OLPC Status Update: Going strong

According to engadget, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) foundation has been selling quite a few of their XO laptops. Which means many more children will have internet access, and therefore access to more educational opportunities. Three cheers. The first real, non-pilot roll-out of laptops happened recently too - read about it here. Besides selling directly to countries for distribution for free, one of their initiatives was their get-one-give-one where people in the US & Canada could purchase a laptop for double the price and receive one laptop (the other going to a needy child somewhere in the world). I participated in this and expect to see my laptop sometime in early 2008 (if you were quicker on the draw, and in the US, you'd get yours for Christmas). I'm a fan of things that help spread education and I think both this OLPC initiative and especially some of the people helping (the engadget report states that the world's richest man, Carlos Slim, has bought 50,000 for children in Mexico). For those of you that may ask: "So they all get laptops... then they break.. then what?" Well, I believe I read that the official answer for maintenance is to get the owners (the kids) to repair them. I think that is a great idea. Here's a video of a couple of Quebec children doing just that. Of course, hacking the system (creating games, apps, or just extending the OS) is likely part of the learning and maintenance as well. (This project just meshes with my sensibilities in so many ways: techie, educational, empowering, helping without preaching....) I may see what games or other apps I can whip up on my XO (I'm also hoping to find a way into a larger project with it before giving it away). My previous post about OLPC is here. A few YouTube videos about the OLPC: a guy that is part of the OLPC effort in Peru unwraps an updated model, Hakom Lie (Opera founder and W3C guy) Search YouTube for videos on the OLPC

Monday, December 03, 2007, 12:00 AM

tagged: lateralthinking, olpc