[Linux-aus] [SLUG] $11.7m for OLPC Australia in the federal govt budget

Russell Coker russell at coker.com.au
Wed May 9 20:29:50 EST 2012

On Wed, 9 May 2012, Paul Shirren <shirro at shirro.com> wrote:
> My 4yo has access to one of those evil closed source iPads to play with
> that apparently are only for rich people (nobody told me).

I know a woman who lives on social security and owns an iPad.  It's not in the 
same category as a luxuary car, it's something that anyone can afford if they 
save up for it.  That said buying a bunch of them and maintaining them isn't 
going to be cheap so they aren't great options for less affluent schools.

There are a bunch of Android tablets which are solidly constructed and sell 
for considerably less than half the price of the iPad.

> At the risk
> of losing my membership I think it makes a damn good environment for a
> pre-literate child.

As is an Android tablet.  The advantage of Android is that it's much less 
unfree.  The ability to run your own apps on an Android is pretty much assured 
(I'm not aware of any Android implementation which prevents that) while Apple 
goes to great lengths to ensure that apart from developers getting access to a 
small number of locked test systems apps can only be installed from the app 

Tablets being graphical allow learning opportunities that other systems don't.  
There is also a lot of use of tablets for special-needs kids.  I've never 
investigated this myself, but news reports have claimed that the iPad is 
better than Android for assisted communications and scheduling for non-verbal 
Autistic kids.  But some recent patent infringement suits will probably make 
Android plus "patent pirate" assistive software a better option.

> Though understanding some of its limitations makes
> it even more important to me that he has handled a Pi and that when he
> is older we can explore electronics and programming together.

What about Lego NXS (or whatever the latest replacement for Mindstorms is)?

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