Monday, April 17, 2006


interaction's perfect storm-Croquet, OLPC & I2

Increasing the depth and frequency of interaction is at the core of the science of education. Shaping the means and methods to this interaction for a particular learner and teacher forms the art of education. One can begin to see the converging lines for radical changes in the power of interaction. One converging force will come from radical increases in accessibility to computers and Internet resources driven by OLPC, Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child, beginning at $137 per child and dropping to $50 or less by 2010. The second converging force is the radical increase in bandwidth provided for education by Internet2 systems. A third force is the radical merger of online systems of communication, collaboration and cooperation and 3D display within Croquet. This merger borders on a new operating system and could easily be extended to be one. A synthesis of OLPC, I2 and Croquet is not difficult to imagine.

As Croquet is reported to be free and requires a fraction of the code space for the Windows operating system, might it run on top of a light Linux on OLPC's $100 laptop?

One of the principal architects of Croquet, Lombardi, reports today that the download release of Croquet 1.0 is imminent. UPDATE - on April 18, 2006 Croquet Beta became available! No excuses; download this beta developers application for a Mac, Linux and a Windows computer, then follow the tutorials to see how all 3 systems work with each other. Instant peer-to-peer network connections, no servers: in the picture above right, one bunny is driven from my Mac and the other from a Windows computer. Can you still remember the world before web browsers? This is the same kind of giant leap that was taken as we went from the developed world of Gopher file moving technology to the emergence of Mosaic web pages. Yes, its buggy and crash-prone and in development, but so was the paradigm breaking beta Mosaic web browser technology in 1993. Use the link above to download it. If you don't have the time to download and explore now, watch the tutorial screen movies. Get some experience and see the future.

Alan Kay's Dynabook may be far closer than we imagine. Bruner and Piaget are being reincarnated within this next operating system paradigm. "In Conversations with Jean Piaget, he says: "Education, for most people, means trying to lead the child to resemble the typical adult of his society . . . but for me and no one else, education means making creators. . . . You have to make inventors, innovators—not conformists," (Bringuier, 1980, p.132).
Very cool!
~ Bob
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