Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Digital Divide

One of the things Ray Nagin was supposed to bring to office was an understanding of technology. One of his early one liners was about moving from the Jetson's to the Flintstones. His initiative to get the city on the web and to bring free wireless Internet to the city haven't been that successful, but he did more than anyone else has.

OLPC XO Notebook

I have been following the development of the XO laptop from the One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC). They have recently released the design for manufacturing. At $140.00 per unit in quantities the project has the possibility of giving every child a useful computer at very low prices.

Recently the RSD superintendent has taken a lot of credit for his technology upgrades, including Smartboard ion class rooms. I have used Smartboards before and find the technology fascinating but don't really grasp the use of this expensive technology for instruction. I'd imagine for the cost of a smartboard in every classroom , every student could have been given an XO notebook.

According to GNOCDC there were 26,165 New Orleans Public School Students that would cost $36,000,000 to give everyone an XO laptop.

Ashley tried to get the OLTP people to include New Orleans but was rebuffed. Later they changed the rules and approved Birmingham Alabama.

I'd still like to see it happen.


rosburne@cwa9415.org said...

OLPC is now focusing on children here in America which is great. But that is just part of the answer. We need to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable high speed internet at home. The libraries are overcrowded and lots of folks simply can't afford the high cost of true high speed internet. The Communications Workers Of America is working on this issue with their project Speed Matters. Check out the website at www.speedmatters.org for more information.

mominem said...

One of the really interesting features of the OLPC is its mesh networking. If the computers are are close enough together they will form a network automatically and spread out to an access point.

Of course if the Cities Free WiFi network had been completed, it wouldn't have been an issue.

The long, long road home,New Orleans said...

This video link is from sixty minutes. Its an interview about the one laptop per child program


mominem said...

Blogger cut off the link in the previous comment. Here is is as a link.

Beware there are 30 seconds of advertising for a one minute clip.

Sixty Minutes Clip

Christopher Johnston said...

I was watching Channel 4 News Digital Gumbo segment a few weeks ago and they showed pics of a school in New Orleans that had received OLPC's. The host Jerry Seregni was invited to this school to teach a class to the students. He mentioned that it was pretty cool to see the mesh network created by the OLPC'c and how the kids could interact with each other using them. There is no video of the segment on the WWL website and it's not mentioned in the article online. If you contact Mr. Seregni he may be able to get you the name of the school.

At the BarCamp we had in New Orleans on Feb.16 - 17 Brian Oberkirch brought his OLPC for people to check out if they were interested. I didn't get more than a passing look at it but it definitely is kid sized.

mominem said...


I can't find any reference to any school in New Orleans using it. I know some people have them from the Give One Get One Program.

I find the Digital Gumbo has covered the OLPC some but no reference to any organized local use.