Hello, I am Alan Bell, one of the founders of The Open Learning Centre, a UK based company helping business and education take advantage of Free and Open Source Software.
BETT is the worlds largest educational technology show, it is running next week, from the 9th to the 12th of January at London Olympia. There will be about 30,000 visitors to the show including teachers, head teachers, ICT coordinators etc. from schools around the UK, Europe and the world.
Schools visit BETT to see innovations and technology trends to help guide their IT strategy. I will be helping out on The Open Forum Europe stand SW105, where we will be distributing Edubuntu CDs and spreading the word about Free software and Open Standards.
Just before Christmas I bought an OLPC for my kids through the Give One Get One programme, so when I was asked to help at BETT I figured it would be the perfect place to show off the little green laptop. Unfortunately it is stuck in the post, somewhere on its way from America to the UK. It got as far as my brother in law in Massachusetts, but then got stuck in the Christmas rush of parcels.
I am still hoping that it will get here in time for the show, but as time is running out we are thinking about plan B. I was considering an eBay purchase, but, whilst I don't mind paying over the odds for a laptop, I couldn't find an eBay seller who was donating any profit to charity. I figured I might be able to borrow one from another parent in the UK who managed to overcome the logistical hurdles and get a G1G1 import.
Then I figured I might as well invite that parent along to BETT. Then I figured I would invite everyone who has an OLPC to come along, let see just how big a mesh we can manage! In fact everyone who has an interest in Free and Open Source software who can get along to Olympia would be more than welcome to attend.
Entry is free (just register online to avoid the queue) and you can go round all the stands asking questions such as "Does it run on Linux?" then take back what you learned to your local school and help them to see that the way forward is Open.