Deployment Guide 2011/OLPC Learning Strategy

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OLPC Deployment Guide 2011: OLPC Learning Strategy

“It’s an education project, not a laptop project”

OLPC’s principles are based on the learning theory of Constructionism, which refers to the concept of “learning by doing”. Seymour Papert, a mathematician, computer scientist, and educator; developed the theory of Constructionism built upon the work of renown Swiss psychologist of Jean Piaget on Constructivism learning theories.

Papert explained that learning is most effective when the learner is engaged in the construction of a meaningful product, and that technology can become the tool for building knowledge. He made the first and most important efforts to provide children with control of new technologies. Based on his research he suggests all children should learn to program the computer, because this allows them to develop unique skills that empower learners to learn about the way they learn.

OLPC’s philosophy is inspired by Papert and other progressive educators who share his ideas about learning. We believe the laptop is the agency to engage children in constructing knowledge based upon their personal interests. The laptop provides children with tools for sharing and critiquing these constructions which will lead them to become better learners and teachers. Therefore, OLPC does not focus on computer literacy, as that is a by-product of the fluency children will gain through use of the laptop for learning.

OLPC learning strategy focuses on building:

  • Developing Digital Fluency. This refers to computer programming skills and to the ability to build things of significance with technological tools. “A technologically fluent person should be able to go from the germ of an intuitive idea to the implementation of a technological project (Papert & Resnick, 1995)”.
  • Reflecting about learning, learning to learn and thinking about self-learning strategies.
  • Building learning and innovation skills in alignment to with the 21st Century Skills:
    • Creativity and Innovation
    • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
    • Communication and Collaboration

Software : The Sugar Learning Platform

In accordance with the learning theory of Constructionism and OLPC’s principle of Open Software, Sugar provides the appropriate platform to achieve OLPC’s learning strategies and mission. With Sugar’s Activities, children engage in exploring knowledge, in expressing themselves through different media and in computer programming skills. Sugar promotes collaborative learning through Activities that encourage critical thinking, collaboration, and reflection.