OLPC in Australia

Thanks to reader oiaohm for providing a link to the following video presentation on the One Laptop Per Child implementation in Australia. Key points:

  • remote locations require a programme like OLPC to bring in IT to education
  • focus is on younger students and using IT to teach, not teaching IT
  • just dumping in the technology does not work
  • teachers, schools and communities need to be prepared/gotten on board to bring success
  • students are a huge asset
  • educational results are dramatic
  • it’s GNU/Linux and they provide both Sugar and GNOME

This documentary is about a programme to bring the XO notebooks to hundreds of thousands of students over the next five years. TCO is about $380 with the local school paying only $80 for training/support. $300 is paid by corporate sponsors such as banks/ISPs in Australia. see http://dev.laptop.org.au/

Note on the presenter’s T-shirt:“No, I will not fix your computer.”

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in Linux in Education, technology. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to OLPC in Australia

  1. oiaohm says:

    Oldman you are not affording better. There were windows versions a long time back. Benefit was not found of it.

    Really to be truthful OLPC might put you out of a job. Simpler maintenance means people like you are not required.

  2. oldman says:

    “Building cheap was not not ea option. OLPC at worse are an expensive bit of Junk.”

    Agasin you refule to see the point. I have already conceded that OLPC may be the best that can be done for the beggars who can not be choosers. In that context having something is better than nothing.

    My beef is with people like youself who seem to think that OLPC is a vector for forcing Linux and FOSS in where it has not been. As far as I am concerned with OLPC Junk is junk no matter how well built, and I and others in my situation can and do afford better for our children.

  3. oiaohm says:

    http://armdevices.net/2012/01/09/olpc-xo-3-unveiled-at-ces-2012/

    Yes oldman watch video. OLPC devices are not your common hardware. You order what you want. They build. You can customise the OLPC you get.

  4. oiaohm says:

    By the way that 460 is low. The amd and VIA x86 chip they using in the OLPC goes into the OLPC at cost of production price same with many other parts in the OLPC. No IP rights having to be paid oldman.

    Add a few 100 in IP rights payments that OLPC is not doing.

    Simple fact is to made a device the same as the OLPC without OS. Without the OLPC deals you are looking over the $1000 dollar mark.

    This is the problem Oldman the OLPC is not cheap. They are a very high quality device. Every method to save on costs is done yes. But no cost saving can be done if it costs quality of results the device will do.

    Now what I put a retail price tag on it and a copy of windows and you might take it. But since I don’t you are such a bigot that it has to be cheap junk.

  5. oiaohm says:

    oldman In fact I did not say they would out grow it completely.

    There is also a chance they will out grow it to a OS X computer.

    My key point is grade 1 students are that far away from the workplace that by the time they get there Microsoft might be a distant memory in how businesses operate by the time they get there. Also due to the rate MS changes operating systems its not critical to teach them MS products for years 1-7.

    So you spend a fortune teaching MS products that the person will never use in the work place. There are better ways to spend the budget.

    From year 8 to Year 12/13 is when you need to worry about what the work place is using.

    Yes they could out grow the OLPC to windows. That they could does not mean they will.

    Basically don’t put words in my month. My words were very clear particular age groups there is no advantage to having MS windows there.

    Oldman getting kids into to outside sports is kinda critical. So computer stuck to class room is really not that effective.

    Have you ever used a OLPC. I guess not. Just because its not running Microsoft it has to be crap right. About time you use one and find out to your surprise that the thing is great for a lot of things. Rugged is key. Kid presses wrong buttons under windows or OS X stuffing the device up in a bad way how long will it take you to fix oldman. Longer than it takes to fix a OLPC unit.

    OLPC units boot faster than almost everything else out there.

    Something interesting about kids who have used OLPC units compared to those who have not. You can see it how they treat a computer. The OLPC kids have no fear. They don’t blame themselves for computer failures. Yes windows is far to buggy and when it fails kids get blamed.

    Result in a lot of schools kids end up avoiding computers. So all that infrastructure is junk if the kids are avoiding using it.

    What you call a cheep piece of junk result is kids that will use the IT structures more then you computer budget resources will be better used.

    Sorry oldman no matter how you look at this you are wrong. OLPC have not been cheap. Remember without mark up the x86 versions 460 dollars. Retail mark up on that takes you to a 700 to 800 dollar device.

    OLPC have been produced and sold for cost. Cheep is only a idiots defence who cannot see that OLPC is down right expense.

