OLPC arrives in Australia

I sure hope the OLPC program in the Northern Australia territories has a significant effect — by connecting the children in these remote, isolated areas to the modern world.

THE dream first took form eight years ago when an American scientist imagined a world where every child in every country had a laptop computer.

That improbable dream gained strength, became a crusade and yesterday began its great sweep across remote north Australia.

At Yirrkala Community Education Centre on the northeast tip of Arnhem Land, the one laptop per child program handed over 200 of its XO “educational devices” – compact laptops, in white and green colours and almost indestructible.

Over the next 12 months, the OLPC program will deliver 15,000 of the laptops to remote schools across the inland and the north.

A total of 400,000 will be distributed, one for every child aged between four and 15 in regional and remote areas, by the time the program is complete in 2014.

2 thoughts on “OLPC arrives in Australia

  1. It turns out that OLPC deployments motivate children generally, not just as a method for delivering conventional lessons, but by

    o enabling access to the riches of the Internet

    o enabling collaboration, as implemented in Sugar software

    o enabling wider communication and thus social development

    o changing the classroom culture from rote repetition to discovery

    See, for example, such diverse accounts as http://radian.org/notebook/astounded-in-arahuay (Peru) and http://www.gg.rhul.ac.uk/ict4d/ethiopia.pdf (Ethiopia).

    • Edward, thanks for your comments and links.

      changing the classroom culture from rote repetition to discovery

      Yes — we need that in most first-world classrooms.

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