OLPC-Belgium Discussions

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XO and the Ministries of Education and other responsables for the organisation of education in Belgium?

I'm getting more and more worried.

  1. When I look at the school our 5 year old is attending in Brussels: www.DeWemelweideTamTam.tk at Watermaal. Dutch speaking school, with a lot of french speaking kids and parents. Rich. I programmed a wiki for the school and one for the Ouderraad-Council for the Parents, some email-dispatching addresses - one for the whole school, one of the Council for the Parents and one per grade - part of a mailinglist/discussion group tool, a polling-tool, integrated some picasa-photo folders, some google maps so parents could discover where the friends of their kids lived and open up options for car-pooling, etc.
  2. In Belgium, we had a not for profit that received money to look for an alternative to the 120€ graphic calculator that's compulsory for the second grade. They went to assembly lines of laptops in Asia - like where the XO is assembled - and managed to bring together components in a 7" tabbled for 99€ and this is the result File:Http://tabbled.com/sites/default/files/styles/uc product big/public/EKEN T01 Tablet PC 7 Inch Android 4 0 New 1 0GHz CPU 4GB 2160P HDMI Camera Black 2.jpg http://tabbled.com/sites/default/files/styles/uc_product_big/public/EKEN_T01_Tablet_PC_7_Inch_Android_4_0_New_1_0GHz_CPU_4GB_2160P_HDMI_Camera_Black_2.jpg Whilst they were busy, they came across the assembly line for the iPad and understood it was possible to make one for 249€: http://tabbled.com/sites/default/files/styles/uc_product_big/public/novo10_1.png File:Http://tabbled.com/sites/default/files/styles/uc product big/public/novo10 1.png. There was tremendous public attention for these achievements and out of the not-for profit, a for profit was spin-out: http://www.tabbled.com I went to the demo days and yep, better value for money, so ordered the 99€ and 249€ one. The talks I had there with ICT and math teachers, the questions asked during the sessions, the presentation however were at times shokcing. Apparently there are teachers that are completely crazy about iPad's to the extent they managed to convince their schools to buy all iPads for their kids. And the main argument was "schools shouldn't alien to what's going on outside in society". Duh? No of course not. But schools also have to show our kids not to step into every hype. They need to be given tools how to make sensible decisions. Do you need AND a smartphone AND an iPad AND a laptop AND a TV? Or just a cheap phone and a laptop eventually a beamer? All I'm saying is that in Latin America, and many other island states, there are Ministries of Education where the dabates have taken place and they opted for the XO's. Don't you want to give a kid a strong "box" that holds a laptop with keyboard and that can be flipped into an tabled, that's both open hard and software, puts itself automatically in an internet with the other tableds-laptops around them, that can be charged eventually with a portable PV panel?
  3. Explain me how on earth an ICT and math teacher in Belgium with as Capital Brussels and holding the EU Headquarters of OLPC doesn't even KNOW about OLPC nor the XO, let alone the facts about what's going on in e.g. Latin America and these island states? What is the point of view of the ministry/cabinet experts that deal with ICT and all the smartboards, iPads or not, how many PC's to have in a class, how valuable/sense and not-valuable/non-sense of ICT hardware and the Frequently Made Wrong Assumptions?
  4. All this led me to start writing emails to: (and I know OLPC Europe is keeping a finger on the pulses of the Ministers of Education here in Belgium, but I just don't see any informed educational community that can give me a pondered response to my above observations and in a couple of years my kid enters into an age group where other kids in Latin America and beyond all have a laptop and mine won't and that's not all, in LA they have an education in which ICT is embedded, my kid's school doesn't have ICT embedded in it. Belgian people and teachers hardly know what a mailing list and a dispatching email address is! This scares me for a region that is supposedly putting a lot of resources into becoming a Knowledge Based Society)
    1. 2012 06 16: Member of Parliament: http://www.elisabethmeuleman.be/vragen/schriftelijk Her secretary told me they were going to look into this "very interesting info". --SvenAERTS 10:24, 14 June 2012 (UTC)