Sunday, November 30, 2008

One Laptop Per Child-- A Technology Encounter Of An Inspiring Kind*

My husband & I stopped in Putnam before going home last night, we wanted to see our friend Anthony's exhibit at The Silver Circle Studio, which we anticipated with great enjoyment.  In between the viewing of this eye filling exhibit, I knew at first glance that I needed a coffee, as there was a lot to take in & I didn't want to rush through it.  Soo where do we go-- well that was easy, right next door is my favorite coffee shop Victoria Station, with it's hand hewed copper counter that serves up gourmet coffees, fresh baked biscotti, muffins & more.

Victoria Station is furnished with colorful old over stuffed antique type furniture with the unstated invitation to "tarry awhile", which is what one does when they stop in.  During last night's coffee break we met this interesting gentleman who was working away on one of the smallest most colorful & cutest computers I've ever seen!  Not only was he most agreeable & welcoming in answering all of our questions regarding his computer use, but told us about the initiative-- "One Laptop Per Child" which he is very involved with.  I told him I had heard of that program on PBS's News Hour some months ago & my husband, the avid reader of our Mr. & Mrs. team here, shared how he had read about the program maybe a year ago or so.  Andrew said the program which originates out of MIT in the Boston area works to put computers in the hands of children in underdeveloped countries, that everything about the OLPC computer was designed with the child in mind, such as the child sized mini keyboard, & the ability of the computer to link with other same computers in the area to form a power source of relay so the user can email & communicate with one another even without an internet server being available.  We were told the batteries last 5 hours, & the computer has the capacity to download & hold numerous books.  A child in a country that has a lack of books in print can still have access to all that is digitalized on the world library which is now in the public domain. What a phenomenal way to educate, learn & grow for the children of the world.  Eleanor Roosevelt--  our Original First Lady of the world, & the voice of the children of the world, would be thrilled!  

It was an absolutely amazing story to hear in detail, & very exciting to learn how Andrew, a teacher at Rectory School in Pomfret is not only spreading the word about this computer project, but is gifting these computers to his young family members, what a way to spread the word!

{The photos that are to be included in this post actually came out better that expected.  Can you find the photo of Mother Lightning's Peace Garden on the OLPC computer screen?}

Humankind's ability to improvise, invent, reinvent & give of themselves without selfishness, greed or corruption-- "That's what it's all about..."                                                                           That reminds me, it's been awhile since this Nana has done the Hokey Pokey with her favorite grandchildren, tis' the season to step out!  

1 comment:

dzchamp said...

Great catch!
You may be interested in reading some recent history involving Microsoft and Intel in the OLPC movement.