes, I admit that "vaporware" was the wrong word to describe this,
thanks for pointing it out.


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