Walter Bender recently talked to USAIDâ€™s Mobiles for Education (mEducation) monthly seminar group about OLPC’s tablet development, the future of Sugar, and a future where every child has their own tablet.Â They wrote up a nice summary of his talk.
As exciting as the introduction of the new tablet was for the small group of attendees at the seminar, Sugar was the focus of the discussion and one that Mr. Bender talked passionately about. Â Designed on OLPCâ€™s principle of â€œLow floor, no ceilingâ€, itâ€™s designed for inexperienced users, providing a platform, or low floor, on which to explore, create, and collaborate without any limits to its possibilities.
Exploration is key to Mr. Benderâ€™s philosophy. Â Designing Sugar and the computers from a â€œconstructivistâ€ perspective, he referred to Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget and his learning theory of â€œlearning by doingâ€ when discussing the intuitiveness of the system. Â â€œWe want to raise a generation of independent thinkers and problem solvers, â€œ he said after displaying a picture of students taking apart and fixing one of OLPCâ€™s laptops. Â â€œEvery deployment has students who repair computers and they are designed so that students can fix them themselves.â€