The Laptop Revolution Has No Clothes by Larry Cuban
The Laptop Revolution not only has clothes but also will change the fashion of learning by David Cavallo
Best to read all of both articles. The reforms quote apparently comes from Seymour Papert and is quoted in David Cavallo's article
one laptop per child skeptic, Larry Cuban:
The University of Southern California psychologist Richard E. Clark put it succinctly: Media like television, film, and computers "deliver instruction but do not influence student achievement any more than the truck that delivers our groceries causes changes in our nutrition." Alan Kay, who invented the prototype for a laptop in 1968, made a similar point when he said that schools confuse the music with the instrument. "You can put a piano in every classroom, but that won't give you a developed music culture, because the music culture is embodied in people." The music is in the teacher, not the piano.Reply by OLPC advocate, David Cavallo:
- The Laptop Revolution Has No Clothes
Alan Kay is exactly right when he describes that the development of the culture is key, that the culture is embodied in the people. However, Alan Kay is a key participant in OLPC. Why? Because 1:1 access to laptops creates the environment with the greatest potential for a culture for learning to be developed. The music is not only in the teacher, as Cuban claims. Teachers, music that people have already created, devices to enable listening to music, discussion and criticism about music, musical instruments, radios, concerts, stereos, CDs, MP3s, and so on comprise the culture into which a child can enter. The child learns by participating in the culture, by playing music, by learning. This is what needs to be developed for better learning environments. And ubiquitous access to laptops for learning is a fundamental element towards creating a rich, robust, equitable learning culture.How do we resolve this tension between "the music is in the teacher, not the piano", on the one hand, and, "personal laptops create great learning environments", on the other?
- The Laptop Revolution not only has clothes but also will change the fashion of learning
I think the answer is that we don't resolve it but we live with it and do our best according to our circumstances. There is some truth to both sides of this argument. Personal laptops are good. Great teachers are good. Having both is even better.
Is that too simple? Possibly, I'd be interested in a deepening of this dialogue. I don't think either side won this exchange.