One Laptop Per Child: a manufactured mismatch between digital media and Education
The dissemination of OLPC (One Laptop per Child) over developing countries from Africa and Latin America occurs since the middle of the 2000’s, when Nicholas Negroponte, , settled at MIT and from the same generation of Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg, launched, in 2005, the One Lap Top Per Child (OLPC) project. Although the considerable amount of governmental investment that has been allocated, the outcomes of the adoption of this new artefact in the context of teaching and learning have not be convincing. Evidences from Brazil show policy challenges as well hardware design limitation that prevent improvement in the teaching and learning process.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the design concept of the mini-laptops known as OLPC (One Laptop per Child), which is the most popular digital media for use in primary education, in face of the “ Dyanabook metamedium” concept, which was first idealized by Alan Kay, Adele Goldberg and the team of the Xerox PARC in the 1970’.
Questions to be answered
While the envision of mobile devices and mobile learning principles can be identified in the documents produced more than 40 years ago by Kay and his team, to what extent the OLPC can be considered a development of the “metamedium” concept? What are the consequences of OLPC current design to the experience of teacher and students at schools? What were the constrains for the OLPC to be developed as it is today? How common sense ideas as “digital native” and technology deterministic approaches help to explain the current scenario of low adoption of digital technology at schools.
Source of information:
- Alan Kay “A Personal Computer for Children of all Ages.” Palo Alto, Xerox PARC, 1972.
- Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg, “Personal Dynamic Media” (1977), The New Media Reader, ed. Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort. Originally published in Computer 10(3):31–41, March 1977. (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2003), 393–404.
- Interview with Kay in Time Magazine (April, 2013). Interesting background on the conceptual history of the GUI, computer interfaces for “interaction,” and today’s computing devices.
- Brian Arthur, The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves.
- Donald A. Norman, “Affordance, Conventions, and Design.” Interactions 6, no. 3 (May 1999): 38-43.
- Donald A. Norman, Living with Complexity. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2010. Excerpts.
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- Janet Murray, Inventing the Medium: Principles of Interaction Design as a Cultural Practice. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012.
- Kaptelinin, Victor. “Affordances.” The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed., 2013. https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed/affordances.
- Jiajie Zhang and Vimla L. Patel. “Distributed Cognition, Representation, and Affordance.” Pragmatics & Cognition 14, no. 2 (July 2006): 333-341.
- Lev Manovich, Software Takes Command, pp. 55-239.
- Lev Manovich The Language of New Media: “What is New Media “. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001.
- Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort (edition) “New Media: Eight Propositions.” Excerpt from “New Media from Borges to HTML,” from The New Media Reader, The MIT Press, 2002.
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- Rosa F., Azenha, G. Mobile Learning in Brazil. www.aprendizagem-movel.net.br/english