One laptop for every impoverished child around the world – that’s the dream. The ambitious project, launched by MIT Lab and announced recently by Nicholas Negroponte at the WSIS in Tunis, is to develop a sub-100-dollar laptop. Yes, that affordable.
The project aims to revolutionize how the world’s children will be educated. Developing countries like the Philippines can benefit so much from this. In fact I wish that instead of purchasing missiles and other weapons for its corrupt military, the Philippine government will prioritize the acquisition of this educational tool.
There are three reasons why I love the idea. First, not only that it’ll be cheap, the laptop will run on the Linux operating system. I have been using Linux for over a year now and I can attest to the fact that its functionability, adaptability and robustness make it the best operating system in the world. And since Linux is open-sourced, I can already imagine the students studying and understanding the source code of this great software. In no time, graders and highschool students will be developing their own programs and sharing it with their schoolmates.
Secondly, the full-screen, full-color laptop will use innovative power. Considering that the target users include schoolchildren living in remote places where there is no electricity, an alternative power source is necessary. The laptop can be powered by wind-up or hand crank.
And thirdly, the rugged laptop can be used as an ebook and will have wifi and VoIP capabilities. In learning, connectivity is of paramount importance. Thus the integrated internet and peer-to-peer capabilities of the machine make it such a powerful educational tool.
But hold on. The cheap laptops won’t be available for sale to individual costumers, instead it will be directly shipped in bulk to schools directly through government authorities. The laptops will be available by the end of 2006.