XO's in Brazil! 65 now, 1,000 in Janurary


While Pablo Mancini is excited about Children's Machine XO's in Argentina, Guilherme Felitti brings word that 65 OLPC laptops arrived in Brazil on Friday, November 24th.

President Luiz Lula (L)

In a grand ceremony with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Nicholas Negroponte, and David Cavallo, the first working OLPC prototypes were introduced to Brazil. Guilherme has a OLPC Flickr set of all the action.

At his day job with IDG News Service, Guilherme Felitti reports (via Google translation) that these first laptops will be followed by a larger wave in 2007:

In January, the Brazilian government will receive the first lot from machines, composition for a thousand models, to be distributed for colleges in tests lead for the Ministry of the Education.
Guilherme also reveals that Brazil may not be just a recipient of OLPC technology, it may also produce the related hardware that the laptops need to communicate. Hardware so far not included in the mythical $100 dollar laptop purchase price:
The intense participation of the Brazilian government in the project made with that the OLPC chose Brazil to manufacture the servers who will be distributed to the participant schools of the project in the whole world.

They will be manufactured and distributed, in the first year, up to 50 a thousand servers for the world-wide market, according to Negroponte.

That would be 50,000 servers manufactured by the Brazilian firms Positivo and Semp Toshiba according to David Cavallo, OLPC Director for Central and South America. That would be 50,000 reasons why Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva may see this as less an education project and more a laptop project. And 50,000 reasons why the OLPC XO's real price is more like $140, $208, $972 dollars per laptop.

Guilherme ♥ the OLPC XO

But no matter the real cost of a million One Laptop Per Child computers, or if they are called CM1, 2B1, or XO Children's Machines, they are damn cute and not even Guilherme couldn't resist the little green beauty.

Note that while Guilherme's OLPC Flickr set has multiple shots of President Lula and Negroponte, it's his close-up of the OLPX XO that takes center stage on his website.

Not that we here at OLPC News are jealous or anything. Not like we'll throw down $250 + shipping to buy a OLPC for the perfect kid (at heart) this Christmas.

No, not at all.

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I´m sure that brazilian children don´t need a laptop but good schools and teachers.I´m getting sick and tired of OLPC.

I have done some research on Brazilian schools and it seems that K-12 schools are funded by local government whereas University and Technical Colleges are federally funded.

As a result the quality of education during the important years of school varies widely in different areas. It seems private schools offer the best education but only for the rich. Students in public schools are most often from poorer areas and have more social problems with violence and lack of discipline.


Also an interesting article in October 2004.

I wonder where in the Brazilian education system the OLPC latops would be deployed. I would hope the targeted children would be the ones in the lower grades where they will benefit most.

Does the olpc include a reading program? I know that in a lot of developing world countries the teachers don't show up for class most of the time -- I have specifically heard that is a big problem in Mexico and India. If the laptops have a reading program then the kids could teach themselves and get their educations going anyway.

So, like, 'Teacher-In-A-Box'?
You could almost do without schools completely.
Give the kids a server with an Internet connection within network range and they could 'Home-School'.
Install a curriculum for a particular year and hit the 'Go' button (Bill Gates called it a 'Start Button').
You'd have to allow for different languages though. Web based learning may be the way of the future for schools. I'd like to see a free Internet based school totally available for anyone, anywhere to learn.

That's a neat idea, but the educational ministry would never stand for it because then they could lay off all their teachers. One of the iron laws of bureaucracy is you never reduce the number of people working under you, because then you yourself become less important. Besides that, in many of these countries teaching hiring is through patronage -- you get hired if you make regular campaign contributions to the ruling party, and likely bribes too -- so the political party wants to keep them all on the job.

Another socio-bureaucratic problem I see with the olpc is that in no time the students are going to know how to use it better than the teachers do, something teachers just hate (teacher: "What are you doing?" student, "I'm recompiling the kernel so we can set up a beowulf cluster and work on protein folding." teacher, "Oh."). One trial run where that happens and the bureaucracy will shut the whole thing down. That is where, I hate to admit it, the Intel plan seems more workable since it keeps the computers under strict classroom control.

Intel's Classmate PC to go head to head with OLPC in Brazil

Does anyone know the identity of the mysterious 'Indian company' the Endgadget references?

"Intel just committed to donating 700-800 of the Classmate PCs for a large in-school evaluation. Brazil will be pitting the laptop up against an OLPC prototype they just got in the mail, along with another similarly education-bent laptop from an Indian company."

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