I still can't fathom why people can't get the brilliance of this. However, the discussion & certain of the sincere criticism is healthy and does in fact point up areas of the project that can be strengthened while also pointing up areas where Negroponte | Bender | Papert are way ahead of just about everybody's concept of the usefulness of a device for learning by doing.
Walter Bender (OLPC, MIT Media Lab) mentioned the device's Linux OS, its Sugar UI, its open hardware and strippability...
The transparency and the access that open source gives you, we think is really important to learning. We want the children to be able to reach inside the machine we want their teachers to be able to reach inside the machine; and touch it, and transform it, and explore it as deeply they want to. And a closed system doesn’t allow that.
Ethan Zuckerman (Berkman Center for Internet and Society)
...once you actually think about putting this device in the hands of every student, you have real questions about what the classroom is going to look like. This device has some really interesting pedagogical theory built into it.
People who have this device get to participate in that global conversation. I think what's really important is to realize that this isn't just an electric book reader, this isn't just a classroom tool; this is a content production tool. We are seeing just the tip of the iceberg right now over on the Global Voices Project, and we're seeing how different our picture of a country can be when we're actually hearing from someone over in Saudi Arabia [Leyden interrupts: "That's why we love it, Ethan!"] telling us about Saudi society. What happens with this is we now have the potential for maybe a million Libyan school kids to tell us what it's like to be in Libya, a country that we don't know very much about in this country and we tend to have a great deal of suspicion about. So that's revolutionary. Even more revolutionary than that, we tend in America to think of ourselves as idea-producers and content-producers. If we think about sort of the underpinnings of the American economy right now, they're really cultural production, they're our ability to make and share ideas whether they're entrepreneurial ideas or artistic and then selling that to a global audience. In the long run, putting that ability into the hands of children around the world changes everything.
Wayan Vota (OLPC News)
It is clock-stopping hot technology.