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Resumen en español al final del artículo

Today we're announcing that we have decided to shut down OLPC News. That means we'll stop publishing new content but we won't take the site offline.

In retrospective this is something that I should have done six months ago when Wayan first brought this up. Or at the very least I should have simply used my Happy New Year from OLPC News post to do so because reading through it now it actually says almost everything I'd want to say in a goodbye post.


Writing up my South America experiences in Wayan's kitchen in August of 2010

So rather than repeat myself, my next thought was to take you on a quick trip down memory lane into how I got started on this rollercoaster ride with OLPC News and OLPC 7 ½ years ago. However 100 words in I realized that I was about to really repeat myself because I wrote all that up 2 ½ years ago when I formally took over the site and announced the Post-Wayan Era.

As such all that really remains to be said here is to thank all those who made OLPC happen (else, we would have had nothing to write about) and everyone who contributed to, commented (and yes, that also includes you Mephisto), shared, and read OLPC News and for making the past 7 years here such an amazing experience.

Looking at Google Analytics shows that we've had more than 2.2 million unique visitors and over 7.3 million pageviews since the site was launched. Including Wayan's Goodbye One Laptop per Child, OLPC Association's reply to it, and this final piece we'll have published 1842 articles which received a total of more than 16,000 comments. Aside of all these numbers I think it's fair to say that OLPC News has had a significant impact on the discussions around OLPC and within the wider ICT for Education (ICT4E) community (though I'm well aware that there's a range of opinions on whether that impact was positive or negative;-).

As for myself: What I wrote in that Happy New Year post back on December 31 still very much applies:

The core challenge that drives me remains figuring out how to integrate information and communication technologies in education in developing countries.

So while I will definitely remain part of the olpc community, I'll also continue to explore other approaches to improve learning with the support of technology. Given how much I enjoy writing you also shouldn't be surprised to stumble across the occasional post by yours truly on one or another ICT4E outlet. Especially since I strongly believe that the larger ICT4E world can still learn a lot from the aggregated experiences around OLPC and thereby avoid what Alan Kay once called "re-inventing the flat tire".

If you want to keep in touch please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected], keep an eye out for the occasional post on my personal blog or simply follow me on Google+ or Twitter.


Resumen en español: Hoy estamos anunciando que hemos decidido cerrar OLPC News.

En retrospectiva esto es algo que debería haber hecho hace seis meses, cuando Wayan por primera vez lo sugirió. O por lo menos debería haber simplemente usado mi Feliz Año Nuevo de OLPC NEWS articulo para hacerlo ya que lo leo ahora realmente dice casi todo lo que me gustaría decir en un post de despedida.

Así que en lugar de repetir a mí mismo mi siguiente pensamiento fue que le llevará en un viaje rápido como me inicié en este viaje con OLPC News y OLPC hace 7 años y medio. Sin embargo despues de 100 palabras me di cuenta de que yo estaba a punto de realmente repetirme porque escribí todo esto hace 2 años y medio cuando tomé formalmente el sitio y anuncié la era post-Wayan.

Como todo lo que realmente aún no se ha dicho aquí es como dar las gracias a todos los que hizieron posible a OLPC (sino habríamos tenido nada que escribir) y todos que contribuyeron, comentaron (y sí, eso incluye también a ti Mephisto;-), compartieron y leyeron OLPC News y para hacer los últimos 7 años aquí una experiencia increíble.

Google Analytics muestra que hemos tenido más de 2,2 millones de visitantes únicos y más de 7,3 millones de páginas vistas desde que se lanzó el sitio. Incluyendo los dos posts de Wayan de la semana pasada y esta pieza final habremos publicado 1.842 artículos que han recibido un total de más de 16.000 comentarios. Aparte de todos estos números creo que es justo decir que OLPC News ha tenido un impacto significativo en las discusiones en torno a OLPC y dentro de la comunidad más amplia de las TIC para la Educación (ICT4E) (aunque estoy muy consciente de que hay una gama de opiniones acerca de si ese impacto ha sido positivo o negativo;-)

En cuanto a mí: Lo que escribí en ese mensaje Feliz Año Nuevo de nuevo el 31 de diciembre todavía es muy válido:

El reto principal que me impulsa sigue siendo encontrar la manera de integrar las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación en la educación en los países en desarrollo.

Así, mientras que sin duda seguir siendo parte de la comunidad olpc, yo también voy a seguir explorar otros enfoques para mejorar el aprendizaje con el apoyo de la tecnología. Teniendo en cuenta lo mucho que me gusta escribir también no debe sorprenderse de tropezar con un mensaje mio en una o en otra publicacion sobre ICT4E. Sobre todo porque creo firmemente que el mundo ICT4E todavía puede aprender mucho de las experiencias globales alrededor OLPC y así evitar lo que Alan Kay una vez llamó "volver a inventar la rueda pinchada".

Si desea mantenerse en contacto por favor no dude en enviarme un correo electrónico a [email protected], mantener un ojo hacia fuera para el puesto ocassional en mi blog personal o simplemente seguirme en Google+ o Twitter.

guilia-damico-olpc.jpg

While the One Laptop Per Child Foundation, the Boston branch of our favorite laptop project is dead, the OLPC Association, the Miami-based group focused on XO sales, jumped to life yesterday and pronounced its viability.

