Educators

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One Laptop per Child is an education project, not a laptop project. With connected laptops, learners are liberated to actively engage with others with similar interests in cultures of learning by doing without being limited by time or space. Children can learn by teaching, actively assisting other learners and freeing the teacher to focus her experience and expertise where most needed. (see also: education philosophy).

Educators have long recognized that children learn best when they are active, when they pursue their own interests, and when they participate in cultures of knowledge and engagement. However, until now it has been logistically impossible, except for the elites, to create such learning environments. With 1-to-1 access to connected laptops, children actively engage in knowledge construction and are not limited to passive reception of information. Each child can pursue learning in areas of strong personal interest and the classroom is not limited to a pre-determined, one-size-fits-all approach. With connected laptops, learners are liberated to actively engage with others with similar interests in cultures of learning by doing without being limited by time or space. In this way children can learn by teaching, actively assisting other learners and thereby liberating the teacher to focus her experience and expertise where most needed. Computers also facilitate appropriation of knowledge in domains difficult to comprehend with other static, non-connected materials. Domains that involve dynamics, complexity, high levels of abstraction, micro or macro size, and more become appropriable by children through expressive uses of computers. Teachers benefit as well as not only do they get to use the laptops at home for their own learning, but the connected laptop becomes a conduit for customized professional development enabling the teachers to gain access to expertise and colleagues, to pose and respond to practical questions. Moreover, with mobile, connected laptops the walls of the classroom open and the entire community becomes the classroom and virtually the whole world enters on demand. The children carry the classrooms and teachers of the world with them through the community and into their homes. Children can participate in the study of global issues while simultaneously using local context for understanding. They can fully participate as producers of knowledge and not just as consumers of materials produced by others. Connected laptops also provide a means for new models of growth. Rather than needing to rely on a centralized, standardized reform, we can develop high-quality, localized models of improved practice, and utilize the network and rich media to create mechanisms for spread. A foundation is thus created for three distinct, but overlapping, phases: enabling powerful learning in and out of school; the positive change to specific school practices; and the transformation of schools from funnels of received information to engines of knowledge construction and appropriation.

Laptops are the pencils for the digital age. The sooner we can provide high quality learning environments for all, the better and more cohesive our societies will become.
 

The OLPC Learning Team, led by Dr. Claudia Urrea and Dr. Antonio Battro, are currently working in Colombia, Rwanda and the US respectively and provide support to countries, teams, community and children engaged in the project. The team recently released OLPC Fundamental Ideas on Learning

Each Wednesday, 2pm GMT, learning representatives and other educational stakeholders from OLPC countries, led by Dr. Urrea, meet to discuss on relevant issues, updates from programs or for a presentation/discussion from a guest speaker. The chat is in Spanish, but can be translated. For a log of all chats, please see: Spanish_Chat

Background for educators

  The most fundamental job of schools is to teach good citizenship, which includes the habit of helping others. 

Why Schools Should Exclusively Use Free Software, Richard Stallman

Some articles on constructionism, emergent design, high-quality education and 1:1 experiences:

see OLPC_Research for research, papers on numerous OLPC projects across the globe

In April 2011, the Learning Team also launched "Innovation in Evaluation," you can learn more here: Innovation_in_Evaluation

Classroom Resources

  Kindermann (1993) found children's attitudes and engagement in school (i.e. connectedness to school) were highly predictive of the peer group they selected, and when children moved in an out of well-defined peer groups, each move resulted in the children identifying with the newly chosen group's attitude toward school. Conversely, even when interventions are intended to be helpful and facilitate prosocial behavior and attitudes, when antisocial or delinquent youth are aggregated, their goal of modeling one another's behavior's and attitudes can trump well-intended efforts of adults (Patterson, Dishion, & Yoerger; 2000).
Therefore, the attitudes that children bring to school or to an intervention program may lead to birds of a feather flocking together unless the context can be shaped (preferably by peers) to reward children, especially underachieving or delinquent children, for their academic successes and socially skilled (e.g. caring, empathic) behavior. 
DuBois, David L.; Michael J. Karcher (2005). Handbook of Youth Mentoring. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications Ltd. ISBN 0761929770. http://books.google.com/books?id=TtdR-GCYOw4C. 
  • OLPC Aprendizaje por Proyectos: Mi comunidad & Abuela Ruanda/Project Based Learning in the context of OLPC

For additional manuals, please see: Manuals

Resources developed by community groups: from Hello Laptop, from Plan Ceibal, from Peru.

Recent Learning Team Activities

Seminario, July 2012 Delegates from Mexico, Uruguay, Colombia, Costa Rica and Canada met to discuss the status of their projects and explore innovation in evaluation Seminario_OLPC_July2012
Scratch@MIT 2012 A bi-annual meeting of educators using Scratch. OLPC held a panel on the ways Scratch is being used on the XO laptop in Colombia, Costa Rica, Rwanda and Uruguay.

[2012]

Constructing Modern Knowledge The OLPC learning team supported and participated in Dr. Gary Stager's annual conference which brings together teachers, administrators and academics for a week of pragmatic learning and constructing in the 21st century. [CMK]
PBL World, June 2012 Dr. Claudia Urrea opened the conference by asking "what's worth learning?" [Edutopia Article] [PBL World site]

How can I get involved?

Create an account on the OLPCWiki and leave us questions or comments!

Read about the OLPC Learning Vision to learn more about why we think children in developing countries need laptops and what we think laptops will enable them to do. Familiarize yourself with our ideas about content and collaboration, and the various Creative Commons licenses. As a rule, we want educational materials produced for and connected with OLPC to be free and open source.

  • If you or your school want to work with XOs in the classroom (and don't yet have any), see the page for Interested schools.
  • Add yourself, or your organization, to the educator Roll Call page.

Contribute content

  • Read about the content repository that will reside on the school servers.
  • Add to the list of ideas for content that should be included in the repository.
  • Contribute your content directly to OLPC by following these instructions and writing to content@laptop.org.

Create activities and collections

School stories and case studies

Porto Alegre
OLPC Brazil
Galadima
OLPC Nigeria
Ban Samkha
OLPC Thailand
Porto Alegre is the capital city of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Galadima is a hamlet in Abuja, Nigeria
File:Hiking02.jpg
Ban Samkha is a rural village in northern Thailand
Cardal
OLPC Uruguay
Arahuay
OLPC Peru
Khairat school
OLPC India
Villa Cardal is a small town in Uruguay
Arahuay is a small town in Peru
Khairat is a remote village in Maharashtra, India

Comments

"Pupils go even beyond what I can teach in the class. It's a very interesting thing to use. I personally have a better idea about teaching... We discovered that giving them time to discover something and to do it in their own way, they feel more happy and they are so excited in using it that, 'Yes, I discovered it! Yes, I can get it!! Yes, I can do this on my own!!!' Teaching is getting more interesting and less stressful." — Mr. O., Galadima School, Abuja, Nigeria

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