Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Why Computers?

Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC, Jan 16, 2008

Tom Hoffman makes a great point that critics of the use of computers in schools should keep in mind. Responding to Teemu Leinonen, who suggests that "computers are good in education, but so are many other instruments from clay, paper and pen to hardware tools and musical instrument," Hoffman replies, "the schools that OLPC seeks to reach generally don't have the resources Teemu recommends, probably with limited supplies of paper and pencils, let alone art supplies and musical instruments." This in my mind is a key argument in favour of computers: in comparison with what they replace - everything from books to musical instruments to art supplies - computers are more cost effective.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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