I love TED – and kind of like the $100 laptop
I’ve never physically been to any of the TED conferences, but I do like some of the things that they make available on-line, like the presentation by Nicholas Negroponte on the
$100 laptop one laptop per child.
It seems to be “bon ton” to critisize the initiative — too focused on laptop/hardware, too Western-led, just another MIT publicity stunt, not pedagogically innovative, … (see also the Fonly Institute, Bill Gates’ comment, the Perils of the $100 laptop, or reasons why India may have said no… ).
In my view, there are some Good Things here:
- The goal is easy to explain and understand, as any Grand Challenge ought to be.
- I very much agree with the basic principles:
- Children are our most precious natural resource.
- The solution to poverty, peace, environment is education.
- Teaching is one but not the only way to achieve learning.
- The initiative is rooted in decades of research under the direction of Seymour Papert and other pioneers. It is not something that needs to be proven – we’re way beyond the research stage on the question about whether this is useful at all.
- “It’s an education project, not a laptop project.”
Here’s a challenge for you: if you could design educational software that would be available for kids worldwide on their own personal laptop, what would you propose…?