Sorry for the delay, for week 3 of the MobiMOOC we were asked to evaluate our opinions on the OLPC project. Here are my thoughts:
OLPC is a great idea implemented awfully. The idea of giving laptops to poverty stricken areas would in theory provide educational opportunities, however the critical paper highlighted the main issue; in that the infrastructure to support the programme needs to be in place,as in, it is all well and good having the laptops, but then running and maintaining them becomes the priority.Would such a scheme work better in somewhere like US or UK mainstream education? Probably as the main barrier in most regions isn’t maintenance but more initial costs that act as a main barrier.
One thing OLPC has done however is actually create the netbook movement. Companies like ASUS who went on to create the pioneer of net books like the eee pc came about I believe due to work via OLPC and, as a drive to get consumer level cheap netbooks.
I do feel OLPC needed to run a pilot if only to test out their hardware to minimise returns and breakages. If it really wanted the programme to work, looking at mobile web sources like taking the Internet itself to the areas it was focusing on would be more emphatic.