Negroponte: Turn tablets into a 'constructionist medium'
Nicholas Negroponte touts the importance of tablets at Mobilize 2010 in San Francisco. The One Laptop Per Child founder says physical books are too expensive, take up too much space, and are hard to update for the developing world. He says the next step is for kids to use tablets to make things instead of just using the devices for consumption.
RE: Negroponte: Turn tablets into a 'constructionist medium'
There is strict control by the Hamas religious authorities (similar to
the Taliban in Afghanistan) which monitor and censure knowledge.
That is the real obstacle that kids seeking education in Gaza are
facing today and it is not solved by a nice tablet.
Be that as it may, other than the intoxicating smell of a freshly
printed book, it makes perfect sense to push lightweight tablets to
developing countries as well as industrialized countries.
I wonder though if developing countries have the facilities to safely
dispose of broken tablets containing toxic chemicals?
>>Think of this. We ship this into an African village, there are 100 books on each laptop, forget about computers in Iraq just think about books, now, what most people don't consider is that when you send 100 laptops into a village each one has a 100 different books so that's 10,000 books. You and I did not have 10,000 books in primary school but African villages, remote places in Ethiopia, Afghanistan and even Gaza have 10,000 books. That's a big change and all this Cloud computing stuff, fine for us but forget it for all of the developing countries at least the ones we're in that's a long ways a way. There are no Clouds over Ethiopia, Rwanda and Gaza so we migrated, this is a couple of years ago, to something that was more book-like. This was short lived two years ago, we proposed it, we started working on it but didn't instead a little less than a year ago we announced that we would move to a tablet. This was announced in December of last year so whatever that is - 10 months ago - but the idea was how could you make something that now could really be low cost and one of the reasons it was a tablet is because paper books were going away. It's not that the tablet drives books out. It's the demise if you will of paper books driving tablets. It's the other way around. There is no way to justify a paper book. Those 10,000 books I just mentioned that go into a village if you wanted to send physical books I'd have to take every 747 out of service around the planet just to move them from wherever they're being manufactured. Physical books are a luxury and in fact they're not that good. I just had a very recent experience where I was flying and I had both the Wall Street Journal on my iPad and the physical Wall Street Journal of the same issue the same day and during takeoff you have to turn off your electronics so I red the paper and then during the flight I red the iPad version. The iPad version was so much better and books will be so much better, up to date and on and on and on, light and inexpensive. So, this is the slide that I will end on and leave on the screen while Wei Lee phonetic and I are talking and probably the most important thing is how do you make tablets a constructionist media and by that I mean a medium where you make things you don't just consume them 'cause if it's about kids and learning, it's not just that you feed them like you feed a goose grain to make the foie gras. What you really need to do is you have to get kids to use it, to make, to communicate whether it's music, whether it's text, whatever, it's right computer programs. So, constructionism is very important. When I say use no power which is on the list I mean so low that if you run out of power you just shake it a little bit. You do something else. It's not a matter of sort of being plugged into the wall. Sixteen by nine is dead; if you're making a 16 by nine tablet, you're making a big mistake. I don't know why transflective hasn't taken off more. We're still the only tablet that is both a Kindle and an iPad. You can throw a switch, usable in the sun or usable at night transmissive. I think that'll take off because of tablets in the next couple of years and I want to end on design very quickly. I think back to the iPod when it came out and then all the copycats, I think of the iPhone when it came out and all the copycats, it's amazing how nobody ever managed to it. That design really does matter.
==== Transcribed by Automatic Sync Technologies ====