Here is Giulia D'Amico, Vice President of Business Development, on their present and future:

OLPC's mission to empower the world's children through education is far from over. OLPC is thriving and making more inroads at bringing education to those who can't easily access it. OLPC recently formed a strategic alliance with the Zamora Teran family through many of their enterprises and their philanthropic foundation, the "Fundación Zamora Teran to deliver XO laptops not only to Central and South America, but also to Africa.

Aside from distributing more laptops in several schools in Costa Rica, Uruguay is receiving its first 50k units of the XO-4 Touch (running Android) in a few weeks' time. In addition, the XO Tablet is currently available directly through governments and NGOs, as well as in Europe and Canada and through all major retail outlets in the United States including Walmart, Amazon, Toys 'R Us among the others.

OLPC also has outsourced many of the software and development units because the organization is becoming more hardware and OS agnostic, concentrating on its core values - education. As an example, we've partnered with the Smithsonian Museum to bring feature-rich, interactive and more targeted content to our young learners.

We have more exciting things planned in the horizon including the implementation of very large scale projects in several regions of the world, so be sure to stay tuned.

For those following along at home, the XO Tablet is interesting, I like it for the US market, but I don't see it as a developing world education solution.

wayan-mike-xo.jpg Here is a question for you: 8 years on, would you recommend anyone start a new deployment with XO-1 laptops?

With the hardware now long past its life expectancy, spare parts hard to find, and zero support from the One Laptop Per Child organization, its time to face reality. The XO-1 laptop is history.

Sadly, so is Sugar. Once the flagship of OLPC's creativity in redrawing the human-computer interaction, few are coding for it and new XO variants are mostly Android/Gnome+Fedora dual boots.
My name is Lars Bo Andersen and I have spent the last five years studying OLPC and, in particular, one small project at a school in Nigeria (which I call Akila's school after one of the students).

I have written a PhD thesis about OLPC, Akila and the school which I defended at Aarhus University in Denmark on the 27th of February:



There is, amongst others, a chapter describing the theories and debates around OLPC, there is one investigating how the initiative rose to fame and there are several more specific investigations of the laptops at Akila's school (e.g. chapters 5 and 6).

In this post I would like to share some general thoughts with the OLPC News community and, if possible, have them debated in the comments.


Ahead of next week's Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas - an event which OLPC Association has repeatedly used for making announcements in recent years - Brad Linder from liliputing.com reports that OLPC Association and Vivitar will release a slightly updated version of the 7" XO Tablet. Additionally they will add a 10" version of the XO Tablet to the lineup.

Brad's article says that the updated 7" XO Tablet is expected to cost $150 whereas the 10" version should cost $200. There's no information on when these new tablets will become available and if they'll also be available outside of the United States.

photo by DustyDingo


As I sit here and go through our posts from 2013 instead of getting ready for tonight's celebrations I can't shake one thought from my head: It's been a weird year when it comes to One Laptop per Child.

And no, I don't mean that it's been a year in which nothing happened. However as you can tell from the low quantity of posts - in the past 12 months we've published only about two dozen articles - there haven't been too many things that got me excited enough to start writing about them. The reality is that much of what has happened has been somewhat depressing.

Even though many people within the global olpc community have denied it for much of the year it's now become painfully obvious that OLPC as an organization is very different today then it was back in 2012 in earlier. Of course different doesn't automatically mean worse but personally I can neither get excited about nor much believe in the value of the XO Tablet which is what OLPC Association in Miami largely focused on in 2013.
"If you want to walk fast, walk alone; but if you want to walk far, walk together". --African proverb, by way of Samuel Kobia


Mark your calendar! We hope to see you at the fifth OLPC San Francisco Community Summit from October 18 to 20, 2013.

The summit will be held at San Francisco State University's downtown campus at 5th & Market (835 Market St.) San Francisco. We will be opening a call for proposals, posters, speedgeek, and such in a few days. We begin on Friday, Oct 18th with a welcome reception and wrap up on Sunday, Oct 20th with a closing party. On behalf of the OLPC San Francisco volunteer community and our hosts at San Francisco State University, I invite you to the summit. Let's get together, so we may walk far.


Its not often one gets to brag about owning the only gadget in a whole country - but as the XO Tablet is only available from the USA, and the Australia arm of OLPC aren't touching it, right now this is the case. Thanks to the generosity of fellow EdTech experimenters Wayan Vota and John Hunt, my 6 year old daughter has now logged about 10 hours on this latest iteration of what a 'green machine' can be and I'm ready to report some first impressions.

I'll get to her thoughts shortly - but first, given the at times highly charged nature of all-things OLPC, some context. I have written for OLPC News before, am the Dad of a child in the target audience for the XO Tablet, and am a long-time OLPC supporter (with nearly 4 years of being employed by a state education department to support XO deployments). I'm also a well-known exponent of that other transformative mobile platform, the iPad, of which I've owned every model and even co-founded the Slide2learn.net community to support. I've also owned a Nexus7 Android tablet since its launch. What I'm trying to say is that I couldn't have been more excited to get an XO tablet that sits right at the convergence of all these interests.

XO Tablets for Sale

Buy Your XO Tablet on Amazon.com
OLPC is selling the new XO Tablets on Amazon.com for just $149. Buy yours today!

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