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Re: [xmca] Direct Instruction: observations at Djarragun college, Cape York, Australia

On Thu, May 10, 2012 at 8:26 AM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>wrote:

> As I understand it view points research (Papert, Kay and others) are or
> were involved in ways to scale teaching approaches (presumably
> constructionist teaching approaches).
> Yes and that has continued with the one laptop per child project (OLPC) as
well. But Alan Kay has pointed out
(a) most teachers don't understand the ideas behind logo (or etoys) deeply

*Q: What have you found to be the greatest obstacle in your work?*
A: I think the most difficult part is helping the helpers. Logo was a great
idea and it failed. It didn't fail because computers couldn't do Logo, and
it didn't fail because Logo software was bad. It failed because the second
and third waves of teachers were not interested in it as a new thing, and
virtually none of them understood anything about mathematics or science.
It's very hard to teach Logo well if you don't know math. ...

(b)  no one has yet developed a computer user interface that  could teach
children to read in their native language

BUT, when Nicholas (Negroponte) started up the OLPC project my heart sank,
even as I supported it ... because if it's tough to get good mentors in the
USA then it's really tough out in the Third World ... no user interace
today can find out who its user is, what its user knows, what it can do ...
it can't find out what level of reading the user can do and help find out
the next level of reading

There is common sense in the world concept ... so we make a world populated
with objects ... but they didn't interfere with the user strongly

That isn't enough ... pure discovery learning took us 100,000 years to get
to science ... so you need learning that is facilitated ... and if you
can't make thousands of good teachers in a year then you have to have an
interactive user interface to save yourself

This dream of having a UI to facilitate is as old as AI ... it is AI ... if
we had this we could make up for no teachers and bad teachers (but we still
need good teachers) ... so when the OLPC project started I thought OMG, we
are lacking the one piece of the technology ... if we could just ship that
machine with a program that could teach children to read in their native
language ... that would be the killer app and we wouldn't have to worry
about anything else for a number of years ... but that technology doesn't
exist ... it is that gap which has to be bridged in order to fulfil the
educational goals that the dynabook has ... you have to have a way to get
around the adults in the system that make educational reform difficult

It is considerations such as these that has caused me to look beyond the
OLPC to a method that would work with the most disadvantaged group in
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