Chris points to these pictures that show Nigerian students at the first school to receive their laptops in the One Laptop Per Child program. Very cool to see, and it starts my brain to racing with the possibilities. Let’s hope the pedagogies that these kids are taught help them take full advantage of the awesome connection that they now have.
As Chris notes, it does make you wonder what it’s going to take to make this happen in this country as well. I’d heard somewhere that the company who is making these OLPC machines is thinking about a $200 laptop for distribution in the US. Between that and open source and free software, we could really change the picture when it comes to getting kids access in this country.
The other day I was doing a workshop in a place where many, many of the families in the districts lived on welfare or with assistance. The schools had one working computer in a classroom and one lab in the whole building. Few of the kids had computers or access at home. The sad truth is that those kids, and those districts, are falling further and further behind.
I don’t want to look at these pictures as a call to arms…it’s a celebration. It’s no doubt an important moment. But it should give us all pause. In a society that is more concerned with the father of Anna Nicole’s baby, one that spent almost $14 billion on Easter stuff, (the equivalent of 140 million laptops, btw) what’s it going to take before we understand what No Child Left Behind really means?