[NTLK] Newton, education and emancipation

From: Newton <mynewtonlives_at_mac.com>
Date: Wed Nov 14 2007 - 05:40:35 EST

Prompted by the comments about slavery, I am reminded that as both a
descendant of a group that were enslaved for many centuries (European
Roma) and a user of Newton technology, these devices contributed to
the delivery of mobile education amongst Gypsies (a contested term I
know, but one I use positively) in the UK's Traveller Education
Services during the halcyon days of Newton, and thus to the
beginnings of emancipation and social equality. The idea of a
classroom in your pocket, when you could arrive at any Gypsy/
Traveller site and deliver a series of lessons using the Newton
MessagePad (as a teacher) and eMates for the pupils, effectively
setting up a mobile teaching environment in almost any situation was
one developed by some teachers in the TES, and before the advent of
laptops on a broad basis, the perfect solution for these very
particular needs. Lessons could be pre-packaged on memory cards and
adapted on the spot to suit the circumstances or include
contributions from the children and young people themselves. The cost
of eMates especially made this an avenue that only the most well-
resourced education support services could afford, but the attempt to
cross the 'digital divide' was important for this socially and
economically marginalised group.
With the closure of the Newton project by Apple, the TES I was
working for abandoned this programme and switched from a Newton/Apple
Macintosh based service to a Windows based service, in-line with the
rest of the London local authority we were part of, and revised the
approach to supporting these children in schools, rather than
delivering additional education to them 'on-site' (positive in terms
of integration and social inclusion, though arguable in terms of
achievement and raising attainment). I still have the PowerBook
1400CS and the upgraded MP 2000, and have acquired two eMates and
other Newtons in the years since I worked at the TES, and in terms of
the current situation, these attract admiration and excitement
amongst the Turkish Gypsies and the schools where I am working on
occasion (Turkish people in general have a different level of
experience with technology, and schools are particularly under-
resourced). I have often thought about setting up a similar project
here with the many mobile communities that exist, if I can find the
funding (perhaps such projects still exist somewhere in the Newton
world). The educational impact of Newton technology is well-
documented and discussed, but I haven't come across anything
specifically related to Gypsies and Travellers, or Newtons as
emancipatory tools.
Newton users of the world continue to unite, you have only your
immobility to lose, perhaps?
Adrian Marsh
Newton 2100 and Mail V
  This was hardly making light of the evils
of slavery.

So, he was over the top, but who's going to argue with his points! I
mean, he's anti-bigotry, slavery and abuse of employers. You want to
argue against that??? :-)

  -Jon Glass
Krakow, Poland

Adrian Marsh
Newton 2100 and Mail V

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Received on Wed Nov 14 05:40:50 2007

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