Tue. Dec 7th, 2021


These individualistic narratives always smooth over social support which is always an important, albeit undeniable, element of education. Ideally, this includes a stable home environment without housing or food insecurity; A safe community with good infrastructure; And caring, skilled, well-resourced teachers. When Covid-19 closed schools around the world throughout 2020 and in many cases, in 2021, the work that schools and teachers did for students suddenly fell into the hands of parents and caregivers and it became clear that there was only one working laptop and internet. Steps towards learning. Younger students in particular need full-time supervision and support for any prospect of attending remote classes. Parents, who often struggled for their own jobs, struggled to provide this support. The results were harsh. Millions of parents (Especially mothers) Child is excluded from the workforce due to lack of care. Low-income children, without access to private schools, tutors and “learning pods” Quick months fall behind Their privileged colleagues. Rate Child depression and suicide attempts have increased. The epidemic pressures, and the existing social inequalities it has articulated, have clearly had an impact on students – laptops or not.

To understand the importance of social support, we can also see what students do with their laptops in their spare time. In Paraguay Educa’s OLPC project, where two-thirds of students did not use their laptops although it was very well supported, those who did were most interested in using media — even when OLPC designed laptops to make such uses more difficult. Other projects, including LA Unified’s iPad rollout, have seen similar results. On the one hand, it’s amazing that kids were able to adapt laptops to their existing interests: with guides, such uses can help lead to meaningful learning experiences. On the other hand, there are Proof That when laptop programs are not well supported, disadvantaged children may fall further behind because computers become more confusing than a learning tool.

The single focus on access creates the feeling that if children fail to learn when they apparently have all the tools needed for success, it is not someone’s fault but their own.

External power could exacerbate the problem: In OLPC projects in Latin America, for example, multinational corporations such as Nickelodeon and Nestlé were interested in advertising to children on their new laptops. Branded educational technology platform and automation Observation equipment Today is common. Although the occupation of corporations in schools is nothing new, Surveillance And targeted advertising on devices meant for learning is deeply troubling.

The Oakland Unified School District ranks the hardware as “one of the most important components of educational equity power” and #OaklandUndivided includes “culturally responsive technology support, investment in city-wide broadband planning” and partnerships with district teachers. But it’s hard to avoid messaging that emphasizes hardware. In May 2020, for example, Ali Medina, now executive director of the Oakland Public Education Fund, which runs the #OaklandUndivided Campaign Fund, said that “having access to computers and the Internet enables our children to progress academically and beyond in this epidemic and improve the economy.” And health consequences for their families. “

Along the same line, Negroponte wrote in 2012 Boston Review That “ownership of connected laptops will help alleviate poverty through education … In OLPC’s view, children are not just objects of learning, they are agents of change.” Such statements exclude various institutions সহ colleagues, families, schools, communities, and many other important roles in shaping a child’s education and identity. Most importantly, this individualistic framework implies that if the change fails to be implemented, it is not the fault of the school or the economic situation or the social structure or the national policy or infrastructure. The single focus on access creates the feeling that if children fail to learn when they apparently have all the tools needed for success, it is not someone’s fault but their own.

Trojan horse

In the early days of OLPC, Negroponte often described the project as one Trojan horse Which will give children the opportunity to develop as independent thinkers from the institutions around them. In 2011, even in the face of evidence that OLPC had failed in its mission, he doubled down, claiming that children would be able to learn to read and code with tablet computers. Literally dropped from the helicopter. Here, like the press coverage of #OaklandUndivided, the focus was definitely on giving the machine, with an indication that the rest শিক্ষা education, success, transformation অনুসরণ would follow.

But just as the Trojan Horse episode didn’t end well for Troy, OLPC’s laptops have removed potential resources from reforms that could have a bigger impact (even as basic as the introduction of working bathrooms and living wages), and what it takes to shut down in the end. Has strengthened the myths about him. Digital segmentation. And that was for Personally Instructions. The need for remote schooling around the world by 2020 has further complicated all the problems OLPC faces and made it painfully clear that closing this divide will require more than just laptops and internet connections. The same strong social safety net that is really needed to overcome many other forms of discrimination.

Author of Morgan Ames Charisma Machine: The Life, Death and Legacy of One Laptop Per Child. He is an assistant professor of practice at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley..



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