Argentina President Kirchner hands out first La Rioja XO-1.5 Laptops


Back in June we reported that OLPC had signed an agreement with Argentina's province La Rioja to distribute 60,000 XO-1.5s there. Last week OLPC's blog announced that:

Cristina Kirchner handing out XOs
Argentina's president Cristina Kirchner oversaw the launch of the La Rioja deployment and the handout of XOs to roughly 2,000 students. This was the public start to the 60,000-student deployment announced this spring, named the Joaquín V. González program after the distinguished politician and educator. The program will provide an XO to every primary school student and teacher in the province by next year.

With OLPC technology heavy-weights like Daniel Drake and Martin Langhoff having spent a significant amount of time in the region to help preparations from a technical point of view and educational input being provided by Claudia Urrea and others this project certainly seems to have been able to build a solid foundation.

What is also important is that other Argentinian provinces as well as the mayor of a Bolivian city close to the border to Argentina apparently also expressed their interest in learning from the experiences in La Rioja. Of course it remains to be seen whether this interest results in any actual projects taking place there in the coming years.

It does however mark an interesting change of dynamics: While previously it was OLPC's Nicholas Negroponte who met with heads of state to convince them about implementing One Laptop per Child in their countries it's now local or regional officials that are approaching other active deployments to learn about their experiences. To me this is the latest and best example of the "Post 1CC" era that Bryan and me wrote about more than two years ago.

In the end it definitely seems like South America will remain a hotbed of OLPC activities for the forseeable future.


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