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10/20/2005

$100 LAPTOP

"The MIT Media Lab has launched a new research initiative to develop a $100 laptop—a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world's children. To achieve this goal, a new, non-profit association, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), has been created. The initiative was first announced by Nicholas Negroponte, Lab chairman and co-founder, at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland in January 2005"

More here.

13 Comments:

Anonymous kat said...

I *knew* that as soon as I shelled out $1400 for my iBook that they'd come out with something cheaper. Sheeesh.

All humor aside, this sounds like a great program. I certainly hope it succeeds and thrives.

10/20/2005  
Blogger Rica said...

Very cool! I hope they achieve their goal with this.

10/20/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever read Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game? The children in the story use small laptop-like devices which use an internet-like network called the "nets". The story was written in the 80's before the laptop phenomenae (is that actually a word?... sounds smart either way).

Very interesting.

10/20/2005  
Blogger Forky said...

Ew.

That's just creepy. Forgive me for sounding SOOO 20th Century, but what's wrong with pencils and paper? I realize we live in the World of Tomorrow but come on. What if the power goes out? Will they cancel school because the kiddos can't turn on their internet textbooks?

The notion that computers + kids = smarter kids is a baffling one, to be sure. I'm not quite sure who came up with this...or HOW. How does a laptop make a third grader a better student? Seriously.

I love my gadgets as much as the next guy, but our reliance on technology has reached a point that it's become a tad...unsettling.

10/20/2005  
Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

I agree forky that is kind of creepy. Would I wanna see my mom's kindergarten kids coming to school yeildin a lap top? Heck NO! You gotta be crazy!

10/20/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

This laptop's design allows it to be used with no external power source. That's why it's so revolutionary - in part. And why laptops? Well, a laptop with enough memory could teach language, store volumes of writing, virtually replacing the need for printed books and toppled trees etc. Computers could revolutionize education for the third world in the way the printing press did for the industrialized world. Go to their site and read more. All this info is there.

SG

10/20/2005  
Blogger GrovesFan said...

I guess everything has it's pros and cons. I guess I consider how easy it is to update a computer's information compared to a conventional textbook. Not only is it cheaper, but it doesn't require the use of natural resources like paper does. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a "tree hugger," but it just makes good economical sense. Our history books are constantly needing updating as well as science, geography (borders change every day it seems), etc. Dictionaries could change everyday! My kindergartener is quite at home on a computer, but still loves to create with crayons, paper, glue, paint, scissors, etc. You know, anything that makes a mess! Computer skills are necessary in today's world, but we could also sure use more focus on compassion, service, getting away from the "me" mentality.

Beth

10/20/2005  
Blogger Forky said...

Well, there goes good handwriting!

;^)

10/20/2005  
Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

Shaun, sorry I gotta say it, I'm totally opposed to the idea. Sure I can see them giving the laptops to High Schooler's that's fine with me. But Elementry school and under (and possibly even Middle schoolers) no way would I trust them with a lap top of any kind! Kids will be kids, you say don't play with it and what happens? 2 hours later it's broken. Why? Because you said don't and they did. That or just looking at the size of the laptop (again kids will be kids) and have you seen 3rd graders hit each other over the heads with their books? I have, now just think about replacing the book with a laptop and what do you get? You get more than just a fight, you get a lawsuit. *puts up hands*
That's all I gotta say...unless otehrwise provoked

10/20/2005  
Blogger Amy said...

Actually, the computer does affect writing.
In Japan, many Japanese people have forgotten how to write a great number of kanji, because when typing on the computer, all they have to do is enter the sound select the kanji they want. So their writing skills have greatly decreased. Just a little thought.

10/20/2005  
Blogger Lesli said...

I saw this idea a while back and I hope and pray it comes to pass. Sure, it may not make a difference to my five-year-old in Southern California who is already learning computing skills, but to the kids I work with in the slums of Mexico who have no electricity, this will offer than an opportunity to a learn skills that could afford them a life of more than just begging or being a day laborer.

10/20/2005  
Blogger FzxGkJssFrk said...

No way my child is going to have his or her own computer as a child. Utterly unnecessary, and potentially damaging. Having multimedia classrooms is one thing, but no eight-year-old needs their own computer. And don't tell me that they'll be at a disadvantage, unless you're planning on teaching C++ to middle-school kids (which, come to think of it, isn't an awful idea). I didn't have regular access to a computer until I was 17 and in college, and I can deal with computers just fine.

From a business standpoint it sounds like a great idea in general. But I'm leery about it being a monopoly business selling its product only to the government - they're gonna make the money somehow. I'm speculating, but it reminds me of video game systems - the consoles are relatively cheap but they get you on the games.

My only qualm about the 3rd World argument is, couldn't you do a lot better than a laptop with $100 for your typical 3rd-world student? Am I off base here?

10/21/2005  
Anonymous Tiffany said...

Maybe handwriting is going to become much less necessary, eventually obliterated? I also think kids can handle themselves around a laptop. How many American 5 year olds do you know have never seen a Gameboy? Or any sort of electronic equipment, for that matter?

My only problem with the third world part is that it IS still 100 dollars. That's still a lot to the rest of the world.

10/23/2005  

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