A computer per child by 2010

by Augusto Cuginotti

Factory schooling with good technology?

In a world where development means economic development, it is not surprising to see society measured by social capital and education becoming pure technical training and the accumulation of diplomas.

I simply cannot understand this passion people have around using computers to teach people. It is a way children can interact even less with their peers at school. When I see something like “Goal: educate world´s kids with $100 PCs” the word “factory” comes to my mind… something is saying to me that this is abnormal, anti-natural.

Why kids in “developing worlds” need a laptop computer? Where is the connection between learning and living their lives in the rural community in Congo and a laptop?

I do think it is possible to create a structure like Negroponte mentioned in the article (what is impossible anyway?). So, please, Mr. Negroponte, do not give up if people tell you it´s insane to do this, but please look at the eyes of a children in front of a laptop and the same children playing with friends at the courtyard and then listen to your perception.

Do not do it just because it is a challenge for you. Think globally, think locally, think internally and then act.

I don´t believe that it is a laptop computer which is separating kids from one country to another. Imagine every kid in the world with a computer and Internet access. Done? So… look at the impact now… did you? Now, if you saw something really revealing, please explain me what it is.

After UNESCO´s “Education for All” meaning basically “The same education for all”, now we have: “one laptop per children by 2010”. Nothing against computers – I´m using one right now – but are computers the Messias of the “undeveloped”? And if development is restricted to economic development, then I can understand how a nation can grow through the Internet.

Yes, children need to play and play with ideas. My guess is that real ideas do not come from webpages, they come from living. It bothers me to see challenges be restricted to technolocial challenges.

Does anyone fell the same way? If you dont want to write, call me or come to visit…