Selected publications (.pdf)

"Education Change, Leadership and the Knowledge Society" 
Global e-Schools Initiative (GeSCI)  

Survey of ICT in education in the Caribbean
Volume 1: Regional trends & analysis
Volume 2: Country reports

Using technology to train teachers:
Appropriate uses of ICT for
teacher professional developmen
infoDev (Mary Burns, co-author)

Project evaluation:
Uganda rural school-based telecenters

World Bank Institute
(Sara Nadel, co-author)

The Educational Object Economy:
Alternatives in authoring &
aggregation of educational software 

Interactive Learning Environments
(Purchase or subscription req'd) 

Development of multimedia resources 
UNESCO (Cesar Nunes, co-author)

Real Access/Real Impact
Teresa Peters &
(hosted for reference; RIP TMP) 


Learning, technology & development


Entries in maine (1)


The origin of 1:1 computing!

 The state of Maine was the first in the United States to leap into one-to-one computing. The Maine Learning Technology Initiative describes the impetus behind the decision to provide every student and every teacher with a laptop:

Immediately, everyone recognized that education represented the most crucial area for this major change and Gov. King recalled a conversation he had had with Seymour Papert a year or two previous where the idea of how to transform education was discussed. During their conversation, Papert convinced King that a major transformation would happen only when student and teachers worked with technology on a 1 to 1 basis and that any other ratio would not produce the transformation everyone sought.

I'm curious about many things, but foremost are my questions as to what "the transformation everyone sought" is. It's possible, even probable, that we've spent so much time describing truly empowered learners that everyone, or at least everyone who has an opinion within a certain closed context, does understand and seek the the same transformation of the traditional. 

But if that's so, it's also likely that the understanding and seeking have been at least partially emptied of specifics. 

While the stakes for Maine--it's a small state in the largest national economy on earth--are significant but not epochal. If 1:1 computing fails there, well, at least _something_ positive will probably happen, even if it's only an increase in the number of computer technicians. 

But 1:1 computing has rapidly--really rapidly, considering that Maine launched its program only in 2002--been adopted by developing countries. Driven partly by one of Papert's proteges, Nicolas Negroponte, 1:1 computing has made appearances in the education systems of Uruguay, Rwanda, Brazil, Ethiopia and elsewhere. The stakes in these countries, and the consequences of anything other than success, are much, much higher. 

(At one point in 2004 I was hanging out with a bunch of kids in a village in Rwanda. I asked them if they wanted some soda, you know, Fanta or something. Most schools I've been to in Africa, soda lubricates interviews. These kids, though, would have none of it. "Could we have some meat,  please?" School fees and uniforms and lost wages were all barriers to the participation in school of these kids. And yet education, literally mastering English if nothing else, held so much for them in terms of opportunity.)

Does "everyone" (who counts) in those countries understand and seek the same transformation? And if so, is it the same transformation as that sought by "everyone" (who counts) in Maine?