The extreme and primary importance of images


Putting People first quotes BBC’s reporting on the favourite functionality of the One Laptop Per Child amongst children in Nigeria:

“Clearly, children love the machine. Most of them had never seen a computer before and the great design of the laptop was compelling. They are learning about technology even as they play. But why do they like it? By far, the most used function of the one laptop designed specifically for the world’s poorest children is taking pictures. The webcam–taking pictures and sharing them with friends–is the most discussed computer function. That’s cool and great, but is it the highest priority for ‘education?’”

This reminds me of a story I heard concerning the most important functionality for people getting a computer to help them cope with cognitive failure: “images, the thing they use the most is images. Even if they can’t read they can still keep themselves updated on family and topics of interest through images“.

Combine this with the words of Ken Robinson proclaiming that it is only in the western world we (wrongfully) deem written words and numbers as more important than images, dance and song when it comes to intelligence and communication.

The image might be our most important element of communication, we need to use it more and text less when communicating on the web

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One laptop per child

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