"The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project aims to put low-cost laptops into the hands of impoverished children in the developing world, but work is already underway to trial them among indigenous populations in Australia."However, further reading suggests that real testing in Australia is a little way off as further XO machines are needed:
"Sharron Noske, deputy chief executive of planning and resources for the Northern Territory Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET), said two samples were being tested to decide whether to go ahead with a trial program.
"DEET is keen to look at an extended pilot where a whole class of students use the laptops for an extended period - to establish the learning benefits and identify the associated teaching strategies and resources required," she said."
Despite this story's vague nature, it does raise an interesting question; would OLPC (or a foundation formed to distribute OLPCs) provide laptops to underprivileged communities in "developed" countries?
We recently reported on Ashley Morris's futile attempt to raise OLPC's interest in a New Orleans laptop project. Might the plight of indigenous Australian children be considered somewhat differently? A recent quote from Nicholas Negroponte suggests children in Australia's Northern Territory closely fit OLPC's target audience. According to Ars Technica, Negroponte said two days ago (emphasis mine):
Contrary to recent reports, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is not planning a consumer version of its current XO laptop, designed for the poorest and most remote children in the world.Hmm... indigenous Australian children in Northern Territory...
Developing country? Not quite...
Despite not hitting one check box, will children in Northern Territory be wield the hottest education tool on the planet some day soon? If so, what about all the non-indigenous Australian children there? Might not such a plan hit problems if it discriminates on the basis of race? We'll have to wait and see.