[Edu-sig] An OLPC comment ("Why Educational Technology Has Failed Schools")

Paul D. Fernhout pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Thu Jan 18 19:39:42 CET 2007

I guess you have your work cut out for you then to write one. :-)

Thanks for the comments on Babelfish.

--Paul Fernhout

P.S. I did find that John Holt's _How Children Learn_ has been translated 
to fourteen languages -- not sure what they are though:

You also might find this to have interesting links:
According to that:
Although homeschooling is not legal in Germany at this time, there is a 
new web site for promoting respectful parenting and natural learning in 
Germany. Mit Kindern leben und lernen it's in German
German Unschooling list Mostly ... German with a few Austrians and a 
handful of Dutch and English readers
   unerzogen at yahoogroups.de

Poking around at the unschooling.de  URL, I found:
I would think someone in there are bound to be links to people writing 
about technology and education in a German context, as there is some 

There are also some links here, of course, mostly to German news articles:

Then there is also "Skolelinux Germany":
Might be some discussions related to that in German?
A related wiki:

My German from school is very rusty, so I can't easily be of more help; 
sorry. I would think searching on "John Holt" for his later writings might 
get you some interesting things though.

Also, one more thought:
"The following schools follow the Sudbury model of non-compulsory, 
democratic education, pioneered by Sudbury Valley School:
   [One in Leipzig, Germany]
Maybe some links from there or people to talk to about technology and 
education (especially if you are anywhere around Leipzig, Germany)?

I know that unschooling or homeschooling is generally not as available in 
Europe as in the USA, but I also think that alternative schools, like 
Montessori, Waldorf, or the Sudbury model are perhaps more common (as you 
yourself discovered already). Personally, I think the "Free school" model 
is the most workable compromise given today's society, and if I lived in 
Europe I would be thinking more about those. I'd even consider it if my 
family lived nearby one here in the USA. I guess there is something I can 
thank the USA's social conservative movement for -- homeschooling laws 
making unschooling possible. :-)

I can't imagine how much fun it would be to teach Python in such a 
setting, where if the kids are working with you they are doing it out of 
genuine interest (even if it might not be long lasting). Those schools 
tend to expect more parental involvement in the schools, and I know if I 
sent a child to one, as a parent, I'd want to be offering Python (or 
Squeak) programming experiences to all the kids there as a volunteer.

Bert Freudenberg wrote:
> Thanks Paul,
> I know of Steiner, we have a son who went to a Waldorf school. We  
> choose a Montessori school for our other kids, which I like much better.
> Anyway, I was specifically looking for someone both knowledgable in  
> education *and* technology, and writing about the intersection of the  two.

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