Designing a new look for

Our new site design, first mentioned earlier this year, is close to fruition. You can now see our alpha site online.

We are working on ways to better link the site, wiki, and blog together, and to aggregate and point to every site in the OLPC community. For now, you can add information about your own projects and websites, and links to them. We will be working on other visualizations of this data, and connecting our map of major deployments with the growing olpcmap network, over the coming month. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

An overview of stories

OLPC South Asia takes flight

A network of South Asian OLPC deployments (including India, Sri Lanka and Nepal) are working together to share knowledge and outreach. Support gang member Shirish Goyal has put together a gorgeous portal covering work in that part of the world, at

OLPC South Asia homepage

OLPC South Asia homepage

I felt a momentary pang of jealousy, looking at that design. But I satisfied myself with the knowledge that we will have a vibrant new look of our own soon, with the blog integrated into our main site. Here’s another sneak peek:



XOs in Colombia: Caldas, Itagüí, and wonderful tools

Tech Crunch TV interviewed Maureen Orth recently on the introduction of OLPC in rural Colombia on their tl:dw videocast.

This was a timely reminder that Colombia has been building a network of supporting pilots and foundations in the years since this first urban school began implementing OLPC.  The largest projects are in Medellín (perlas), in Caldas, in Altos de Cazucá, and in Itagüí (1, 2).  Some of these are much more rural, and required helicopter drops to get them underway.

Caldas also produced this great video.

Children relaxing outside of class at the Marina Orth school

Children relaxing outside of class at the Marina Orth school

The Maureen Orth  Foundation‘s Medellin pilot is not very large, but she talks about connected laptops as “the most wonderful tool they could possible have”.

Sharing the flame of inspiration

This past weekend, we had a country meeting in Cambridge – the sort of gathering of national project leads, and honest sharing of lessons and challenges, that I love best about OLPC.  It ranged from the familiar to the unexpected.  It is fascinating to observe the  with Gaza and Afghanistan providing useful perspectives on what is easy and what is hard in very dense and very sparse regions, under economic and military pressure.

It left me with a lot to think about regarding how we scale passion, awareness, and the practicalities of deployment — we saw a few different successful models for scaling to hundreds of thousands of children and teachers, and discussed social and political pitfalls to avoid.

At the same time, Juliano wrote up a very personal reflection on the recent teacher training sessions he has helped organize in Rwanda.  He comments that last week’s work felt more effective than any he had done so far, but that it made him think about the challenges of scaling training to an entire country.

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