Can constructionism scale?
As far as I know, there is no real study anywhere that demonstrates constructionism works at scale. There is no documented moderate-scale constructionist learning pilot that has been convincingly successful; when Nicholas points to "decades of work by Seymour Papert, Alan Kay, and Jean Piaget", he's talking about theory.
Is there any evidence that "free software does any better than proprietary software when it comes to aiding learning?"
There are three key problems in one-to-one computer programs: choosing a suitable device, getting it to children, and using it to create sustainable learning and teaching experiences. They're listed in order of exponentially increasing difficultyThis assertion:
A Windows-compatible Sugar would bring its rich learning vision to potentially tens or hundreds of millions of children all over the world whose parents already own a Windows computer, be it laptop or desktop. To suggest this is a bad course of action because it’s philosophically impure is downright evil.
I’m trying to convince Walter not to start a Sugar Foundation, but an Open Learning Foundation. For those who still care about learning in this whole clusterfuck of conflicting agendas, the charge should be to start that organization, since OLPC doesn’t want to be it. Having a company that is device-agnostic and focuses entirely on the learning ecosystem, from deployment to content to Sugar, is not only what I think is sorely needed to really take the one-to-one computer efforts to the next level, but also an approach that has a good chance of making the organization doing the work self-sustaining at some point