"Studies have shown that kids take up computers much more easily in the comfort of warm, well-lit rich country living rooms, but also in the slums and remote areas all around the developing world." -Nicholas Negroponte
The $100 laptop is being developed by One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a Delaware-based, non-profit organization created by faculty members from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture, and distribute laptops that are sufficiently inexpensive to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education. OLPC is based on "constructionist" theories of learning pioneered by Seymour Papert and later Alan Kay, as well as the principles expressed in Nicholas Negroponte's book Being Digital. The founding corporate members are Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Brightstar, Google, News Corporation, Nortel, and Red Hat.
OLPC wants to distribute 100 millions of these laptops to underdeveloped countries where is not no network access and electricity. Technical breakthroughs have already driven the prototype design, but every technical breakthrough in the next five years would mean costs would continue to fall. These laptops would benefit primarily from mesh networking, as a way of sharing scarce net connections.
Although children will be able to interact with each other through the machines, education was still the priority for the laptops. But by using mesh networking, the vision is for children to interact while doing homework, and even share homework tips on a local community scale.
"Every single problem you can think of, poverty, peace, the environment, is solved with education or including education. So when we make this available, it is an education project, not a laptop project. The digital divide is a learning divide - digital is the means through which children learn leaning. This is, we believe, the way to do it." - Nicholas Negroponte
Endgadget has put up this pic
which supposedly shows the 'winning designs' for these machines.
Sure, so far we have been connecting with eLearning as being all about corporate training, performance support and so on. But how many of us have even begun to realise the power that this medium has to bridge the huge chasm that exists between the haves and have nots.
The technology and tools are all there, it is inspiring to see people like Sugata take the newest technology and methods of learning to people who do not even have access to basic educational facilities. He has shown us that if our efforts and intentions are honest, we have the power to spark off a revolution.