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.
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 olpcsouthasia.org
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:
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.
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”.
Names can be confusing at times. Take “One Laptop per Child“: should the per be capitalized? This was debated long after logos and t-shirts had been designed. OLPC has included two separate non-profits since its inception:
- A 501c4 association, originally set up to execute the mission of the project (Formally: ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD ASSOCIATION, INC – no acronym, capitalization question avoided via ALL CAPS registration)
- A 501c3 foundation, originally set up to receive tax-deductible donations to support the mission (Formally: OLPC Foundation or OLPCF – acronym, just to make things complicated)
At first, most OLPC work was associated with the Association (ha!) and the Foundation dealt only with fundraisers and the like. Last year, we started dividing effort between the two bodies. Our projects focused on the poorest countries, remote access, and rebuilding after disasters and conflicts, moved to the Foundation. Rodrigo Arboleda Halaby, a supporter of OLPC since its inception, was invited to lead the Association, which took more explicit responsibility for long-term support for stable deployments and work in Latin America. They set up headquarters in Miami, originally with a staff of two. Now they have a solid team, a new Board, and the first OLPC baby…
This week the Association hosted a coming out party in the South Floriday community, with a debut breakfast for supporters, featuring Samuel Dusengiyumva from the OLPC Rwanda team, who spoke about Rwanda’s plans for the future.
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.