Tuesday, October 30, 2007

XO Laptops for Uruguay: The wheels are spinning!

Finally the OLPC foundation makes a solid deal with a country. Uruguay just bought 100,000 machines and is expected to buy 300,000 more in the next two year. Eventually every kid from Uruguay will have his or her laptop. I hope this is only the first purchase of XO laptops, since it was taking too long for the orders to begin. I hope that also the price keeps falling and eventually will be affordable for poorer countries. However, what I am expecting eagerly is to see the effect exerted on the children and teenagers who have massive access to XO laptops and can get connected and network between themselves and with the world. In my education video games played a very important role, even the silly video games we had in my days, I learned English because I wanted to solve puzzles and play RPGs, these games made me think hard and be the builder and main character in a story rather than looking passively at it.
Computers came much later and gave me tools that have been invaluable later, even if I cannot code in the way I wish, and now with e-books, if a child likes to read he won't have to re read several times the same books, as I had to, since there will be a huge variety of books, much more that s/he could ever read.

I am so damn happy today for the clusters of new possibilities open now for these children, and I think that thanks to effort like this one the Internet will be a much more fascinating and complex place in ten years.

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Ál said...

It's good news, but I'm a little esceptic about it, how many boys are in Uruguay, are you sure all of them are going to have a computer?

Is computers the first priority of Uruguay, are all the other needs covered?

Guido said...

Uruguay is a very small country, its population, according to the Wikipedia is 3.3 million people, so it is not that difficult to ensure that in fact every child has his or her laptop.

I do not think that all needs are covered, however education is a priority. These machines are much more than toys and could improve the future of Uruguay in a lot of ways, bringing prosperity and creativity.

We often face dilemmas like this. We both chose to study and not to work, even if getting a shitty job could give us some independence, but we chose to endure the tough times in order to have better futures. That is what Uruguay is doing.