That children, aged 6 to 12, including poor children with little education, can quickly teach themselves the basics of computer literacy, without any adult help whatsoever
What basic computer literacy did they learn?
- Ability to use the mouse, to point, to drag to drop
- How to draw, eg. with MS Paint
- How to browse the Internet, to find things of interest to them
Therefore if we can provide computer access to these kids then to teach them these basic skills is a waste of teacher time and money. They can do it themselves!
Then teacher time can be freed up for more important things, such as Alan Kay's list of non universals:
- reading and writing
- deductive abstract mathematics
- model based science
- equal rights
- perspective drawing
- theory of harmony (?)
- similarities over differences (?)
- slow deep thinking
- legal systems
Doesn't this show that Negroponte's OLPC idea of levering the children to speed things up in developing countries is a good idea, that up to a point it will speed things up:
It's about levering the children themselves. Children are extraordinary - we don't give children enough credit for what they can do. I mean, we all know when your cell phone breaks you give it to a 12 year old, when you don't know how to use your laptop you ask your kid. We all know that! And yet we sort of think that they have to, after the age of 6, stop learning by doing and learn by being told.
And, in the best of situations, a child in the developing world is in a classroom 2 1/2 hours a day, five days a week, which averages a lot less than 2 hours a day over the week. So, even if you make that experience better, you're only dealing with a small part of the problem. So what we did, we said to ourselves: "How can we actually leverage the child for a lot bigger part of the day, and do something particularly for the poor children in remote parts of the developing world?" And we set to do what we call the "$100 Laptop"
- Negroponte: "levering the children"