Thanks to a presentation by Brian Smith, Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez at NYSCATE a couple of weeks ago, I get what the OLPC (one laptop per child) laptop is about. Its not about technology. Its not about schools. Its about kids, learning, and opportunity.
I watched and considered last year while the Give 1 Get 1 program was introduced. This year, I’m not watching, I’m in. I ordered an XO at Amazon, and it just arrived. Another one is on the way to a kid somewhere in the world. I’ll never know which kid, but that’s OK. It’s like blood donations – you give because you should, and you know some good will come of it.
What am I going to do with the one I received? I’m going to put it in the hands of my five and four year old kids, sit next to them, and learn with them. I’m going to do my best to NOT see how fast it performs, if I can check my work email, or any of the other typical adult uses. The interface and OS are totally different, and that’s OK (perhaps great). The XO is about kids learning.
I don’t know how many XO users are in the Buffalo-Niagara region, but we’ll be heading to the OLPC wiki to hook up with them. Maybe we’ll have to create a local group so kids can connect around here in addition to around the world.