    But due to advances in tech prices for equal service if not better drop if you use arm and your OS does not depend on x86 to operate.

    Yes the guy behind OLPC is from MIT. Yes his goal is one laptop per child but he does not cut corners on quality.

    Yes only way to get under 100 dollars was company donations to the cost with the x86 versions.

    This is the big catch oldman. Every general shop device has corners cut somewhere to make them cheaper. This is not true for a OLPC.

    The screen in the OLPC is more expense to make than the same size LCD without is features. The case of the OLPC is more expensive.

    Oldman
    “But OLPS was designed first and foremost as a sop (albeit a well intentioned one) to those on the other side of the digital divide. It’s limitations were known and accepted given the circumstances.”
    Complete crap statement because the device has been build for quality. You have missed something critical. A device in the middle of nowhere that fails may not be replaceable in a hurry.

    Building cheap was not a option. OLPC at worse are an expensive bit of Junk.

    Also oldman windows was tried on the OLPC studies comparing student results against OLPC with windows and OLPC with Linux. Guess what one gives better long term results. The OLPC with Linux.

    Windows was removed because there was no valid benefit in fact it was found harmful. MIT people study everything. It gives them another reason to write another research paper get more funding…

    MIT is a device built from trial and error. They try everything and study the results use that information to make better future device.

    oldman something I have told you about me before gives me more than enough grounds to talk on how humans develop. If you want me to start pulling out science journals covering human development of the brain I will. Trying to work out how to repair my damage I studied lots of things.

  6. oldman says:

    “No, oldman, it was not. OLPC contains innovations that are the envy of the Wintel ecosystem like daylight readable display, very low power consumption, and rugged construction. ”

    So what!. It remains at its core a cheap crappy computing experience for the beggars who can not be choosers.

    Even our local OPLC partisan Oiaohm, admits that after a certain point one would outgrow it for a windows based environment.

    “Most of all it was designed to be appropriate technology for education anywhere.”

    Nope. It was designed to be someones notion of “appropriate technology” at a given price point i.e. cheap. And it wqas designed for those on the other side of the digital device who may not even have a school building.

    For those of use who have school buildings, infrastructure and computing budgets, it remains a cheep piece of junk.

  7. oldman wrote, “OLPS was designed first and foremost as a sop (albeit a well intentioned one) to those on the other side of the digital divide.”

    No, oldman, it was not. OLPC contains innovations that are the envy of the Wintel ecosystem like daylight readable display, very low power consumption, and rugged construction. Most of all it was designed to be appropriate technology for education anywhere. People in developed markets snapped them up when the buy two, get one campaign was on.

  8. oldman says:

    “Everything about OLPC is about training the means to train. Everything is to be usable as many ways as able to provide the best training to the targeted age group.”

    But OLPS was designed first and foremost as a sop (albeit a well intentioned one) to those on the other side of the digital divide. It’s limitations were known and accepted given the circumstances.

    perhaps it is the best that the beggars who can not be choosers can do, but attempting to sell this kludge to those who can afford better and who have the infrastructure and budget to afford better, IMHO is fundamental load of crap, and unless you are now going to claim educator credentials as one of your many alleged skills, your whole diatribe is nothing but opinion.

  9. oiaohm says:

    oldman if you have not worked out I have been savaged just because of my language fault. I was nicer a long time ago. Yes intolerance brings intolerance so since I am going to be savaged over language anyhow I might as well hit first.

    “Yes your exposition of the philosophy sounds good, but theory and practice are an entirely different things. A childs ability to execute a task is only as good as the ability of the adult who is guiding them’s ability toexplain it to them. And I know quite a few adults who have problems with even pictures.”

    The problem you are forgetting here. The adult learns that ability to follow pictures based instructions at primary school ages.

    If you did not learn to follow picture based instructions when you are young enough to learn then you most like will never be any good at following picture based instructions. Yes one of the skills you want to learn while you brain is developing its wiring. To be correct the best ages to learn it is between 4-6 years old with only refinement out to end of primary school. By high school you better well know it basically.

    So yes the adults you find who cannot follow picture instructions did not do it when they were young so there brain never wired up the sections of the brain todo it effectively.

    Bit like my language fault. I was deaf for the first 6 years of life with massive pain from what was causing the deafness. So my language centres are wired up wrong. There is nothing I can do now to fix it other than use methods to work around the damage. Does this make the damage go away no it does not. Yet when it comes to making and following picture based instructions I am great at it.

