Reaction to Unfortunately the $100 laptop is closer to reality: http://www.kaliyasblogs.net/Iwoman/?p=515
WOW – that is a lot of stuff for one post.
Using my best actively listening for a moment – what I heard had more to do with the export of educational processes and value, rather than the export of a laptop.
Setting aside the eWaste argument for just a moment, the point about the negative effects of western education on the developing world is not even unique to the developing world. I have people living here (Victoria, BC) say the same about their local schools; non-contextual learning, devaluing self-esteem, and the ills of large scale planning that ignores/usurps the community.
There is a huge discussion here and almost none of it has anything to do with a $100 laptop. I did like a couple of comments from Negroponte’s TEDTalk.
The ‘days of pilot project is over’ is one of my favorites. Pilot project, in a government setting, is mostly about doing small scale project because real change it too expensive. In that respect I find the $100 laptop project to be refreshing. Either you believe access to technology is good for students – and find a way to give them all some – or you don’t.
Whether a $100 laptop is the logical next step for some of these locations should be a focus of local debate. I certainly like this model better than the ‘donate your old computers to the poor’ model that has been advocated by others as a way to be charitable and get rid of your junk at the same time. That is a total eWaste problem.
But that is really not the debate we have here. Your post was an interesting when read right after Wil Richardson’s New Year post (http://weblogg-ed.com/2007/2007so-now-what/) that is somewhat disparing of educational progress. I think this is as eloquent a call to get more people involved in this debate.
With repect, I think your raging against the wrong machine.