Over a private lunch in New York, Nicholas Negroponte, Chairman of the One Laptop Per Child non-profit project, revealed to ITProPortal that he has been trialling the idea of one tablet per child. Privately funded at this point, 20+ Android powered Motorola tablets have already been dropped off in a village where there are no reading and writing skills – “You won’t even see printed labels or words on bottles, these people have never even seen words” said Negroponte.
Questions have been raised in the past regarding Negroponte’s OLPC project, primarily asking whether leaving children to learn from computers without proper instruction is a the best approach.
This time, however, Negroponte’s team left boxed tablets in a village and within three hours the children had opened the boxes and worked out how to turn the tablets on. After just a couple of weeks of unassisted use, the children were seen competing with each when reciting the alphabet, which they learned from one of the many pre-installed apps.
As the cost of hardware naturally reduces and open source interfaces improve, projects like this clearly become much more viable.
Negroponte was clearly eager to extend this project, so watch out for further updates on ITProPortal. In the meantime if you feel generous don’t forget to donate to the OLPC project. Also let us know whether you think that tablets or PCs are the best tool to empower the world’s poorest children through education.Leave a comment on this article