Learning Learning/Parable 1/Bites
I found this bite in 'Guardian Unlimited':
"An unconnected PC is about as much use to a student as a bicycle to a fish"
It is interesting because of the number of fallacies it reveals. The dog (no insult meant, I like dogs and correcting fallacies is neutral business) shows limited imagination about connectivity and about learning.
The idea that the only way that computers can help learning is by surfing the Internet is one of the most pervasive and destructive influences on the school culture. It reduces both learning and digital technology to their informational components.
Even if the OLPC computer had no connectivity it could still be a powerful aid to learning. The computer allows children to engage in more complex and intellectually richer projects of construction than were possible in a paper and pencil learning environment.
But of course our laptop does have connectivity. Some dogs trying to bite us have made much of the fact that in some places there may be no access to the Internet. The children in those places will certainly lose some learning advantages. But they will still be connected to one another through the mesh network. And we have seen in experiments that this kind of connectivity enhances learning through the formation of learning communities, through engagement in social projects.. not to mention access to large repositories of knowledge, including websites, in a school or community server.