Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Transforming education one laptop at a time

Yahoo news had an article about the One Laptop program as it is playing out in Peru. It is truly encouraging to read.

Oscar Becerra, the head of educational technology in Peru, is hoping that the laptop program will help stop the exodus of young people from rural areas in Peru to the slums of Lima. He said:
If we make education pertinent, something the student enjoys, then it won't matter if the classroom's walls are straw or the students are sitting on fruit boxes.
He also noted that school enrollment has increased since the laptop program was announced. Now, some may see that as an attempt on the part of the families to get a free laptop. And if it is, so what? If it gets the kids in school, if it opens up the world to them even a little bit, it has been worth the money.

Of course, not everyone is convinced. The article quotes a university professor as saying he fears
a general disruption of the educational system that will manifest itself in the students overwhelming the teachers.
While I understand his concern, I think it is that fear of losing control that is keeping education around the world from advancing as it could. But that is another post for another day.

The article goes on to quote a mother who says she sometimes pokes around on the laptop, too. Who knows where it might take her?

If you have been considering participating in One Laptop Give One, Get One program, please do. It is running through December 31st. We bought 4, 2 to "keep" and 2 to go somewhere to help a child. Of course, we aren't really keeping the ones we are getting, much to my husband's dismay! So there will be two kids in our lives who will get a real surprise when they arrive! But the true joy is knowing that other kids in other places will be able to experience the joy of discovery that these children in Peru have.

Thanks to LXer for the tip.

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