[IAEP] [Grassroots-l] OLPC at change.org

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Tue Dec 23 14:18:56 EST 2008

On Tue, Dec 23, 2008 at 10:40 AM, rihoward1 at gmail.com
<rihoward1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Edward,
> I found that http://change.gov/agenda/education_agenda/
> has a button that takes you to a page where you can submit a comment
> regarding the incoming administration's education policy.  This education
> policy comment page is
> http://change.gov/page/s/education

Thanks. This is what I told them:

I work with the One Laptop Per Child program, the most ambitious
initiative aimed at ending poverty and oppression worldwide. We have
put more than half a million of our XO computers running Sugar
education software into the hands of children in many countries,
including the US, with another half million on order.

Our education researchers have identified a number of ways of teaching
and of evaluating learning that are far more effective than the
conventional methods, particularly more effective than the current
standardized tests, which fail to get at motivation, critical
thinking, the ability to collaborate effectively (defined in many
schoolrooms today as "cheating") and so on.

Your education and IT experts will recognize many of those taking leading roles:

o Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab and OLPC

o Alan Kay, creator of the Dynabook concept (a computer with software
designed specially for children), Object-Oriented Programming, and the
GUI that spread from Xerox to Apple to Microsoft and everywhere else.

o Seymour Papert, author of Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and
Powerful Ideas, and creator of the Logo programming language.

o Doug Engelbart, best known for inventing the mouse, but a pioneer in
all aspects of using computers to augment human intelligence, to fit
us to tackle our most complex and most pressing problems.

But there are others not so widely known who are taking the lead in

o getting these tools into the hands of children

o training teachers

o building the infrastructure of electricity and broadband Internet to
connect the students

o funding and organizing microfinance and other economic development
tools to help graduates start new businesses

o writing the next generation of free digital textbooks, making full
use of the newly available hardware and software capabilities, and
fully integrated into the curriculum.

This is where previous uses of computers in education, such as
"compute literacy" have fallen down. Just as having a room with paper
and pencils that students could use for an hour a week would not
result in the ability to read and write, so computer labs or anything
else short of one-to-one computing do not allow the necessary
continuous practice for becoming competent on computers. Furthermore,
without continuous access, it has been impossible to integrate
computers into the curriculum and into textbooks on any subject other
than programming.

We propose to integrate the computers into math and science teaching,
of course, but also into language learning, history, geography,
literature, arts, music, dance and PhysEd.

It is true that you cannot dance or exercise on a computer. But look
at how the professionals or Olympic athletes use computers in planning
and training. Our XO laptops have built-in cameras and microphones so
that students can record their performances. They can also record
their languages and cultures, many in danger of disappearing. They can
participate in regional and global research programs by gathering data
locally to share for creating maps and other tools for discovering and
addressing problems.

There is much more that I would like to tell you, far more than can
fit into one message. We would be happy to visit you and give you a
demonstration, or have you visit us in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

> /Robert H.
> On Dec 22, 2008, at 2:29 PM, Edward Cherlin wrote:
>> On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 1:54 PM, Kevin Cole <dc.loco at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 15:36, Edward Cherlin <echerlin at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> There are supposed to be 100,000 of us in the US, but the OLPC
>>>> resolution at change.org has received a pitiful 7 votes. If we don't
>>>> get ourselves on the national agenda, nobody else will do it for us.
>>>> Do you want your children and grandchildren to have XOs in school?
>>>> Then register and vote!
>>>> http://www.change.org/ideas/search?category_id=25418&keyword=olpc&x=0&y=0
>>> Hi,
>>> FYI: As near as I can tell, although change.org is appears at first
>>> glance to be affiliated with Obama's site, they are NOT change.gov and
>>> I don't think they have any capacity to do anything on a national
>>> policy level beyond having the "audacity to hope" that their site will
>>> gain momentum.  That said, it didn't look like they were trying to
>>> scam anyone either.
>> Correct. They are not part of the direct Obama outreach effort.
>> However, since Obama has invited everybody to have house parties and
>> tell the transition team the results, this is well within the program.
>> http://change.gov/page/content/discussservice
>> Our policy teams will be sharing new developments with you, the
>> American people, and asking for feedback. It's up to you to respond.
>> Watch the latest video, and join the discussion below.
>> Question from the Transition Team
>> What social causes and service organizations are you a part of that
>> make a difference in your community?
>> They _will_ see the results of the voting at change.org and other such
>> sites. MoveOn.org has a similar initiative.
>> --
>> Silent Thunder (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) is my name
>> And Children are my nation.
>> The Cosmos is my dwelling place, The Truth my destination.
>> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/User:Mokurai
>> _______________________________________________
>> Grassroots mailing list
>> Grassroots at lists.laptop.org
>> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/grassroots

Silent Thunder (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) is my name
And Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, The Truth my destination.

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