Barefoot In the head

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

The OLPC and Self Organised Learning Environments

Some people seem to think that I am not happy with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. This is not correct at all. I have always been an admirer of the OLPC, particularly its engineering design. We should not forget that it is this design that sparked the NetBook phenomenon - finally a laptop that has the right form factor and functionality.

My work with self organised learning by children shows that groups of children can learn to use computers and the Internet to answer almost any question. This happens everywhere and is independent of what language they speak, where they live and how rich or poor they are. All they need is free access and the liberty to work in unsupervised groups. The most effective group size seems to be 4-5 children.

So, we really need one laptop for every 4 children (OLF4C?)

This will reduce the project costs by 75% !

The ideal computer would be one that is about as big as the present OLPC, but with a built in, micro projector. This will enable children to share a screen by projecting it on any white surface. There are new micro projectors that use hybrid LED and laser technology to produce a bright image at low power.

I think, with the 75% cost savings through shared computers, it is entirely possible to produce a solar and/or pedal powered projecting netbook.

Would love to try one!