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Emily, say hi to Yong Zhao from me, he is a great fan of Flat Classroom! Re $100 laptops....I learned from an ex-Peruvian Education Minister at WISE last week about they pushed through a law (before too much discussion and opposition stopped them from doing so) in the Peru Govt to purchase 1 million OLPC devices a few years back (not that long ago), and yes there have been issues, as you mention below. However, what he did say was although the $100 laptops are not the most robust device, and although teachers largely did not know what to do with them, the initiative has been a catalyst for further change and future plans for educational reform across Peru. Exciting to hear!
Awesome! I went to a school for the deaf in El Salvador and they really needed help. Basically, they had an old computer that wouldn't have even functioned here.
Thanks for asking, Susan! I particularly enjoyed the keynote by Dr. Yong Zhao. He is coming to visit our school next month and his new book is wonderful! We have been hosting a "chapter club" in my building at school and it has been great.
I also went to an interesting talk about a 1:1 program in El Salvador. They were using the $100 laptops and were implementing the program in the most rural areas of the country. It was amazing to learn that their challenges are essentially the same as those in well resourced schools: teacher training, planning for senescence of machines, scaling at sustainable speed. . .
There was lots of other interesting stuff too (mostly the new research around social presence, which I am totally fascinated with)-- but those were the highlights.
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