Demand OLPC

5 December, 2007

Non-Universal Learning

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.

Give One. Get One. NOW!!

13 November, 2007

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Now is the time! Between November 12 and November 26 you can help the OLPC project by donating a computer to a child in the developing world. You will also get one for yourself!

Do it today before time runs out!!

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And they are off! Mass production of the One Laptop Per Child XO computer has started. The last of the major problems in production appear to have been chased out of the assembly line. Some minor problems with tooling that was causing some small blemishes on the bumpers have been tweaked. Everything is ready to roll.

The last major technical issues have been addressed with new tests developed to run on the production line itself. This high level of testing is necessary because of the harsh environments that this laptop will be used.

OLPC is an extremely low power very durable computer which is being developed to improve access to learning materials for the worlds children. This education project continues to amaze the world with the level of commitment to provide opportunities for all. Reaching Mass Production is no small task. Congratulations to all!

Nepal's Open Learning Exchange Announces First Learning Activity (It's Squeak!) - picture 1

The world watches as the adults fight over power. Who will run the country of Napal, what will the political solutions bring to the people, what will it mean to the children? I know I’m not the first to recognize the incredible beauty of the country, just look at these beautiful pictures in Nepal’s Open Learning Exchange first learning activity, developed in Squeak to be used in OLPC. We can only hope that the people that win power, during this difficult time, will concentrate on the children, on education, and on happiness and enlightenment for all.

Nepal's Open Learning Exchange Announces First Learning Activity (It's Squeak!) - picture 2

The Program itself is beautifully done. I found myself learning how to say the numbers. This Tiger was really fun, and kinda difficult to reconstruct.

This is a very good example of what technology can give to children, and how the local community can participate to help educate their youngest members.

Read it from the creators:

“The word in Devanagari script at the top is “E-Paati.” OLE Nepal’s General Secretary created this term. “Karipaati” means blackboard and we use “E-Paati” to refer to any kind of computer, such as a desktop, laptop, or PDA. OLE Nepal’s unofficial slogan right now is “From Karipaati to E-Paati.” We think this slogan expresses that using laptops in schools in simply the next logical step in education. We prefer the E-Paati over “laptop” or “computer” because both are seen as luxuries in Nepal. Karipaatis are not seen as luxuries but essential to education. We hope to convince the Nepali public that in this day in age E-paatis are essential to a quality education. “

This level of understanding of local conditions can only come from the local people themselves. Developing an education platform and making the tools available throughout the world far surpasses the value of a cheap laptop. This is only one of what will be thousands of projects that will change the planet. The $100 Laptop came first but everything else comes now. The software will easily surpass the value of the computer! As Nicholas Negroponte is fond of saying, “This is an education project, not a laptop project.” We couldn’t agree more, and we are proud that Squeak and EToys are a part of this terrific project. Today is a good day to celebrate E-Paati!

Recess!! Learning at play.

26 October, 2007

Etoys

Bill Kerr tells us about a really cool new project from Mark Shuttleworth’s Foundation called Kusasa.

Check out Bills comments about learning from Play, and please be sure to follow the links on his post, they are very interesting.

Bert and Olpc on German TV

Check out Bert and Olpc on the tagesschau.de. The video is in German. Notice the link on the left “100-Dollar-Laptop” that will take you right to the clip. Feel free to skip the computer salesman’s comments. Who knows where they got this guy from! The project must be looking up if this is the best they can do. It’s like the debate about global warming in the U.S.A. For a long time we’d hear that scientists have reached a global consensus, all except Joe – from the Wyoming Science Club who says global warming doesn’t exist.

This is a very exciting time for olpc. Congratulations everyone.

OLPC Interface

David Pogue at NYTimes reviews the One Laptop Per Child computer.  Don’t miss the video clip, it’s very cool.

OLPC on TV

20 August, 2007

OLPC Size

From: Michael Haupt,

The German/Swiss/Austrian TV station 3sat has a weekly 30-minute show called “neues” (roughly translated “new things”) which deals with IT-related information. Yesterday’s show was focusing on bringing IT to isolated regions and emerging nations as well as developing countries. The show featured an article on mesh networks in Ecuador and the Linux4Africa project.

Linux4Africa is a German project collecting old but functional hardware. The components are cleaned, repaired (if necessary), bestowed with an Edubuntu Linux installation, and sent to Tanzania and Moçambique.

12 of the show’s 30 minutes were dedicated to an extensive coverage of the OLPC project. Etoys and Squeak were mentioned several times during the feature. The project itself was introduced, and Bert Freudenberg was interviewed about the technical features of the XO laptop, which was presented in detail.

There were also two interviews in the studio. Two members of GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit; German Society for Technical Cooperation) responsible for XO distribution in Ethiopia talked about the project in general and about the impressive progress children made when working with the XO.

The other interview – which filled the first slot in the OLPC coverage – featured two students from Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam, who have developed strategic and skill-improving games for the XO in the Software Architecture Group‘s course on software architectures.

All in all, the editorial staff at 3sat did a tremendous job in preparing this show. To the writer’s knowledge, this was the first time the OLPC project was presented at such a level of detail in German television. Germany being a country where the the project has no actual lobby, it is important to have such media coverage – it would be nice to see much, much more of it.

The entire show can be watched online (in German).

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Five years after the concept was first proposed, the so-called $100 laptop is poised to go into mass production. Check out the BBC Article.

SqueakFest 07 Official

Register for SqueakFest ’07.

From Kim Rose, Viewpoints Research Institute:

Greetings —

Online registration is now available for SqueakFest ’07!
http://imamp.colum.edu/eceim/squeakfest07/index.php

We’re putting together a great three day program including hands-on workshops, panels, presentations, casual sharing time and fun social events.

Alan Kay will give a talk about the One Laptop Per Child Initiative, the “xo” machine and Squeak Etoys on this platform.

Registration for the entire program is $125.00. Please register
early as this will be helpful for our planning. We also encourage
you to BOOK YOUR HOTEL ROOM(s) EARLY! Chicago will host numerous summer events and hotels are already near capacity for August 1-3.

Some suggested accomodations appear on the SqueakFest website:
http://imamp.colum.edu/eceim/squeakfest07/accommodations.php

Please forward this email to anyone you know that may be interested in attending.
Come join us in Chicago! We look forward to seeing you there.
cheers,
Kim