2 minute read

OLPC fell short?Morning Edition’s Cyrus Farivar talks about the One Laptop Per Child project:

One Laptop Per Child was an ambitious promise to children in the third world. The project has had trouble with its leadership, finances and competitors. Instead of the legacy of education for third-world children, the One Laptop Per Child program has spurred an industry in low-cost laptops for consumers.

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The broadcast touches on the Pacific Island Nation of Niue, which is the first nation to have universal laptop access for all of its students, but as BetaNews points out, " that number amounts to only 500."

The story also talks about the pilot in Nepal, which has met with government skepticism, but draws parallels to Nepal's earlier literacy campaign which also drew doubt, but created long-term benefits.

Cyrus Farivar interviews the creator of the laptop computer, Lee Felsenstein (Wikipedia entry) for his take on the OLPC. He (rightly) sees its most lasting impact currently as the creation of the sub-notebook/4PC market in the US. The creation of this market has potential long-term benefits for development, but so far none of the new entrants have hit on the durability and non-developed-nation utility that the OLPC XO provides (battery life, sun-readable screen, etc.)

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