Would you trust a student to take home an XO laptop?

   
   
   
   
   

Mark Ahlness is using 5 XO laptops in his Seattle, Washington classroom. Recently, he loaned them out to his students, with a bit of apprehension on the computers' fate:


Mark's trustworthy students
On Friday I send home 5 XO laptops with my third graders. They are to return to the classroom on Monday of course, but it's nervous time... At a value of $400/each, well, that's a piece of trust I have never extended before. The reason for doing this is simply that I'd like my families to have a chance to see/feel/experience these wonderful computers. I've not been able to use them as often as I'd like in class...

So I believe in my kids, and I have faith in their responsibility. Seems like everyone wants to take one home over the weekend (not surprising), so we had to have a session of "pick a number" to settle things. Luckily there are two more weekends...

Now if Mark, a relatively wealthy American was nervous in lending out $400 laptops, can you imaging how a teacher with less replacement resources might feel? I think this is a big reason OLPC has received so much push-back on XO take home idea.

Teachers and administrators have a real fear that children will loose or break XO's and there wouldn't be a replacement, or that repair or replacement costs would come from educator salaries, which are meager to begin with. Or let's put it this way:

Would you trust a child with an XO if it's value was equal to your monthly salary?

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13 Comments

Wayan Vota fantasizes:

"Teachers and administrators have a real fear that children will loose [sic] or break XO's and there wouldn't be a replacement, or that repair or replacement costs would come from educator salaries, which are meager to begin with."

Pure fantasy. It's not happenning anywhere. Wouldn't it be better to write an article with some actual substance to it?

Irv,

Sometimes your commentary is right on, other times you loose us all with your wanderings. This is one of those times.

If you are going for sarcasm, work a little harder please. Else, you just seem confused.

I think the whole point of the XO is that children can take the laptop to their homes... In Uruguay it was like this from the beginning. In this way, the whole family gets involved too, and adults that have never used a computer before, can learn too. Most children and families value this laptops and are aware of the opportunity they are given, so don´t think they won´t be careful users. Regards, Sandra

"Most children and families value this laptops and are aware of the opportunity they are given, so don´t think they won´t be careful users." - While this may be true in many cases it's not something that comes automatically. Hence it's important children, parents, and teachers are informed and prepared before the XOs are handed out.

Mark's model is a powerful one.
Anyone with a "bricked" G1G1 XO might consider sending it to Mark, where it could be brought back to life in the classroom rather than setting on a shelf.

Just a brief update on the loaning process. All xo's came back safe and sound. It was a good experience all around. Had to disable the jabber server before sending home, tho... all the things you think of, hmmm. Will continue the practice again this year with a new group of kids.

I liked Sandra's comment about their use in Uruguay. Once you know your kids and their families well, it is a lot easier to take a risk loaning out something of value.

For the record, I did have each parent and student sign an "acceptable use" agreement before taking an xo home, which included taking good care of it. I did not address the what if...

And, sure, as per dinky's suggestion, I'd welcome any more donations that might get an xo off a shelf and into the hands of some kids in school :)

I find it most interesting that this is one more area where the "gap" is widening, as Uruguay's Ceibal reports, damage rates are inversely proportional to socioeconomics.

In simple language, all other things being equal, poorer kids will have higher breakage. This breakage rate across the board will be higher in places like Uruguay, where the computer is not integrated to the classroom learning process, and much lower, even in much poorer places like Nepal, where indeed the computer gets used daily for *learning*

ftp://200.40.200.101/pdfs/impactosocial/Plan_Ceibal____Informe_Estado_XO__Abril_2010.pdf

Hola!

Really, $400 an XO?

That was his cost and not the cost for retail XO's. He could have handed out Atom Intel laptops with Sugar on a Stick for much less!!

To be clear on the $400 thing... I have 7 XO's in my 3rd grade classroom. I, and the other 6 donors paid $400 for those G1G1 machines. I know you can get them for less than $200. I was talking purchase price, not replacement cost - neither of which I could handle on my own, anyway. I am indeed on my own (in terms of local support) with these. Thank goodness for the wonderful folks on the olpc forums! - Mark

Look, a G1G1 OLPX XO is NOT a $400 laptop!

You paid for one and donated a second one or did you forget?

The value is $200 plus the shipping cost.

Greg,

The value may be $200 but the cost of XO's to G1G1 people is $400.

The replacement price for an XO is around $200.

This concept is like saying your house cost $200,000 using its purchase price, when an identical home across the street sold for $100,000 this week.

The G1G1 person donated $200 and could use it a tax deduction.

The asset should be considered at the present price and not its original aquisition price with the tax deduction added.

Losing an XO, just represents a $200 loss to the school. The person did not loose the tax deduction.

On Friday I send home 5 XO laptops with my third graders. They are to return to the classroom on Monday of course, but it's nervous time... At a value of $400/each, well, that's a piece of trust I have never extended before. The reason for doing this is simply that I'd like my families to have a chance to see/feel/experience these wonderful computers. I've not been able to use them as often as I'd like in class...

Mark:
Have possible donation of 1 XO. Send me PM with mailing address .

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