5 December, 2007
As they roll off the production line demand for the little education laptop is growing. The OLPC project, created by Nicholas Negroponte, to help teach the worlds children is starting to gain real traction. It sure didn’t take long to run through the first production run! The Give 1 Get 1 program appears to have been a big success. The program was extended through the end of 2007. Don’t wait get yours now!
Over the weekend Peru pushed the demand over the first run ordering 260,000 laptops. We are very happy that the huge potential is being recognized. The stories and pictures of the children around the world receiving their laptops are terrific.
We like to speculate about the benefits that these computers will bring to a world with such limited resources. How will these tools help to enhance the ability of teachers, provide access to materials and resources that help children learn, and eventually eliminate poverty in our world?
It is easy to get the wrong idea about what this computer is, just as it is easy to get the wrong idea of the benefit of the internet. There is so much of the internet that is not good for children. The explosion of new social media has many people asking if letting children on the internet at all is even a good idea. It is true that delivering access to basic software and the internet is of little value and could even be considered harmful. If the OLPC project was about delivering laptops there would really be no good reason to support it.
OLPC is not laptops, it’s software. It’s Squeak and EToys. It’s communications and collaboration. It’s coordination of lesson plans between teachers and with students. This is no regular computer, it’s an education platform geared to enhance the abilities of teachers to teach. To extend the reach of real educators, to provide a common platform so that the worlds brightest minds can reach across the great north-south divide and help teach children that have so little resources. It is a way to share the greatest discoveries of the past with the children of the future. There is no better way to fight violence and poverty than with education.
Children around the world will benefit from the extraordinary efforts of all the volunteers and participants in this very worthwhile project. Children that may even be in your own back yard. Like maybe Birmingham Alabama in the U.S.A. where the city just ordered 15,000 laptops for every child in grade 1 through 8.
It appears the questions about success are beginning to fade. The real question is can production keep up with demand. Demand OLPC today. There is no substitute for the little education laptop.