If you only read one thing this week…


The $100 laptop – educational revolution, or expensive distraction? by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
October 4, 2007, 8:43 pm
Filed under: Articles, If you only have 15 mins

David Pogue, in the New York times, reviews the ‘$100 dollar laptop’, which looks like it is actually in production (although it does not cost 100 dollars… Read his review here, or find out why the Globalization Institute hates the 100 dollar laptop here.

Go straight to the source, where you can even buy one of these machines, and give one to a child for 400 dollars) at the One Laptop Per Child site.

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hey… I should really be working, but I’ve got to comment on the OLPC thing. I have to say, I’m a bit torn about it. Part of me says this is really unnecessary, but on the other hand, what the hell. Mostly though, I’ve been coming down slightly on the side of this is probably not worth the trouble. In fact I had a conversation with a guy about e-Government in developing contexts and I gotta say, I was a bit skeptical… but…

I think I may be a little bit more for it because of an odd experience I had this summer in Kosovo… I was hanging out with Jak in his optometry shop in Prizren when a customer came in – actually a German officer from the KFor contingent. He wanted new prescription lenses for his sunglasses. He gives Jak his prescription, they agree on some flashy tints and Jak says they’ll be ready the day after tomorrow… 60euro.. no problem, great, off he goes, I’ll see you in two days.

After he left I asked Jak how he could get lenses in less than a day and a half in Prizren. He said he orders them from Tetovo in Macedonia. I assumed he had to fax the order in, but he says no, whips out his mobile phone and text messages the order in to the shop in Macedonia… a minute later he gets a confirmation – no problem, we’ll send it up tomorrow afternoon on the Tetovo-Prizren bus. There ya, go e-Commerce on a shoe string.

I’m not sure what it really means for the One Child laptops, but it did make me rethink the technology in development just a bit. Something, eh? Maybe there is a role for these things.

– Fred

Comment by Fred




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