Srinivas Rao is the author of The Skool of Life and is a blogging expert. I came across this excellent presentation created by Rao. How to "Build An Insanely Loyal Tribe." I am intrigued. I hope you are to.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The Affordances of the $100 Laptop
XO-1, previously known as the $100 Laptop, is an inexpensive computer intentionally to be distributed to children in developing countries around the world, to allow for access to knowledge, and opportunities to "explore, experiment and express themselves.” Soon the the third-generation XO-3 will be release in 2012. By constructivist standards, the One Laptop Per Child program is a dream come true. It certainly allows for students to construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. What better way than to permit a child in the slums of India to use Google to search the world of its wonders?
MIT’s One Laptop per Child Project is indeed a compelling, contemporary design for a learning environment, as it aims to provide each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop. As MIT’s OLCP asserts, “To this end, we have designed hardware, content and software for collaborative, joyful, and self-empowered learning. With access to this type of tool, children are engaged in their own education, and learn, share, and create together. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future.”
I’d like to take a closer look at the structures of affordances, particularly how Donald Norman believes design is of the utmost priority, particularly the affordances construct where properties of the objects that set up a relationship between those objects, possibilities for action in the design, and users who encounter them. When does glass become useful for windows; when does it become an eating utensil? As Norman puts it, “Anything we can interact with is an affordance.” The same lenses should be gazed upon educational technologies.
As much as a technologist as Steve Jobs was, he certainly prioritized the practicalities of design. As he puts it, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Contextualized as a piece of “educational design,” I wonder then how the pieces of the $100 Laptop puzzle works. For example, who teaches the digital literacy? What lessons are planned in advance? Are students simply allowed to surf aimlessly or are there specific learning resources used? Will e-Books be provided? While its website provides multitude of success stories, how are children really instructed? It is a courageous novelty to provide luxuries to children (of any socioeconomic structure) for education, I just wonder how these digital literacies are being nurtured?
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