Hacking the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer: Dispatches from the Field of Educational Technology

Presented at The Last HOPE (2008), July 18, 2008, 7 p.m. (60 minutes)

The takeaway message of this panel will be that the critical element in teaching with technology is people - and that hackers need to consider what this means. The talk will encourage the audience to consider the best ways to tackle the horrendous failures of current technology education. Topics to be covered: Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age/Young Lady's Illustrated Primer and whether it can be achieved; the one laptop per child project and the difficulties it currently faces; hair-raising experiences writing an A+ certification curriculum; whether the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus is real; responses from seventh-graders (or Why Johnny Can't Read on the Internet); and Richard Feynman already taught us everything we needed to know about education - why aren't we listening?


  • Gillian Andrews / Gus as Gillian "Gus" Andrews
    Gillian "Gus" Andrews is a doctoral student studying technology education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She was involved in founding the Independent Media Center in New York City. Her current research investigates why Eternal September happened - why some people can't seem to figure out how to participate on the Internet. Last year she worked on a curriculum to get low-income students A+ certified. The process confirmed everyone's worst fears about why textbooks continue to suck so badly, and highlighted some of the major difficulties in teaching technology well.
  • Ivan Krstić as Ivan Krstic
    Ivan Krstic is the former director of security architecture for the One Laptop Per Child project. Shortly after leaving OLPC, he wrote a damning screed about the state of the project, its commitment to exploratory learning, and its involvement with open source software. He is an author of The Official Ubuntu Book, and has given talks at PyCon and Google.


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