The OLPC project founded by Nicholas Negroponte is a shining example of how access to digital media and learning can really change lives. As Negroponte is keen to point out, this is not about the laptops, it’s about education and learning and the positive results are irrefutable.
This is an education project not a laptop project
Although this video is about OLPC in Colombia, Negroponte points out that results go across every single country and include teachers saying they have never loved teaching so much, and that reading comprehension measured by third parties, not by OLPC, skyrockets. And the educational experience does not stop with the children; the children teach the parents. They kids own the laptops and take them home. Negroponte says:
And so when I met with three children from the schools, who had travelled all day to come to Bogota, one of the three children brought her mother. And the reason she brought her mother is that this six-year-old child had been teaching her mother how to read and write. Her mother had not gone to primary school. And this is such an inversion, and such a wonderful example of children being the agents of change.
When we are faced, in our own country, with such widespread problems of literacy and digital literacy amongst disadvantaged groups, the OLPC provides a workable model for tackling the problem as well as a fine example of how digital media and technology can be used to effect real change.