Negroponte on not teaching Office

In the 1990s Nicholas Negroponte wrote a back-of-the-book column in Wired. When I started reading it, in 1993, I found it exciting and mind-opening. But as the years wore on, the ideas seemed less interesting. Maybe he just ran out of new things to say, or maybe I became jaded. In any case, I hadn’t paid much attention to him since. But this bit from a recent AP story on the One Laptop Per Child project absolutely kicks ass:

[Negroponte] deliberately wanted to avoid giving children computers they might someday use in an office. “In fact, one of the saddest but most common conditions in elementary school computer labs (when they exist in the developing world), is the children are being trained to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint,” Negroponte wrote in an e-mail interview. “I consider that criminal, because children should be making things, communicating, exploring, sharing, not running office automation tools.”

Oh yes.

Fazal Majid commented on Sat Jan 6 15:08:30 2007:

Come to think of it, neither should adults…