OLPC (one laptop per child) aims to create a $75 laptop. At the same time, Microsoft aims to create new opportunities for everyone through education by using software to create innovative learning experiences. With provision of TabletPC linked to wireless networks, they believe children can learn at their own pace.
It may be a coincidence that two associations announced very similar projects: using TabletPC or laptop. The implication of both of these projects is that educational inequality can be reduced through the provision of physical capital: computers with Internet connection. The problem, however, is not limited to technologies per se. Teachers with different backgrounds use technologies in different ways. Meskill, Mossop, DiAngelo, and Pasquale found that some novice teachers even used opportunities to use computers as a punishment and reinforcement. Thus, the problem is how to integrate technologies into in-class teaching.
I am not sure whether these projects have curriculum design of which teachers may take advantage or not. So let’s wait and see what these ambitious projects may contribute to the world.
-CHIN-HSI LIN, ED 261