OLPC History Lesson: An Extension for the Past

   
   
   
   
   

Looking at the OLPC website, I've noticed a change in the new laptop.org website; history itself is being revisited. If you check out the OLPC history, you'll note that it now stretches all the way back to 1967. This was not always the case.

When the original laptop.org site started, it only went back to the Davos announcement of OLPC in January 2006. When the laptop.org site was updated this year, there was marginally more history, but I can't find a copy of that version.

olpc history

The current version is a whole other history. Now starting 1967, it attempts to begin the "$100 laptop" story with the introduction of Logo, the first programming language written especially for children.

While that is arguably the start of computing designed for kids, it's not the origin of the One Laptop Per Child program by Nicholas Negroponte.

Even if he finally called his creation the "Children's Machine" after Seymour Papert's book, Negroponte's first foray into 1:1 educational computing didn't happen until 2002, and then only with 40 laptops for a still mysterious school in Cambodia.

Trying to make One Laptop Per Child seem older with this weak timeline extension only makes OLPC seem weaker. OLPC, play to your strength, play to the future, play to children and education, not to the past.

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In all my talks about OLPC I started out the part about history with the creation of Logo. Have you read Alan Kay's 1972 paper?

http://www.mprove.de/diplom/gui/Kay72a.pdf

How about some of Negroponte's own article in Wired (like the one in the July 1995 issue - 3.07):

http://web.media.mit.edu/~nicholas/Wired/

Certainly the January 2005 Davos talk was a major turning point for the project, as was the November 2005 presentation in Tunis. But if someone wanted to argue that in practice the project really started in 2006 I wouldn't argue against the idea. But for me, 1967 is a very reasonable starting point.

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  • Hi!

    I bought 2 "Tablets OLPC." I had to return because the two did not work. O …

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  • Dear sir
    I have one question to sir?

    -1 why XO Tablet children play OK but when h …

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  • Dear sir
    I have one question to sir?

    -1 why XO Tablet children play OK but when h …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

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  • Dear sir
    I have one question to sir?

    -1 why XO Tablet children play OK but when h …

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  • Bonjour Mokifisi!
    Je suis bien d'accord avec vous. Je travaille depuis 4 ans dans un petit …

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  • You just follow the same route upstream how you got the 2XO Tablets? How did you get them? Bring …

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  • └ quelle adresse envoyer mes deux XOTablet qui ne fonctionnent pas?

    At what address to s …

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  • That's called "Death on arrivals". They happen. That's why there's always some additio …

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  • What is a shelf XO? If you tell me what did you buy and from whom, perhaps I will have a suggest …

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  • Voici mon message en franšais...

    Bonjour,
    Je viens d'acheter 2 tablettes XO. Les d …

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  • I just bought 2 shelves XO. Both tablets are not working. One does not start and the other touch …

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  • I just bought 2 shelves XO. Both tablets are not working. One does not start and the other touch …

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  • I just bought 2 shelves XO. Both tablets are not working. One does not start and the other touch …

    Comment on Goodbye One Laptop per Child

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  • OLPC is not death; eg. this One Laptop per Child San Francisco (OLPC-SF) June 21, 2014 Meeting a …

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