Will Richardson and Chris Lehmann have posts today about the $100 laptop program in Nigeria. I commented on Willâ€™s blog that it reminded me a lot of what and why Iâ€™m doing a pilot 1:1 program in my own classroom with 7 year old iBook computers. The screens are small and the screen resolution is even smaller and the CD player covers fall off occasionally, and theyâ€™re not â€œwicked fastâ€ â€“ but we are using wikis, Skype, Flickr, blogs, and much more. And actually we probably have a lot in common â€“ 90% of my students receive free and reduced price lunch, few have access to technology at home, and the laptops we are using probably arenâ€™t worth much more than $100.
See any parrallels here? Hmmm … do you think they have access to Skype? What’s the time difference between Nigeria and Reno?
We have all lamented and wondered when the US will see the light and begin to implement 21st century tools in education at a much higher level than we do presently. I wonder if this program in Nigeria just might help us here. If the $100 laptop initiative begins to take off and the media covers 3rd world children using 21st century tools in meaningful ways, maybe, just maybe, people in this country will wake up and notice that it is not happening here and that will be the catalyst to jump start us on our way.
Learning is messy!