    This is why I see teaching the basic skills correctly at the right time in development as critical. I will have to live out my whole life not being able to do a section everyone else takes for granted. I don’t want to see others having to live with equal problems.

    Also the instruction does not need to be adult to child instruction. Child to Child also works as well once one has the skill. Also funny enough video instruction like the OLPC AU provides I have had cases where the Adult with the Child could not make heads or tails of the instructions after event he video where the Child was having no problem even that the Adult still could not do it and could not get it.

    So the quality of the Adult with the child does not matter as long a video instruction is provide to the child so the child gets the idea of picture based instructions. Yes the child is the only one sure to be able to wire brain up to be able to process picture based instructions. Yes shock horror the child is the OLPC case is more important than the Adult to repairing the machine. Take the one that has the means to be taught the skill basically. The Adult is damaged goods.

    Really a Adult who cannot follow picture based instructions has a disability like like a Adult who cannot read or write. A disability that has been caused. Lets remove this from the next generations as a defect. Proving children with picture based instructions to follow is critical and is over looked.

    The statement on the shirt is a word line the person had used over and over again. In OLPC learning asking the teacher to fix your machine is basically avoiding a learning experience. You would see nothing wrong with a teacher having a shirt “No, I will not do your homework.”. Yes oldman you have a double stands problem with what you are pulling up on. He is a Teacher not a IT Tech the shirt is to make that clear.

    Failure to understand the problem oldman. You really need to go and talk to people about when particular skills develop. At this point the OLPC point of view makes perfect sense. It is all about proper child development those skills will be used for the rest of there life. Assembling a flat pack item to installing a printer to….. Think of all the items today that come with picture based instructions. Now think about how far you get if you cannot read them without help.

    Picture based instructions and the means to follow them is becoming as important as reading and writing.

    Everything about OLPC is about training the means to train. Everything is to be usable as many ways as able to provide the best training to the targeted age group.

    If a person does not have lego… other assembly tool kits to learn picture based instruction but they have a few broken OLPC to repair they get equal experience so equal skill development.

    There are sets of needs that a primary school student needs that must be met so they develop properly. OLPC meets more of these needs.

  10. oldman says:

    “This is the big different the OLPC is perfectly designed for its targeted market.”

    Yes your exposition of the philosophy sounds good, but theory and practice are an entirely different things. A childs ability to execute a task is only as good as the ability of the adult who is guiding them’s ability toexplain it to them. And I know quite a few adults who have problems with even pictures.

    And IMHO, none of your WallofTextTM changes the fact that the teeshit and the philosophy behind are still insulting. There were many other ways to express the same sentiment ( “You can do it Yourself!” comes to mind.) Instead we get an expression of the typical geek arrogance that we get both here and in yor typical Linux self help site.

    “If you don’t get it this is fixed. I started with a non functional rating dyslexia. What is basically no a single word written right. So complete unreadable. Bad syntax and grammar are only minor problems.”

    In the real world, clarity counts, especially when you are attempting to set out a position that is not widely held. In addition, While one can be sympathetic of your condition, it is hard to do so when you regularly savage posters who have the temerity to call you out on your baloney.

    People simply aren’t going to care when you are calling them names.

  11. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser
    “Ten year olds are barely capable of fixing their own bicycle, let alone their sodding computer.”
    You are determined to prove you self a idiot.
    http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/03/5-year-olds-repair-olpc-laptops-at-nigerian-hospital/

    Yes 5 year olds can repair OLPC devices.

    “Now, let’s take the example of a ten year old who can’t work out how the gears and chains on his bike go together, shall we?”

    Yes there is design limitations so a 5 year old can repair the machine. Normal computer they would not stand a hope. OLPC is a basic module design. 5 year old’s play with lego. Yes that is a level of skill you need to disassemble and resemble a OLPC.

    The casing on the OLPC is thicker than a normal Laptop. The boards themselves are also thicker and more durable. The connectors used internally are even bigger to a normal laptop. The printing on the board is bigger for where they need to connect.

    Basically is like the young kids version of lego but a computer.

    You are wrong to think of the OLPC like a normal computer. Your statements are correct for anything bar a OLPC unit. Yes the instructions to disassemble and reassemble a OLPC are based after the LEGO style of instructions. 10 year olds have no trouble follow them since 5 year olds have no trouble.

    Does a bicycle come with LEGO style instructions?? No. Can Kid 10 year old fix something normally lacking like the LEGO instructions normally no. Problem here I had done this before a different idiot I know a 10 and 5 year old can put a bike together with LEGO style instructions from a pile of parts. Because I done this as a demo in front of a idiot like your Dr Loser. Without the quality paper instructions that could not do it.

