Begin dit jaar heeft OLPC in twee afgelegen dorpen in Ethiopië een stuk of wat kartonnen dozen met in totaal 1.000 van deze, kindbestendige, super-goedkope ($100 per stuk) tablets achtergelaten.
Op dvice.com worden de dorpen als volgt omschreven:
Just to give you a sense of what these villages in Ethiopia are like, the kids (and most of the adults) there have never seen a word. No books, no newspapers, no street signs, no labels on packaged foods or goods. Nothing. And these villages aren't unique in that respect; there are many of them in Africa where the literacy rate is close to zero. So you might think that if you're going to give out fancy tablet computers, it would be helpful to have someone along to show these people how to use them, right?Dit is wat er volgens Negroponte daarna gebeurde:
But that's not what OLPC did. They just left the boxes there, sealed up, containing one tablet for every kid in each of the villages (nearly a thousand tablets in total), pre-loaded with a custom English-language operating system and SD cards with tracking software on them to record how the tablets were used.
"We left the boxes in the village. Closed. Taped shut. No instruction, no human being. I thought, the kids will play with the boxes! Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, but found the on/off switch. He'd never seen an on/off switch. He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android. Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera! And they figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android."Het idee is natuurlijk fascinerend: hoe veel kunnen kinderen leren door uit nieuwsgierigheid gewoon te spelen? Negroponte omschrijft dit zo:
Will this lead to deep reading? The votes are still out. But if a child can learn to read, he or she can read to learn. If these kids are reading at, say, a third-grade level in 18 months, that would be transformational.Dat zijn goede vragen om te onderzoeken, maar...
Whether this can happen has yet to be proved. But not only will the results tell us how to reach the rest of the 100 million kids much faster than we can by building schools and training teachers, they should also tell us a great deal about learning in the developed world. If kids in Ethiopia learn to read without school, what does that say about kids in New York City who do not learn even with school?
The message will be very simple: children can learn a great deal by themselves. More than we give them credit for. Curiosity is natural, and all kids have it unless it is whipped out of them, often by school. Making things, discovering things, and sharing things are keys. Having massive libraries of explicative material like modern-day encyclopedias or textbooks is fine. But such access may be much less significant than building a world in which ideas are shaped, discovered, and reinvented in the name of learning by doing and discovery.
|Self-taught: Children in Ethiopia are learning to use tablets distributed by OLPC.|
Photos courtesy of Matt Keller
Wat hebben die kinderen er aan om in het Engels een ABC-liedje te kunnen zingen?
Is het niet erg arrogant, misschien wel "imperialistisch" om op deze manier te onderzoeken hoe kinderen leren?
En is Engels kunnen lezen dan echt het belangrijkste?
Ik ben er nog altijd niet uit...