Saturday, April 22, 2006

 

National Net Neutrality Defense System Needed

Hello Jamaicans. The OLPC ($100 laptop) hardware and Croquet/Linux software movements are within range of the land of almost no-cost citizenship to the digital 21st century for all citizens. By grooving a path to those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, we will further increase the educational levels and economic competitiveness of a nation. For example, many groups who have been disenfanchised have recently been making great strides, such as the giant leaps forward taken in Internet use by the black community. Further, many ambitious rural and metropolitan regions that have been challenged economically have been building wireless and wired networks to increase local Internet access in hope of also catching up. However, the successful and intense multi-million dollar lobbying of the phone and cable companies is powering up for summer 2006 to get the legal power to end the prior legislative understanding of net neutrality. They will thereby gain a toll-gate monopoly of priority-based toll roads across the path of accessibility to the Internet and its vast treasure trove of free and commercial resources. See (http://www.cio.com/archive/041506/net.html?source=cioinsider).

Perhaps it is time for a national net neutrality defense system (NNNDS) and a national meeting of minds to develop alternatives to the "last mile" access that is currently managed by phone and cable companies. I'm also open to a better acronym for the effort. National Education, Economics & Communication System (NEECS)?

It is helpful to review the history of past highly successful efforts for national communication and economic development systems, such as the interstate highway system advocated for and achieved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. See http://www.infoplease.com/spot/interstate1.html. The interstate was orginally proposed as a tollway system but now serves all users without regard to economic status and without the kind of priority lanes and tollway mechanisms being proposed for the Internet by phone and cable companies. Similar values apply to our national library system, which has co-existed successfully with commercial bookstores for quite some time.

As Google, Yahoo and Microsoft should be opposed to the end of net neutrality, I suspect they'd be willing to fund the effort and maybe even recognize their mutual need for alliance in spite of their intense competition in other areas. There are interesting technical solutions that regions can consider, including Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) and important new develpments in digital wireless systems that can be brought into play.

Is anyone engaged in this effort already? Here's some: http://www.savetheinternet.com/ and there's Senate effort. Use your net skills to reach out and touch someone on this issue.

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).

Sunday, April 09, 2006

 

High Bandwidth Education

High Bandwidth Education is an online multimedia article that explores the nature of fast computer networks and their relationship to K-12 education and to local communities. Internet2 is the first national and international high speed system, but regional and city groups can design and build their own high speed networks and may or may not choose to link them to I2. Internet2's global reach, many free resources and accent on high quality video and multimedia will be a great incentive to connect. Your feedback and thought on this essay and its issues are appreciated. Please use the Comments option to contribute.

To participate in a future audio or videoconference on this article, please send your email address and interest with the email subject heading of I2 videoconference to houghton@email.wcu.edu. When sufficient interest accumulates, a proposed date will be sent. The event will use Internet-based conferencing software to draw the group together. Participants will need an Internet enabled computer and a headphone set with microphone.
 

$100 laptop aims at $50

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1945967,00.asp

Negroponte delivered a keynote address at LinuxWorld 2006. See above link to the eWeek story. The price points for the device now look like $137 in 2007, $100 in 2008 and $50 by 2010. The 7 inch screen will have 1,110-by-830-pixel resolution in black and white in outdoor mode and 640 by 480 pixels in color indoors. Only the state of Massachusetts will receive units in the U.S.; the rest are emarked for other countries in the world. Massachusetts is the only U.S. governor and state to have endorsed the goal of these inexpensive computers in the hands of all his state's students.

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