All over the world in underdeveloped countries, volunteers are introducing and deploying thousands of these amazing XO machines to primary schools. Born at MIT, the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative has captured the hearts and most importantly, the minds of the world’s high school and college students, as well as professors and professionals in an effort to provide low-cost computers to the children in underdeveloped countries. All over the world, adventurous souls are training children, teachers and administrators in the value of a computer that instantly networks within a classroom, fosters collaborative learning, and is capable of communicating with the rest of the world. How much better is an education, if not only a village educates, but an international community is enabled to provide the support for children to enter the global economy in their near future! How much better is an Africa where its students have the education, the connections and the love of learning to pursue their dreams!
So what is this XO computer? It is an amazing little machine that looks deceptively like a toy. Instead, it embodies the tools of learning, creative expression and communication so necessary for today’s effective education. From research to writing, from drawing to animation, from email to browsing, this low-cost machine is transformative. In a country where pencils are precious, these machines provide pencil, paper, library, telephone, camera and geographic independence.
In one small little package, it can carry information, skill building activities, survey polls and questionnaires from university professionals down to teachers, to schools, to students, to households. It can document results, record photos and narrations, and feed this information back up to the stakeholders at the universities in the US and Uganda who can deliver results. It is a top down delivery system and a bottoms-up reporting system.