[OFFTOPIC] Re: One Laptop Per Child

Chuck Robey chuckr at chuckr.org
Mon Nov 12 12:46:23 PST 2007

Pollywog wrote:
> On Monday 12 November 2007 19:06:28 Chuck Robey wrote:
>> I wish it wasn't this way.  Maybe it's just in the schools I visited?
>> If so, anyone have a better experience?  Until I hear of some, I won't
>> contribute to any "computers for kids" deal, because  it only benefits
>> big computer companies, who sell the machines, not the kids.
> It is true that the companies that sell computers and software benefit, but 
> the same could be said of companies that sell state-approved textbooks to 
> schools (if you have seen those textbooks you know what I mean), the 
> companies that sell shoes for sports, etc.  There is one large software 
> company that gives some software to schools and then gets a tax cut even 
> though it benefits down the line when those kids grow up to buy that 
> company's software because that is the software they know.

Yeah, but in this case, I know more: a lady friend of mine was an editor 
for a large educational publishing house.  Those places (and more 
specifically the folks that work in them) are rather embarrassed at 
having to put all that garbage into state textbooks, but the state 
boards of education require it.  They don't want to do it, but they have 
to, to be able to sell their product.  The local state officials are at 
fault here, not the companies nor those who work for them.  I used to 
listen by the hour to complaints about the stupidity and cupidity of 
those state officials, from that lady.

> I still think it is better for kids to know how to use computers, even if a 
> few business people also benefit.

Hmm.  Several of the classes I walked into were disappointing to me, 
where the kids were made to feel good at being able to play computer 
games well.  If you think that's good for kids, it's your money, I 
suppose.  The teachers were given no training whatever in computers, so 
they had no ability to do better.  I would not contribute to such an 
item.  A program that produces better educational software, that I could 
see, but not giving computers to schools, that is very counter-productive.

Let them eat Doom!  I think we should move this to FreeBSD-chat.

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