Vegas, NV- Jan 8, 2012- One Laptop per Child Association (OLPCA), the world
renowned project to provide a modern education to children through a connected
computing device, announced today that it will introduce a new touch screen device, theÂ XO Learning Tablet, at CES. OLPCA will also unveil for the first time the XO LearningÂ System, an Android compatible software package for child-centric learning.
Every child has dreams and XO Learning directs the child’s passion, creativity andÂ energy for these dreams into a new user interface that has 12 dreams. Such dreamsÂ include “I want to be” an artist, a musician and a scientist. Each dream features a richÂ learning experience and applications, books, games and videos that allow children agesÂ 3 to 12 to naturally explore their dreams and learn at the same time. Content within aÂ dream has three levels, so as the child advances in his/her learning, there is no needÂ to pay for additional apps or content. Every dream features a “hero”, a real person whoÂ personifies the dream.
“The challenge in computing and education is to use the technology to develop newÂ ways for children to learn. The rich content of the dreams allows the child’s natural
passion to be directed into learning experiences,” said Giulia D’Amico, the lead designerÂ of XO Learning.
OLPCA teamed with the legendary designer Yves Behar of Fuse Project and his team
to create the XO Learning user interface and cover. All of the content in XO Learning
has been curated and selected for appropriateness and educational value by both
OLPCA and Common Sense Media, the leading non-profit reviewer of age appropriate
computer-based content in the U.S. XO Learning also offers a full range of parental
controls and user IDs for up to three children, a dashboard where the child or the parentÂ can review usage, types of content and the skills the child is developing. XO LearningÂ also includes a journal that records all usage including websites visited. Press a singleÂ icon and XO Learning switches from English to Spanish with all new content dependingÂ on the language. Additional languages will be available in future releases.
XO Learning also offers unique learning experiences from leading partners who supportÂ OLPCA’s program to foster child-centric learning. OLPCA partners include SesameÂ Street, MyCityWay, Common Sense Media, Little Pim and UNESCO, among others.Â OLPCA is currently in negotiations with many other of the world’s leading companies toÂ provide unique experiences through XO Learning in time for the product introduction inÂ 2013.
XO Learning will be offered through licensing agreements to tablet manufacturers,
governments, book publishers, and international distributors in the U.S., Europe and theÂ traditional OLPCA markets in developing countries.
â€œWith the popularity of tablets, the standards and specifications of the devices are
converging to one worldwide standardâ€, said Dâ€™Amico. â€œThe expectation of the tablet
user in the U.S., India and South Africa is the same.â€
Sakar International, based in Edison, New Jersey, is the first licensee under their
Vivitar brand. It will offer XO Learning on a 7″ inch Android tablet of its own design
with specifications as shown in the attached schedule. The tablet will be marketed as
the “XO Tablet”. Sakar has the exclusive right to sell the XO Tablet to leading U.S.
retailers for both in-store and online sales.
The XO Tablet will be available at select Walmart stores and Walmart.com this year.
About One Laptop per Child AssociationÂ One Laptop per Child Association (OLPCA at http://www.laptop.org) is a non-profit organization whoseÂ mission is to provide every child in the world access to new channels of learning, sharing and self-expression. In partnership with the public and private sectors and non- governmental organizations andÂ supported by comprehensive implementation and pedagogical services, OLPCA seeks to provide eachÂ child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power connected laptop that empowers individual learning and growth.
About XO Learning
â€œA learning experience designed to unleash children’s creativityâ€ for 3-12 year olds.
XO Learning believes that tablets offer new ways for technology to provide a child-centric learningÂ environment through the convergence of virtual and physical activities. These experiences are madeÂ possible, in part, through app-cessories, sensors and other devices particularly suited to the form factorÂ and user interface of a tablet.
We had a “similar” scheme here in the UK where the government gave vouchers to low-income families so that they could buy laptops for their kids. The trouble was that they were only valid for a select few models of laptops that seemed to have been specially built for this scheme. These laptops that were approved for the scheme were vastly over-priced for the specs, ie you got a slow single core cpu, 1gb ram and say a 120gb hard drive with windows 7 (crawling along), and all that cost Â£400. Whereas, in the open market you could buy a dual core, 4gb, 320gb hard drive, windows 7 home premium laptop for Â£450. Of course you weren’t allowed to add another Â£50 to the government vouchers and get a decent laptop, oh no – you had to buy one of these special ones. Smacks of old-boy network and doing favours for friends type of set up between the government and the laptop manufacturers. Call me a sceptic but what else explains the absolute waste of public money on this? I’m all for charity and the idea of giving under-priviledged kids access to the same stuff all the other kids get, eg laptops and the internet, but if we – the tax-payer – buy in bulk then we should get a discount. Not charged extra for it!! I appreciate that there were some extra tweaks and software on there but this could have been accomplished for a lot less even so.
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Will the Sakar tablet run Sugar as well? I’d like to assume so, but it’s hard to be sure with the fragmenting of the offerings…
And how about Nell?
And can any/all of these bits be downloaded by the owner of a pre-existing Android tablet?
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