OLPC Intel, digital divide

January 4, 2008

Two bits of interesting information. Intel leaving OLPC seems strange. I can’t imagine that OLPC would be crazy enough to demand a monopoly or foolish enough to not think that intel could support the project, so there must be something more involved. I’m not mindlessly pro-OLPC, since I’ve not gotten mine yet and there are social, cultural and pedagogical issues with any piece of technology from blackboard to textbooks to technology that must be considered. Which leads me into the next point. Digital divide? Even the term is problematic, to me, and to I think many others interested in education and social justice issues. Do I have to list the issues in calling it a divide? Na. You can look it up. There will be a test.

OLPC News: Intel Leaves OLPC Board Over Classmate Sales: “Sadly, this spat has ended hopes for a Diamondville XO Laptop, which could have born the best of both worlds: Intel focused on selling laptops, OLPC focused on changing education.”
Access? Open source? Rethinking the digital divide

Rethinking the digital divide – now that’s a mighty big agenda, especially in the context of attempts to increase access to learning technology for a range of disadvantaged individuals across the globe….
The ALT conference will focus on the following dimensions:

  1. Global or local – What are the dichotomies between global and local interests in, applications of and resources for learning technology?
  2. Institutional or individual – How can the tensions between personal and institutional networks, and between formal and informal content, be resolved?
  3. Pedagogy or technology – How do we prevent the enthusiasms of developers from skewing development away from the needs of learners and are pedagogic problems prompting new ways of using technology?
  4. Access or exclusion – How can learning technology enable access rather than cause exclusion?
  5. Open or proprietary – Can a balance be struck, or will the future be open source and open access?
  6. Private or public – What are the respective roles of the private and public sectors in the provision of content and services for learning?
  7. For the learner or by the learner – How can technology empower learners and help individuals take ownership of learning?

The closing date for submissions of full research papers is 29 February 2008. Full details of the ALT conference are available at: ALT-C 2008: Rethinking the digital divide ALT-C 2008, the 15th International Conference of the Association for Learning Technology

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