One Laptop Per Child update
June 4th, 2007

Ethan Zuckerman writes on Worldchanging about attending a talk given at a Harvard Law School cocktail party by Nicholas Negroponte about the One Laptop Per Child project. The essay includes several updates on the OPLC project and this discussion of its relationship to schooling and preventing ignorance:

Much of the focus of his presentation is on the failure of schools around the world. He makes it clear that the reason for OLPC is for low-income countries where schools may not have buildings or teachers, not just for middle-income countries. He talks about a Nigerian classroom where the XO laptop is being tested – enrollment in the first grade class has doubled, because students came out of the woodwork to get to use the machine.

Students enter schools in first grade with wide, curious eyes, Nicholas tells us. By fourth grade, they’re bored and no longer curious. ‘We’re inoculating against ignorance.’ That’s why the project can’t be incremental – you have to inoculate whole countries, not just a school or a village.

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1 - Andres Jimenez

My main issue with giving a child a computer is safety, not safety as in sexual predators, but of getting mugged for a computer. I am originally from Bogota Colombia and a few years ago I proposed a program to teach children technology. The biggest concern was how to keep the computers from being stolen. A $100 is more than what most people make in a month in the poor neighborhoods. Even if the computer is useless parts can be sold.

I wonder how this is being addressed.

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