Shutting down OLPC News


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, 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, mantener un ojo hacia fuera para el puesto ocassional en mi blog personal o simplemente seguirme en Google+ o Twitter.

Related Entries


I hear you Christoph. Will you keep the possibility to comment? I believe the discussion is, and will remain active, and I really enjoyed reading the news here and would have continued doing so... Even if it is only about people exiting this Global Project. To see where they end up, what they bring with, etc.
It's sad to see you go, but I'm excited to hear your new accomplishments in the field, as I plan to tag along on your personal blog then :-)
Everybody learned lots from OLPC, and I am sure that the ones who contributed a lot, will develop the idea further, and that the concept is not at all lost.

Bernadett, good to hear from you.

We will keep the comments open for a little bit but will then also close them in two weeks or so to cut off the spam comments we've had to deal with.

In terms of keeping tabs on what people involved with OLPC and Sugar are up to I would suggest keeping an eye on and where many individual blogs are aggregated.

And as for your last sentence: I can't speak for everyone else, but I've certainly learned *a lot* from my involvement with OLPC in the past 7 years. :)

does planet.laptop welcome olpcnews now? :-) boy, those were the days...

This site has been a wonderful watering hole for all those interested in OLPC, from enthusiasts to skeptics. I do thank Wayan and Christoph, and wish that the lessons learnt and the knowledge shared will continue to help the goal of a better education for all children, with or without computers. Hasta siempre!

Thanks for the kind words Eduardo.

It was certainly a very fun 6 years for me.
A place for people outside the "official OLPC line" to experiment with the hardware and question or critique the policies.
Occasionally a bit provocative(:-o) but I guess this was a way to get attention to the matter at hand.

Will be unfortunate if the info in this site, as the one in the forum, disappears after few months. See if it could be rescued somehow.

Take care and thanks for the ride.

mavrothal, we don't have any plans at all to take the site offline in the foreseeable future. Especially since the hosting costs are negligable.

Hey mavrothal, does someone know how to contact you? :-) It would be a shame to lose the link - would you care to send me an email at yamaplos at the usual big search engine email thing?

You wrote:

The core to integrate information and communication technologies in education in developing countries....other approaches to improve learning with the support of technology. ...I enjoy writing ...occasional post .. on one or another ICT4E outlet... 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".

Please can we explore this further together.

I agree that "the larger ICT4E world can still learn a lot from the aggregated experiences around OLPC" - and not only the ICTE world but also the ICTD world.

The OLPC story is well known. It is well documented and touches on a huge number of issues. It is therefore an ideal story to illustrate various issues that apply not only to OLPC but also to many other ICTD and ICTE projects.

My personal impression was that it was probably well-meaning but with a culturally limited understanding of the issues, and hence unlikely to be a "solution" to the "problem" it seemed to think it was addressing.

This is the kind of thing I'd appreciate exploring with you. OLPC is such a wonderful focus for a wide number of inter-related issues.

My initial interest in OLPC was because of work I was doing with a project in rural Nigeria related to ICT and education(Teachers Talking - ). Also I have a more general interest in the issues because I'm an ex-primary school teacher, I was an ICTE innovator and fan of Papert back when he wrote Mindstorms (etc), and I've been a collaborator on integrated community development programmes in rural Nigeria since 2000.

Part of my role is UK-Africa Connections.
I made some attempts to connect with OLPC in its early days, but gave up. BTW I have failed to connect with so many things that I was voted the greatest failure at Wayan's Fail Fare in London last year.

Another benefit that I see in using the narrative of OLCP is that it can serve to tie together issues that are often not seen to be connected to each other.

I would appreciate exploring some of these issues with you and then reading your reflections and perspective.

I'm @Pamela_McLean on twitter. We could connect up there.

Pamela, I totally agree with what you say ("Another benefit that I see in using the narrative of OLCP is that it can serve to tie together issues that are often not seen to be connected to each other.") and I definitely want to explore this in more depth in the future. Though admittedly at this point I'm not quite sure yet how to best go about doing this... :-)

It's been a long strange trip, that's for sure. Thanks for all the work everyone associated with OLPC News has done to keep the community connected and accountable.

For me, I've moved on to the Wikimedia Foundation, where projects like Wikipedia Zero continue my personal goal of bringing knowledge to the world. The Wikipedia slice on the XO was always one of my favorite parts of the project. (Thanks to Chris and Gonzalo and all the others who maintained it over the years.)

Let's keep making the world better!

Hey, long time no see. Great to hear about your gig at Wikimedia Foundation. Hope to learn more about it over a beer or two next time I'm in Boston. :-)

Oh, and yes, the Wikipedia slice is definitely also one of my favorite things on the XO!

Thank you Christoph, Wayan and everyone else who have contributed so many interesting articles and made sure that sceptics, enthusiasts, it-idealists and educationalists have had a free and inclusive platform for news and discussions. I have followed you since the beginning and OLPC News (with forums, transcribed talks, etc.) have greatly influenced and nuanced my thinking! Good work! And who ever made the transcripts at OLPCtalks, thank you so much as well!

Thanks for the kind words Lars, much appreciated!

Very classy post, Christoph! I always keep my OLPC years close to my heart and know you will too. Exciting to hear you are in Boston! I still go back every now and then. Let's get together when I do!

Beth, thanks for the kinds words. And you're certainly right: Regardless of what happens with OLPC in the future I'll always cherish the many experiences and connections I made thanks to the project and what NN got started.

Oh, and you misread about Boston: I only said that I would catch up with C Scott when I was there next. Though right now there's even also a chance that I'll make it to Chicago in late July. If that really happens I'll definitely let you know. :)

Christoph, if you make it to Chicago for a visit DEFINITELY do let me know!

Christoph, Wayan, and all other contributors,

Thank you so much for making this one of the most interesting and important news sites for discussion about OLPC and other educational technology initiatives in the developing world. I've learned a vast amount from this site.

Best wishes with your future endeavors, and thank you again!

They say no stronger friendships are than those made when together facing fire.

Our enemy was (and still is) Ignorance.

We went 'over the top' to beat her with Community, Hope, and as much Technology as we could. We strove - not so much for us, but for those children who have nothing, who we will never see, but whose lives would be different.
Then, we realize we need to regroup, maybe for that final push.

It was an honor to have served with you.

We'll do it better, next time.

Well said Yama! :-)