[edu-eu] European Schoolnet and the Future Classroom Lab

Bastien bzg at gnu.org
Tue Dec 4 12:03:33 UTC 2012

Eleonora Pantò <eleonora.panto at csp.it> writes:

> I completely agreee. I was in the FLC for a visit during the media&
> learning conference, and I noticed the "windows" effect .. the people
> presenting technology was very nice and when we asked (also Edith
> Ackermann was there)  for a non proprietary learners response systems
> they introuced  http://www.socrative.com/

Agreed to -- and great to read that Edith is pushing for free ICT!

I conducted an interview of Walter Bender (http://www.sugarlabs.org) 
for OLPC France a few years ago, and it captures the main ideas about 
why free software is so important to learning:


  BG: And why free software? Are there any limitations attached to free
  software, or just more potential? And what is the crumple zone idea
  that you have?

  WB: Okay. So, Sugar has to be free. It has to be free software,
  software libre. We don't have the right word in English really, for
  freedom. And the reason is because Sugar is about learning. And
  learning fundamentally is not about receiving ideas, it's about
  appropriating the ideas. Putting an idea to use. You can't do that
  unless it's free software. And there is another aspect of free
  software which is an aspect of culture, that is important to
  learning. Free software is not just about sharing, free software is
  also about critiquing. It's about engaging in a critical dialogue
  about ideas. And that's fundamental to learning. And so without the
  culture of free software, the learning is not as rich. So Sugar has to
  be free software.

  Now I'd like to make an analogy to the automotive industry. The
  automotive industry used to make cars which are very rigid. And when
  that rigid car would hit a tree, nothing would happen to the car. But
  all the energy, the impact, would land on the passengers of the
  car. So they would protect the car and not the passengers. But then
  they realised that that's actually wrong. People are more important
  than cars. And so they made this concept called the crumple zone where
  instead of making the car rigid, they made the car flexible so the
  energy would be absorbed by the car. The car would fail, not the
  people. And we try to make that same analogy with Sugar and I think
  it's inherent in free software as well. The idea of a crumple zone,
  where we don't make everything locked down or rigid. That's an
  impossible goal. There's always going to be problems. But instead of
  imposing the problems on the user, on the child, on the learner we
  make that be an opportunity for learning.

(Sorry for the long excerpt.)

> I  think they should focus more on  cases of good uses of ICT also
> for "low budget needs"




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