    I guess you have never given a kid picture based instructions to build a bike. So you presume they cannot. This is your problem Dr Loser you are presuming that people are incapable of taking care of themselves.

    So yes Dr Loser. You don’t understand 5 year old kid limits OLPC project down right does. 5 year olds can build some form of micro computer devices from stack of parts as well with a soldering iron if you trust them and don’t have the issue of workplace health and safety. Again its the instructions.

    5 year olds need quality picture based instructions. Written instructions forget it. Solving by own Logic forgot it. Direct by embed logic in a OLPC machines yes they can. Yes the diagnostic guidance tool(that runs on near by OLPC to the one being repaired) for the OLPC are graphical for a reason and shows you what graphic instruction set to follow. These instructions can also be done in printed book.

    !0 year old that cannot repair a OLPC what are you trying to make me laugh. Entry to 5 year old 1 class student can repair OLPC units.

    This kinda does flip a lot of people out. Why do the schools need techs when there year 1 students have the required skill level to repair them. So this means every grade students have the skill to repair them.

    Yes a windows machine forget a 5 year old repairing it. Too complex. Not designed to be repaired by that level. OLPC is design exactly for its users right down to the skill level required to repair it.

    So really with OLPC he has no valid reason to be repairing the computer. Everyone can.

    So OLPC don’t need to find techs. A person with a non working OLPC just needs to find another with a working OLPC. That simple in a school with many.

    This is the big different the OLPC is perfectly designed for its targeted market.

    “I could fix your syntax, your spelling, your grammar, and so on.” If you don’t get it this is fixed. I started with a non functional rating dyslexia. What is basically no a single word written right. So complete unreadable. Bad syntax and grammar are only minor problems.

  12. Dr Loser says:

    @oiaohm:

    Using argument by induction:

    “He does not fix your computer. He teaches you how to fix your computer.”

    I could fix your syntax, your spelling, your grammar, and so on. No guarantees after that, but at least you would be able to communicate painlessly with other people who speak English.

    Conversely, apparently you have never encountered such a teacher. And if you had, it would probably have been a nicer version of me.

    And you would still roll off endless paragraphs of gibberish, because that’s all you know what to do.

    Now, let’s take the example of a ten year old who can’t work out how the gears and chains on his bike go together, shall we?

    Explain to me, please, how any government program whatsoever can point him to elementary bits of computer science; like, say, recursion.

  13. Dr Loser says:

    I was searching (without benefit of Google) for the right word, btw, and I had to settle for “autistic,” although that wasn’t quite what I meant.

    What I meant was “psychopathic.”

  14. Dr Loser says:

    @oiaohm:

    oaiohm don’t you get it you idiot.

    Ten year olds are barely capable of fixing their own bicycle, let alone their sodding computer.

    It’s a disgusting attitude and it doesn’t belong on a tee shirt worn by anybody other than an autistic introvert.

  15. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser don’t you get it you idiot.

    He does not fix your computer. He teaches you how to fix your computer. Just like teach someone to bake a loaf of bread compared to giving them a loaf of bread.

    The skill of making bread can feed them when you are not there. The skill of being able to fix there own machines when you are not there keeps with with working computer hardware.

    Its educational for older children to be able to repair there own computer by the way as well.

    Ten year old child is more than old enough to repair a OLPC. They are that simple internally.

  16. Dr Loser says:

    No, I will not fix your computer?

    I’d be immensely proud of this attitude, too.

    Why fix a computer when you can watch a ten year old child in tears?

    After all, for the child, it’s a learning experience. Catholic priests used to provide this sort of learning experience until the Vatican realised that it led to rather negative publicity.

  17. oiaohm says:

    To be correct they are not documentary they are Linux Conference Australia videos. These are presentations to people who paid to be there. If you are there at the end you can ask the questions.
    http://blip.tv/linuxconfau/enabling-connections-to-opportunity-olpc-australia-4745335 This is the OPLC video for LCA2011. There was no 2010 video little bit of a country issue. LCA2010 was in New Zealand so kinda a little out the way. OPLC only started in 2009 in Australia with the first trial. So yes 2011 the game plan was not as well sorted.

    Linux Conference Australia is over 110 presentations in 5 days. There is lots of interesting videos each year. Its the first Conference in the Linux world to start the year off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>