Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Trojan Horse Strategy

I would note that another way of explaining the ideas behind my recent posts on one-to-one laptop initiatives and IT infrastructure in general (here and here) is to point out that this is essentially the "Trojan Horse" strategy devised by OLPC, applied to US schools. You find very conventionally convincing ways to almost completely offset the cost of hardware and software (which you keep quite low) as a way to get your (subversive) technology into schools and keep it there. In the case of OLPC, this means pointing out that many countries in the developing world spend about $100 every four or five years per child on textbooks. If the laptop can replace the textbooks at that cost, or close to it, the program can be nearly budget neutral. In US schools, there are additional pieces of technology that can be replaced by the laptop, like graphing calculators, digital cameras, and sensor readers, to offset the cost of an inexpensive laptop and make the project sustainable in a district's annual budget rather than reliant on the feast and famine world of grant dependency.


Wayan said...

Please, not the Trojan horse analogy. That can only be detrimental to building trust.

Bill Kerr said...

wayan and OLPCnews is a trojan horse for Intel

director of geekcorp

in partnership with via and intel

intel is marketing the Classmate PC and trying to undermine OLPC in the process

he has kept his connections quiet on OLPCnews