Talk:OLPC research


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Ethiopia Report

AFAIK this is the first published report in a format somewhat akin to what people want to see when they ask for documented proof on how OLPC is actually operating in the field. I contrast that to blogs and PR efforts around the day of distribution of XOs.

The producer is a for-profit consulting firm and educational software vendor in Switzerland.

This is a report from Ethiopia, which was running a build in the 400's, and we're currently in the 700's of our software to give you an idea of progress. Further more it appears that Eduvision has published this report in attempt to get funding to do their own trial, so while they have some legitimate concerns about our system, their comments must be taken with a grain of salt. They want to integrate the standard Ethiopian rote learning styles with the constructionist theories of the XO... ok, if they must I suppose.
The important question is: what are we going to do about it? Seth 21:51, 21 June 2008 (EDT)
What are we going to do? Learn from it!
Also, if someone has something better to report, it would be good they share it! Yamaplos 06:27, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

From Mokurai

The report cites

  • Hartel, H (2008). Low-cost devices in educational systems: The use of the XO laptop in the Ethiopian educational system. Eschborn, GTZ.
  • Kort, B & Reilly R (2008). Evolving educational pedagogy in developing nations. MIT Media Laboratory.
  • Richardson, V., 2003. Constructivist Pedagogy. Teachers College Record, 105, (9), 1623-1640

I haven't Googled them yet, so I don't know whether any of them are online. My summary of this report:

There are a few paragraphs of advertising, claiming that their software is better suited than the Sugar Activities for Ethiopian teaching methods. The reported test results mostly concerned Eduvision's Melopo activities, rather than Sugar Activities. Since Melopo is also somewhat collaborative, the results should transfer.

The most important observation is that teaching with the laptops, even under the constraints of the prevailing system, changed teacher behavior toward more effective methods. Instead of reciting instructions without a chance to try them out, students began to be encouraged to work on the computers, following instructions as they are given.

Teachers began to use structured group activities and competitions, and to ask students to present material to the class. The structured techniques that the teachers put into their XO lesson plans then spilled over into their non-computer classes. Where before any question from a student was seen as an insult to the teacher, teachers began to offer individual instruction while other students were occupied on the computers. Students were encouraged to work in small groups, and began to help each other. After a time, teachers began to allow questions generally, and to set aside time for them.

Student motivation was observed to be higher because they could mark up their electronic texts with notes and highlighting. This is a critical software function. Document readers alone are not sufficient. Eduvision recommends adding hyperlinks and some software functions to electronic texts. (I recommend adding way more software functions.)

The trial was quite successful in spite of many obstacles, such as XOs getting stuck in customs and delays in localizing texts to Amharic, and the somewhat unrealistic setting, with lots of professional help for teachers every day, and classes half the usual size. Eduvision sees how several components of teacher training can be automated, and recommends providing sample lesson plans. A larger trial with 5000 XOs was planned for April 2008. (I don't know what is actually happening with that.)

Update: They arrived in June.--Mokurai 04:03, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

We are not talking about a complete changeover to Constructionism on the part of teachers, but the basic premise of the program is verified: Opportunity to do things better because of appropriate technology leads naturally to doing things better, in spite of seemingly intractable cultural obstacles. We can get through to the teachers, to the great advantage of students. There is more to come, but let us be grateful that the XO is accepted as an agent of change in addition to its more obvious benefits to schools.

new research?

Still a mess, but at least these pages are now merged: OLPC research --Sj talk 01:18, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Why did you move Academic Papers, SJ?

yes, why? AFAIK there was no discussion about this. I see no need, beyond merging with some other material, which AFAIK should have been done by merging that material to Academic Papers Image:red.png Yamaplos 02:54, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

this is a mess

which is partly my fault. One of these days we need to figure out categories and labels and sort this. What I can see and some will not like is to sort infomercials away from more solid stuff... I can't think of straight, easy to fall into categories, and anyway most stuff would cross-cut through pretty much anything. Maybe chronological? or geographic area? Image:red.png Yamaplos 19:07, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you SJ for your reorganizing on May 12th Image:red.png Yamaplos 15:43, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Maybe running out of room?

I just saw this: Warning: This page is 34 kilobytes long; some browsers may have problems editing pages approaching or longer than 32kb. Please consider breaking the page into smaller sections. Any ideas? (this used to be split... :-)) Image:red.png Yamaplos 15:53, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Signed Comments

I believe signed comments would be valuable right by the article - a couple by Mokurai are a great example. The idea is to add value right on the page, but make it clear such comments may be personal opinions. Suggestions, opinions? Image:red.png Yamaplos 15:48, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

That sounds fine. A short description, with an infobox, and then signed comments afterwards. As the page gets larger we can split it up; perhaps the first division should be into "other 1:1" and "OLPC specific". --Sj talk 17:32, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

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