Checking out the developing Passion Project blogs that our grade 5-6 students are now getting their teeth into, I was looking in at Connor’s about computers. This reminded me that the One Laptop Per Child project was coming closer to fruition. Looking around a little more I came across a really nice little “look under the bonnet” article from the BBC. Checking out the very creative and practical way in which the whole package is put together it makes one wonder about the enormous redundancy that is built into much of the computer infrastructure in many schools. Whilst higher end specifications may be called upon every so often, the fact is that sadly in so many classrooms, the computers lay idle for much of the day. Even when these computers are in use, the processing power in use is only fraction of the capability of the computer.
Not wanting to denigrate or deny the very laudable objectives of the OLPC, in light of the availability of Open Source software or better still online apps such as Zoho etc, maybe the bigger argument should be why are the rest of us putting up with the huge cost associated with the redundancy we hardly ever use? Maybe we should be demanding computer solutions that better meet our needs?
Oh if you are interested in some other Passion Project blogs check out the work of Zara, Leo, Holley, Sarah M, Emily, Claire and Fraser (the challenge is on to get visitor clicks from overseas on their clustrmaps). BTW if you want to make a comment on the blogs then you will need to either Aim High for the logo or wear a green and white hat :).