One of Nicholas Negroponte's main belief's around OLPC is that you can just hand out XO laptops to children and they will "learn learning" and this event can happen without investing in traditional educational systems - from teachers to classrooms. This "implementation miracle" is best expressed with this formula:
At Techonomy Conference 2010, Negropote reiterated his belief in this miracle with the following declaration:
One the things people told me about technology, particularly about laptops in the beginning, "Nicholas, you can't give a kid a laptop laptop that's connected and walk away." Well you know what, you can. You actually can. And we have found that kids in the remotest parts of thew world, when given that connected [laptop], like some of the kids in these pictures, not only teach themselves how to read and write, but most importantly, and this we found in Peru first, they teach their parents how to read and write.
That's slightly different from the reality, where OLPC Peru continues to be A Problematic Una Laptop Por Ni├▒o Program - and that's not just our opinion. The Inter-American Development Bank as this to say about OLPC in Peru in its preliminary evaluation report:
Even though this program has only recently been implemented, this document presents a few preliminary findings that could be relevant for its future development.
On the one hand, we find evidence of better attitudes and expectations among teachers and parents; students that are more critical of school work and of their own performance; and a greater development of technological skills among girls and boys.
On the other hand, there seems to be a decrease in the intensity of computer use in the classroom, as time passes and difficulties arise in the implementation of the project. Due to the short interval of time since implementation, no impact was observed in learning.
Now does that sound like you can just give a kid a laptop and walk away? Not if you want to see any decent results.