Monday, April 7, 2008

One Laptop Per Child Program

Wayan Vota made a good point today in OLPC America Needed in Birmingham Pilot and Illinois Debate. I had almost forgotten about OLPC America.

I'm inclined to doubt that OLPC America exists, on the evidence I have seen. Of the 21,300 hits on Google for it, the top item is my Wiki entry quoting the announcement. Nobody at OLPC has added anything to it, not even the names of the director and chairman whose existence was announced. I would be happy to be proved wrong, of course.


Even if OLPC America exists, it is doing precisely nothing. So why don't we start our own OLPC USA and get things moving?

My father had to organize 50-state licensing for his company, for insurance policies, so I have some idea of what's needed. Getting XOs into 50 state education systems, or into numerous local systems while we work on the states, is a bit more complicated.

We have to track the legislatures, the administrations, and the education system state by state. We also need a way to explain the XO properly to the prospects. Kids get it immediately, but parents, teachers, administrators, politicians, and other stakeholders who may have forgotten how it was when they were children will need our help to rediscover discovery. Then we have to get their attention.

Its up to us

So my question to you is, rather than wait for Somebody Else to do it, are you willing to take some time to assure your children's future? Wait, what am I saying? What else do parents do? Let's try that again.

Are you willing to work to get XOs into schools instead of something else you are currently doing, on the theory that it will have a bigger effect on your children's future? Don't answer right away unless you have already showed some children an XO, and then asked them how XOs in school would affect their lives.

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