From Reuters: Developing nations to test new $150 laptops.
From Brazil to Pakistan, some of the world’s poorest children will peer across the digital divide this month — reading electronic books, shooting digital video, creating music and chatting with classmates online.
Founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology academics, the non-profit "One Laptop per Child" project will roll out nearly 2,500 of its $150-laptops to eight nations in February.
The experiment is a prelude to mass production of the kid-friendly, lime-green-and-white laptops scheduled to begin in July, when five million will be built.
Its technological triumphs include a hand crank to charge its battery, a keyboard that switches between languages, a digital video camera, wireless connectivity and Linux open-source operating software tailored for remote regions.
The project’s operators say the price should fall to $100 apiece next year, when they hope to produce 50 million of the so-called "XO" machines, before dipping below $100 by 2010 when they aim to reach 150 million of the world’s poorest children. [continue]
- One Laptop Per Child Has Remote Kill Switch Should Anyone Try To Resell One On eBay – techdirt.com
- Eight nations to test 2,500 OLPC Linux laptops – desktoplinux.com
I think this is a great idea. The biggest gap, yoked with poverty, is technological illiteracy. If we keep children “in the loop” maybe we can give them a chance to be somebody. Feed the body, feed the mind.
I’ve been thinking it over since my last comment.
We here in Los Angeles tried the one-laptop-per-family project and it was a dismal failure, for all the reasons you can imagine. They were sold on the black market, they died when soda was spilled on them, they were wrestled away from the children by gang bangers, etc., etc.
I still like the idea of making technological literacy accessible to poor children (all children) both in this country and elsewhere. Maybe through computer labs in orphanages and libraries and such?
Though I suppose the access would be controlled by the powerful and members of one ethnicity and children of the other ethnicity barred or intimidated.
The issue is a tactical one. A good idea, but how to implement?