Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

OLPC Comes to Canada

Linux in Education, Teaching, technology

OLPC Comes to Canada

Belinda Stronach is promoting use of OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) in aboriginal schools in Canada. I can relate to that. In many aboriginal communities, the ratio of students per PC is ~10 when most educators seek a range from 1 to 3. OLPC Canada is getting started with a first goal of 5000 OLPCs. It’s just a start. The need is at least 100K. OLPC has the advantage over using recycled desktop PCs, the solution I used, because they are a better size for small children and their classrooms.

“One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Canada
A core program of The Belinda Stronach Foundation (TBSF), OLPC Canada strives to empower Aboriginal youth to play an active role in their own education through access to learning centered technology. Canada’s first National OLPC program, TBSF has provided approximately 3600 laptops to children 6-12 years of age in rural, remote and urban communities. For more information about the international OLPC movement, please visit one.laptop.org
OLPC Canada is a testament to the strength of partnerships and the important role the private sector, government and NGOs can play in strengthening communities and strategically investing in Canadian children. The program has been generously supported by Vale, BMO and the Government of Ontario.”

14 Comments

  1. Robert Pogson

    Jennifer wrote, “the need is much greater than the initial goal of 5000 laptops.”

    Yes. When I taught in the North, I usually found 7-10 students per PC instead of 1-3 that really makes IT useful in education. Many schools had only a lab and scheduled visits to IT is not really the best use of IT. I suggest many schools would be better off having a cluster of PCs in each classroom rather than a lab. Of course, the best of both worlds is to have a lab and clusters.

    In Canada, there are hundreds of thousands of aboriginal students barely getting an education. Better use of IT in schools would be a huge benefit. Thanks, OLPC.

  2. Jennifer

    Thank you for this post! You are absolutely right, the need is much greater than the initial goal of 5000 laptops. It really helps to have people like you raise awareness about the need for this program. Thank you for your contribution!

  3. Finalzone

    Lowering the price of hardware is OLPC plan from day one. The XO laptop or tablet (XO-3 not yet in production) are designed to be rugged i.e shock resistant.
    Remember the disruptive nature of OLPC caused panic to Intel and Microsoft who sabotaged the effort.

  4. dougman

    One thing to keep in mind is the rate of inflation of the USD, $200 in 1995 is worth ~$303.68 today.

    Looking at the reverse of this, $40 today was ~$77.22 in 1995.

    Comparing the two values, gives us a 75% drop.

    My how M$ has lowered their extortion fees in 17-years, so extrapolating in 5.6 years the cost of Windows OS will be $0.00.

    :)

  5. oiaohm

    Robert Pogson
    –I think it’s more likely that M$ plans to milk their users to the bitter end, converting lock-in to $.–
    Do they have a choice. I don’t think so.

    Most people fail to notice over all this time that computer hardware price has been dropping the OS cost has moved very little.

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19950607&slug=2125167

    That right MS wanted 200 dollars for Windows 95 and 100 dollar for upgrade in 1995. Computers cost way more in 1995 than today.

  6. Robert Pogson

    kozmcrae wrote, “Their pricing of their tablets shows they have yet to learn a respect for the new reality. They have chosen to learn the hard way.”

    I think it’s more likely that M$ plans to milk their users to the bitter end, converting lock-in to $.

  7. kozmcrae

    dougman wrote:

    “Who would have thought that you would see, $200-500 computers doing what thousand dollar computers did a decade ago?”

    Moore’s Law and FLOSS are a deadly cocktail for Microsoft. Their pricing of their tablets shows they have yet to learn a respect for the new reality. They have chosen to learn the hard way.

  8. dougman

    With automated robotics building the newer devices at Foxconn, I can see $20 tablets becoming a reality in shortly.

    Who would have thought that you would see, $200-500 computers doing what thousand dollar computers did a decade ago?

    Currently, there are approximately 2.4 billion people active on the web.

    http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

    A $20 device tablet, Linux and the OLPC would make huge in-roads to collectively sharing data. The Internet is far too large for any single government or company to control.

  9. Robert Pogson

    dougman wrote, “we tossed out a bunch of Windows CDs”.

    OMG! Think of the children! Surely you shredded them first. I consider that other OS malware and if I were discarding them I would try to protect the world from spreading the infection.

  10. dougman

    It’s amazing how much has changed in the past ten years.

    I just helped another SMB and we tossed out a bunch of Windows CDs, in hindsight I should have taken a picture, but eh it was just Windows, so it was WIN-WIN for them. :)

    They were interested in my thoughts on the new Surface Return IT (RT) device and I stated it was junk, besides that for the price they are asking $800+, one can purchase (4) Chromebooks.

    I mentioned that if they really were interested in saving money, just start on BYOD for Android and deploy Google Chromebooks, ACER has a $200 model out now.

    http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/chromebooks.html#ac-c7

  11. kozmcrae

    But, but… best of breed… but, but, applications applications… but, but, business is business… but, but… Wahhhh wahhhh wahhhh 1995 please come back!

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