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Response from John Lumley
John Libbey sent me this article and it appears to echo those of others on this page. It should give you more to consider, John.”I have supported this site from day one. I am an advocate of documentation of progressive user interface functionality, so it makes sense that when I heard about the Dynabook, I was thrilled. I love the concept of radical collaboration, as it was fueled by funding of Apple Computer, Inc., Sarbari Gupta (the visionary director of the World Bank Education Programs, who made handheld tablet computers [Macintosh and ROMI introduced by Casio and Texas Instruments, respectively], and Legos part of our curriculum), and Jochaim Kaufman (Director of the Technology Education Programs at World Bank). I visited Sri Lanka in 1997 and was appalled by the Americanization of all good things I saw people doing.I never made use of the mail-list because my machinations to “do good” have led me, for the past several years, toward trying to alleviate poverty through the classroom Internet. You may have heard of No Child Left digital or www.pbs.org/digitalnation. Presenters at the State Department Education Symposium in June echo the mantra. (I hope to see you there.)The picture at digitalnation.org is of the Web Course Design Initiative. The Web CDI has created a radically open environment where educators can collaborate on rich media CD modules to teach critical thinking skills, leadership, creativity, and wealth building. Here is the source code, any how. I suggest we collaborate and devise a rich CDI / CD where the Dynabook may be discovered in its operative environment.You will have to mail me directly, John. My e-mail is jlumley @ usa.net , and my web site is www.digitalnation.org . I have embedded an article and CD course that correspond to this discussion, so please review them and inquire to the director ( lee.coursey @ jac.com ) about our next project.We accept proposals for innovative CDI’s for free. My demo course will explain what we’ve created so far, as well as my goal of creating a collaboratively architected environment where we may all interact as users of our shared crafted #methodologies.”Former Macintosh employee thanks Alan Rewerts on 31 Oct 1999″When I bought an Apple computer in 19. This was at a time when the Macintosh had been created but not realeased. There were only the entry level and the high end Macintoshes. I really was aware of the machine because an associate got one so he could use LaTeX to create scientific articles. It allowed you to use mixed LaTeX and other programming such as C. I was sold at that moment. I think I was one of 2 or 3 Macintoshes of the staff of 200 in the lab at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on which I worked. It was the failure of Apple Computer, by introducing too few models, which allowed the PCs and Windows 95 to take over the industry. As s supporter of the Dynabook the belief that users should be empowered to make the best use of technology for learning not hampered or controlled by obsessions of vendor companies as to what users should and can do was my reason for parting company with Apple. However I kept my second machine to give me a headstart when I finally decide that I should create my own company.”A comment by Kirk Thorson on 2 Nov 1999″I am a member of Access In Action, a user group forum for those who promote the twenty-first century information literacy competencies and user group interactions across the country. These competencies focus on the need for developing techno-literacies for the information age. We spend significant time on discussions about tools for collaborative learning and have in the past identified the possibilities for the Dynabook device. At the
University Camp Institute
that we have hosted this summer, one of the major themes of the discussion was on computers in the schools and the ways computer schools have helped kids. The designers of the MacIntosh computers tried to make the interface of the machine attractive to the user and yet understandable with an emphasis on the use of metaphors and the understanding that computers are easier to learn and use when they are not mystificed. The community locations at which the various devices are situated to promote sharing can be associated with the WWW and its ability to tie us together no matter where we are on the planet. Those areas in which Internet service can be at a premium are possible locations to spur creative implementations. Thus the spirit of the Dynabook articulated by Alan Kay, Adele Goldberg and others who worked with him, need not be lost. However, I agree, there must be a commitment to the basic tenets of critical pedagogy for the creation and use of collaborative learning environments to take place in which we understand that learning is profoundly political in nature and unless it is a democratic process, it will not be empowering.
A comment by Gordon Pickren on 3 Nov 1999
Gordon Pickren, York College of Pennsylvania .”Still, it must be admitted – a computer is an easier staff to carry than an Encyclopedia Brittanica, and comparable to no load at all…” My short and uninformed thought for an ISNAC shout out – this is not only a good promise for education but it also makes travel and adventure (and the UIFI travelling technologies) more accessible and enjoyable!
A comment by Pete Carr on 8 Nov 1999
“I fear though that I’ve just not presented a true description of my feelings re: Apple Computer and the rest of the computer industry. While I personally have been a strong supporter of ADL, within my school district I have taken an extensively active role in educational computing and have spent my recent career helping schools overcome electronic file transfer and multifold computer proficiency issues. I managed to stick it out inside Pre-K-12 public education for 13 years but have now left and am working at a town school in a health ed. position. Mine is a minority view and often feared among educators because of how it stands apart from them – and yet when I am faced with what Bill Atkinson feels to be individual empowerment, I often nod my head to the point of accomplishing my own trinity all by myself. Please forgive my own description of my young troll-esque individualist account of `Computers at the Village Well’ (Macintosh Myth, 2010). My evidence is simply the vast majority of my friends who, in the name of composition, language arts, reading, or debate classes, seem to ask for a Mac computer by default. I have yet to see an educator who prefers a Windows machine. If my comfort is but only a simple denial of purchasing departments who DONTs an Mac in every way, it still seems highly worthy of a further review, a test, a realization…for I’m certain that I’m only confused about my own absolutism and wouldn’t wish to have UBUNTU to prove my convictions false. So here is a pondering I would offer – to find someway (ie, money, support, grant, et cetera) to involve UBUNTU in a real world excursion – either accompanying Apple or – why not – with its own condition of independence – as a test of its own operability. I could mean with enough imagination – such a test could involve computers in the schools! …Oh, and then we can debate it in a Paper Streets…maybe. I’ll even pay someone to take the pictures if you’ll bring the bear.”A comment by Rajesh Ghandi on 7 Dec 1999Rajesh Ghandi says,”Apple has ` betrayed ` some of the brightest lot: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Alan Kay, etc. and has left them with the industry they founded. I was associated with apple from Apr 1997 – Oct 1999 as a QA engineer. It is not my intention to defend Apple; it is my conviction that Computer in schools is not a pipe dream and there is a way. It is my accusation on the entire computer industry, that there are movements such as “Children Should – Bill Gates, Apple should…” and Computing for Everyone – Google. I have been asking the question “How are we supposed to achieve this?” I have got suggestions like: resew warp drive from next generation ` Star Trek ‘ or become a ` Bra’ in ` Nemesis ‘ (This is just to recall the names of upcoming movies). It is not a very healthy environment especially when kids read stargazers/webzars and they are as good as computer industry leaders. I do not see schools or govt using or promoting it, or even UBUNTU. It is just a source of jokes in the end. Because it is so different to see kids using photos to document their notebooks; viewing their friends sites; listening the dialog balloons that read their teachers lectures. Something like in Bill Gates’ Last Speech September 1999 (http://www.kimages.com/billgates/index.html) to be done.”A comment by Martin Baker on 12 Dec 1999I’m not a computer scientist and I’m sorry I do not have the training to be one. I can author a user-friendly program for home office use in about ten minutes but I can’t read C++ language let alone program in it. I’m an electronics technician with a science degree and have been around computers ever since their inception and I don’t understand the difference between the Mac and a PC. My customers should know it, of course, so I’ve watched a demonstration time and time again to build up the knowledge, but have never been able – 10-15 pages of content.
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