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630 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Low-Cost ICT Devices A... · 0 replies · +1 points

Point taken, though I think the Rwanda example says more about their attitude to the French, which was very much affected by what happened there in 1994.

631 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Low-Cost ICT Devices A... · 4 replies · +1 points

A very interesting and analytical argument which raises some important issues. Coming at the issue as an economist, I tend to look at the role of incentives which, in the field, come in two main forms: financial (e.g., being paid to prepare content, or receiving royalties from sales) and psychological (the satisfaction that comes from seeing your name on a piece which is widely downloaded, cited and well-reviewed). As you say, if Open Educational Resources (OERs) are to offer a viable alternative to proprietory resources, then suitable incentives need to be put into place. But this works much better for widely-spoken languages, such as English, than for local languages. Clearly they will both coexist, but the wider use of OERs might reinforce the pre-eminence of English as a teaching medium.

631 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Balancing Content, Tec... · 2 replies · +1 points

There are several trade-offs involved here:
** One is the trade-off between filtered and unlimited access to the resources of the Web, educational and otherwise. I tend towards the unlimited end of the scale but fully acknowledge the need for some degree of filtering, especially for younger children.
** The second trade-off is one of cost, scale and scope. Paper textbooks and good for cost, OK for scale but poor for scope; E-Books are OK for cost, OK for scale and OK for scope; PCs are poor for cost, OK for scale but great for scope.

631 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Can eBooks Satisfy? Cr... · 2 replies · +1 points

Its not really about "eBooks" its about Internet access. Clearly, the younger the child, the greater the probable need for some kind of filtering of that access and for an external guide. But as the child grows older, there's a big wide world of information out there to explore

639 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Inevitable: Mobile Pho... · 0 replies · +1 points

I guess there is a middle ground between computers and mobile phones in the proliferation of handheld devices like PalmPre, iPod, etc and of mini-laptops or netbooks. The key elements in their widespread use in education will be price (both for the handset and for usage) and screen size.

BTW, I think the link in Ismael's comment above should point to: http://www.takepart.com/blog/2009/06/10/takepart-...

639 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Phones Are a Real Alte... · 1 reply · +1 points

Mike, in his original comment, put forward five arguments against mobile phone use in education. But I would add a sixth that is equally, if not more important as a constraint on their use. In most countries around the world, mobile use is still priced on a per-minute and per-message basis. If there are 30 kids in a class, that means that the main winner is the service provider, not the school or the students. Of course, that is not to imply that there are no costs associated with computer use in schools, but rather that the billing method used (typically flat rate) does not penalise incremental use.

The billing problem is soluble and does not necessarily apply to all hand-held devices (for instance, the wi-fi enabled iPod Touch shown in the video above would be an excellent educational device, if you can manage to avoid it being stolen or being used to assist exam cheats). However, it will be some time before mobile operators move to flat-rate billing while they are still making such good profits out of usage-based pricing.