The 2/10/08 Washington Post article A School That's Too High on Gizmos is similar to the 5/4/07 NY Times article, Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops. A concerted response synthesized here may be of benefit to all.

  • Will Richardson's blog post about the 2/10/08 Post article.

Here are two published "letters to the editor" in response to the 5/4/07 Times article...

To the Editor:

Laptop pilot programs in Maine, Brazil and Cambodia, to name a few places, have demonstrated that children use technology to explore, create and share ideas with others. Yes, kids are going to play video games and sometimes download adult content, but that’s part and parcel of living in a free and open society. It’s up to parents and teachers to help children learn how to evaluate different types of content.

It will be a tragedy if your article influences other schools not to invest in technology. While other countries are investing in laptops for their students, the United States is in danger of moving backward.

We live in an information age, and it is time for the United States to infuse computing and technology into every aspect of learning.

It will be an even bigger tragedy if developing nations are influenced by our bad example, because these countries have no libraries, books are too expensive and teachers are scarce.

We need children to participate actively in their own learning. Connected, low-cost, rugged laptops are one way to do it.

Nicholas Negroponte Cambridge, Mass., May 4, 2007 The writer, the founding director of the M.I.T. Media Laboratory, is the founder and chairman of One Laptop Per Child.

To the Editor:

I am sure that your reporter wrote and edited her article using a computer (a laptop?), kept in touch with her co-workers and editor through e-mail, and published her article online for New York Times readers all over the world.

Shouldn’t our students be afforded the same important technological tools if they decide that they, too, want to grow up to be a reporter?

Alice Owen Irving, Tex., May 6, 2007

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