There are now more than three dozen countries where OLPC projects are going on. Among them OLPC Australia has increasingly attracted my attention over the past six months or so. I don't remember what originally peaked my interest but it might have been the Australian team's increasing amount of contributions on the various OLPC and Sugar mailing lists.
However I very much do remember my delight when I discovered that for its own core principles OLPC Australia took OLPC's famous 5 principles (Child Ownership, Low Ages, Saturation, Connection, and Free and Open Source) and complemented them with two additional ones:
- Empowering Teachers
- Community Engagement
Being a strong believer in the key roles that teachers and broader community involvement play in projects such as OLPC I couldn't wait to learn more about OLPC Australia's efforts.
Luckily for me OLPC Australia's CTO Sridhar Dhanapalan recently gave a 50 minute talk called "Australia's Toughest Linux Deployment" at Open Source Developers' Conference 2011 in Canberra. It's a great overview of the project and really emphasizes the many ways in which OLPC Australia adapted the general notion of OLPC to the specific Australian needs. Definitely a must-see!
Please note that Sridhar's own blog post about this talk contains a lot of links to additional background materials and other relevant resources. And if you plan on attending linux.conf.au then you also have a chance to watch Sridhar's presentation on Thursday 19 January 2012 in person.