Sol Computer, a California-based distributor that focuses on sunlight-readable technology, has a high-end line of rugged netbook laptops, is planning to sell a similar tablet for $950 later this year. It looks a lot like they are targeting an OLPC use case in the developed world — sunlight-readable, child- and abuse-friendly devices. Nice to know there is a market for that, and that it has discovered Pixel Qi.
Their new displays continue to drop their power requirements; we would be able to save over half of the power our current displays draw by upgrading to the newest Qi design.Â I have always loved this best of all of the tech innovations in the XO, and am delighted to see it take off as its own force for constructive change.
Walter Bender recently talked to USAIDâ€™s Mobiles for Education (mEducation) monthly seminar group about OLPC’s tablet development, the future of Sugar, and a future where every child has their own tablet.Â They wrote up a nice summary of his talk.
As exciting as the introduction of the new tablet was for the small group of attendees at the seminar, Sugar was the focus of the discussion and one that Mr. Bender talked passionately about. Â Designed on OLPCâ€™s principle of â€œLow floor, no ceilingâ€, itâ€™s designed for inexperienced users, providing a platform, or low floor, on which to explore, create, and collaborate without any limits to its possibilities.
Exploration is key to Mr. Benderâ€™s philosophy. Â Designing Sugar and the computers from a â€œconstructivistâ€ perspective, he referred to Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget and his learning theory of â€œlearning by doingâ€ when discussing the intuitiveness of the system. Â â€œWe want to raise a generation of independent thinkers and problem solvers, â€œ he said after displaying a picture of students taking apart and fixing one of OLPCâ€™s laptops. Â â€œEvery deployment has students who repair computers and they are designed so that students can fix them themselves.â€
One of our longtime volunteers seeing Nicholas’s recent ‘Learning by Yourselves‘ talk at Solve for X, had this to say:
My great hope is that the Learning by Yourselves experiment will break the final barriers to the high objective of universal literacy — in this generation!
Please also know that although this experiment is at the cutting edge of technology, the conception and imagining of this effort was projected, and tried, in 2004 in Afghanistan. [See 2006 UNICEF report on work done with the Afghanistan government.] Using illiterates to harness the innate desire for learning among children â€“ can be done with paper and pencil; the tablets, however, will make it much more dramatic.