There is room for improved educational discussion about the OLPC but Teemu's critique is poorly researched nonsense
He says that the OLPC does not follow in the Doug Engelbart tradition but instead follows Papert's constructionism, which he equates with learning programming, which he sees as very limiting.
This is so wrong in every respect.
What is the Doug Engelbart tradition? Teemu correctly says network augmented human intelligence, which of course is quite consistent with the OLPC mesh networking and community user interface. It would be far more accurate to say that the OLPC is a manifestation of the Doug Engelbart dream and that the work of Papert (logo, constructionism) and Kay (dynabook, OOPs) have built on and enriched that original dream.
The OLPC comes with a few invaluable programming environments (etoys, turtle art and python) which of course is a vast improvement on current western commercial computers which come with no programming environments.
But to equate Papert's constructionism or the OLPC as preoccupied with programming to the exclusion of all else ("the OLPC seems to believe that learning programming is the key to all other learning") is ridiculous. Papert has developed learning theory far beyond that, eg. his theory of mathetics as outlined in The Children's Machine, with ideas such as (from my old essay Invitation to Immersion):
- Play is OK
- The emotional precedes the cognitive
- Our knowledge is like our relationships with other people
- Trust your intuition
- Take risks!
- Take your time
- A good discussion promotes learning
Why Computers? by Tom Hoffman
Thank you OLPC, indeed - a comment to Teemu Leinonen by Ismael Peña-López