Tuesday 22 April 2008

Education: One Lap-top per child and constructivist education

I had not realised how politically and ethically charged the one laptop per child programme had become. While I realised it was politicised from an open source, operating system and hardware point of view with Intel, AMD and Microsoft all involved in the mix.

What I did not understand was the ideological position of some of the project founders. This was not only going to be about access to a much wider number of people this was going also to be about promoting a constructivist educational agenda. Central to this was the Sugar User Interface and then this changed to XP and from this point on many in the MIT media lab felt that they had lost this educational function for the project. This caused Walter Bender to resign.

I know the media lab from Mitchel Resnick's work and from StarLogo - especially its use as an educational tool. Resnick's book Turtles, Termites and Traffic Jams was very influential both for my own research and also for my teaching. I believe that simulations and games can play a significant role in teaching and learning.

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