Can some of you remember the “One Laptop per Child” initiative? Back in 2005 the entusiasm and optimisn in technology was greater than ever.
Nicholas Negroponte co-founder of the MIT Media Lab announced the initiative and it build up a big hype. The goal was to provide technology across the Global South and promised to transform the lives of children with a small, sturdy, and cheap laptop computer, powered by a hand crank.
The hand crank was later removed and the project was evolving over time. As successful as the OLPC scheme has been, it only addressed half the problem. Most of all the children still needed someone to teach them how to use their laptops, and educate them thereafter. In the end, any tool is only useful if you know how to use it and get the best from it.
Therefore in 2012 the project was rethought and by the current day and age it was rebranded to “One Tablet per Child” and also our own Catroid – now called PocketCode was part of the App-Offering.
The approach now changed to tablets being pre-installed with an array of educational applications and learning tools. This was designed to appeal to the naturally inquisitive nature of children and give them the possibility to learn by themselve and have greater impact than the OLPC initiave, where the Laptops where left aside or used otherwise.
Transition and learnings from the OLPC and OTPC
Our own journey consists of a lot of learnings and technology evolving over time. Now 9 years after being part of OTPC and other initiatives, our insights and constructionism approach led us also to an embroidery project, our so called Code’n’Stitch.
Feel free to listen to the matrix-Series of OE1 in Austria, who are examinin not just the book “Charisma Machine” but also Catrobats consistent improvements in getting more teenagers to an open mind to coding and technology in general, by enabling them to become producers and not just consumers.
You can read more about the OLPC Project or “One Laptop per Child” in the new book “Charisma Machine” by Morgan G. Ames.
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