Friday, January 13, 2012

OLPC's XO-3 tablet

"if it works"

It sounds too good to be true that Nicholas Negroponte could deliver on both the most amazing computer hardware and also the holy grail of education - teaching reading without adult help. I would love to hear more detail about this software based adaptable reading program from anyone who knows more.
As part of a two-year project to study educational development among young children in developing countries, researchers will collect data from XO-3 tablets used by three-to-eight-year-olds in India, Tanzania and Sierra Leone. Software on the tablets will record audio and video and adapt a reading platform to the needs of the children without human intervention. The project will study how children interact with the tablet and will aid in the study of tools for self-learning and critical thinking among children. One goal is to provide basic comprehension and reading, which is important in countries where teacher training is inadequate.

"In the reading experiment, where we ask can a child learn to read on his or her own, we imagine many hours of use per day, as many as six or eight. Frankly, the reading experiment may be the most important thing I have ever done....if it works," Negroponte said.
- OLPC's XO-3 tablet to debut at CES
I looked up an old blog where alan kay said something about this during his 40th anniversary of the dynabook speech:
BUT, when Nicholas started up the OLPC project my heart sank, even as I supported it ... because if it's tough to get good mentors in the USA then it's really tough out in the Third World ... no user interace today can find out who its user is, what its user knows, what it can do ... it can't find out what level of reading the user can do and help find out the next level of reading

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