One Laptop Per Child: “You are Part of Something Big”

In my recent post on the One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC), I mentioned they were selling the laptops to the general public for a limited time starting November 12th. I purchased mine the morning of the 12th, and am awaiting its arrival in mid to late December. You can still purchase one at the OLPC website.

This week someone sent me a link to an audio slide show on the BBC where Nigerian pupils and teachers explain how the $100 laptop project has helped education in Africa.

If you have doubts about the program’s viability you should watch this well-executed video from the founder of OLPC.

Finally, I received an email today welcoming me to the OLPC community. Here are some excerpts:

“We also hope to bring together the world’s educators and software developers into a volunteer, global community that will provide essential feedback about how to improve the XO, as well as help create dynamic, open-source educational content that will engage and inspire children all over the world.”

“One of the most ingenious features of the XO laptop is its ability to create a ‘mesh’ network…What this means is that if your child has friends nearby that also have XO laptops, the children can chat, play and share information freely and safely, with or without an internet connection.”

You are part of something big. As a participant in Give One Get One, you have become a member of an international educational movement. Our goal is to create a web-based learning environment built around the XO laptop that will allow children in the U.S. and Canada to use their XOs to learn about the lives and experiences of children using XOs in the developing world, and vice versa.”

Something big, indeed.

[tags]one laptop per child, olpc, technology, poverty[/tags]

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#1 JD Conley on 11.29.07 at 11:34 am

I actually saw a commercial for this on a major TV network as well. Great stuff!

#2 orcmid on 11.29.07 at 1:28 pm

A commercial? Wow! Any more details? I’m surprised it was the OLPC machine.

I got the same e-mail as Rob yesterday and I am looking forward to my two XOen in mid-December. I donated two Give 1 Get 1 so that I would had something to operate the mesh capability with. I’m also going to see how well I can back it up on my Windows Home Server and have it work on my household LAN via the wireless access point.

Most of my experiments are not the sort of thing that kids might do with it, but as I learn my way around the machine, I will see what we can do. I know making texts available is important. That is one area worth working in. And maybe software-development tools for the early-teen enthusiasts who want to get under the software hood of their little Linux unit.

#3 snooddq on 11.29.07 at 3:59 pm

Yes, i think the commercials are on NBC because the commercial consists primarily of Masi Oka, who plays “Hiro” on NBC’s “Heroes” prime time show. I’ve seen the commercial twice now, and I think it’s great to get the exposure for OLPC.

#4 Michael C. Neel on 11.29.07 at 4:01 pm

I did “G2G2” as well, as I have two daughters. I know there is a very vocal group against the program, but I’m glad to see there is a silent majority supporting it. I know whatever I can imagine will happen in the next year with the X0 will be nothing compared to where kids will take the project. That’s the thing about kids, they haven’t learned what they can’t do.