Rodrigo Arboleda, the CEO of One Laptop Per Child, tells the success story of how one laptop has revolutionized education through “non-profit entrepreneurship” and unveils its new Android tablet that will be available for sale in US Walmart stores – the 1st time OLPC goods are sold in America – in summer 2013.
Rodrigo Arboleda Halaby is currently Chairman and CEO, for One Laptop per Child Association and based in Miami, Florida. Born in Medellin, Colombia, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1965 and was elected president of the Colombian Society of Architects in Medellín in 1975. He has worked with Nicholas Negroponte since 1982 on projects oriented towards bringing digital age technologies to educational systems in developing nations.
Proceeds of Joe Kutchera’s upcoming book, Exito! will be donated to OLPC. You can view his talk here.
Sugar Labs has been selected as one of ten projects to participate in Google Code In. We join, among others, our colleagues at Fedora et al., in soliciting the participation of high-school (and in our case, middle-school) students to work on projects during a six-week sprint beginning on November 26. This is a great chance for the youth who have been so instrumental in our growth over the past year to show off their talents to the world (and two of them will hopefully win a trip to visit Google). Please help Chris Leonard and Walter Bender finalize the project and mentor lists over the next few days. We are offering coding projects, documentation and training projects, outreach, quality assurance, and user interface, so even if you are not a developer, you likely have some skills to devote to the Code In.
NOTE TO MENTORS: Please create an account and fill out the Request to be a Mentor form.
NOTE TO COMMUNITY: Please add to our task lists and please recruit participants.
Why we are participating
Sugar is written and maintained by volunteers, who range from seasoned professionals to children as young as 12-years of age. Children who have grown up with Sugar have transitioned from Sugar users to Sugar App developers to Sugar maintainers. They hang out on IRC with the global Sugar developer community and are full-fledged members of the Sugar development team. It is this latter group of children we hope will participate in and benefit from Google Code-in. Specifically we want to re-enforce the message that Sugar belongs to its users and that they have both ownership and the responsibility that ownership implies. Just as learning is not something done to you, but something you do, learning with Sugar ultimately means participating in the Sugar development process. At Sugar Labs, we are trying to bring the culture of Free Software into the culture of school. So the Code-in is not just an opportunity for us to get some tasks accomplished, it is quintessential to our overall mission
cscott just rejoined our team from distant lands, to much rejoicing. His first blog post covers his work this month to explore of software development paths for the XO-3. Welcome back!
Last Monday I rejoined One Laptop Per Child as Director, New Technologies. My mandate is hardware and software for the XO-3, OLPC’s upcoming ARM-based tablet computer for education in the developing world. The new machine should be lower cost, lower power, more indestructible, more powerful, and potentially more expandable than ever. There are about two million machines in the XO-1 family (XO-1, XO-1.5) in the hands of kids today. The XO-3 will build upon this impressive foundation to reach further into the poorest and least-connected regions of the world.
I will kick-off my work with a series of four week-long sprints between now and eduJAM Uruguay to investigate possible directions for the educational software stack on the XO-3 tablet. On the XO-1 machines, OLPC ships Sugar, an impressive collection of educational software developed by Sugar Labs. How can we keep the best of Sugar while yanking the UI forward into a touch-friendly tablet world?
This week (April 4-8) I’ll begin by working on a port of the GTK3 UI library to Android. The GTK3 library contains touch support missing from the GTK2 library (on which Sugar is currently based). The goal here is a port of the Python/GTK-based Sugar APIs, running on something like the Honeycomb Android OS. Existing educational activities could be ported to new APIs without much difficulty, but we’d largely use existing Android OS facilities instead of Sugar’s low-level system management. This is a preliminary exploration—we haven’t decided to base tablet software on Android (or anything else) yet.
The week of April 11-15 I will start porting Python/GTK3 to Chrome or ChromeOS via the Google NativeClient plugin. This path would result in activities which more fully integrate with web technologies—even in disconnected regions of the world. On desktop machines, Sugar activities could run inside the Chrome browser, while ChromeOS (or another embedded OS running chrome/webkit) would provide system management functions on tablets like the XO-3. As with the Android port, this is exploration, not a definite software direction.
The week of April 18-22 I hope to focus on mesh networking. This has a checkered history in our deployments; I hope to identify remaining roadblocks and map a way forward to make this a flagship feature of the XO-3.
The week of April 25-29 is for the existing Python-based Sugar codebase. To continue moving forward, it needs to migrate to GTK3, gobject-introspection, and other key enabling technologies. It would also benefit from language-independent APIs and better modularization, to allow a more incremental migration path.
The following week is Conozco Uruguayand theUruguay EduJAM — where I’ll present progress on these exploratory projects and discuss the path ahead with the OLPC and Sugar communities. A week is not enough time to finish any of these projects! But the focused effort should help to identify the promise, roadblocks, and challenges in each path, which will help us plan the future.
Yesterday, iGoogle launched “Themes for Causes” with One Laptop per Child as one of their first 25 causes. “Themes for Causes” are ways to customize your Google homepage to show your support.
Show your support for One Laptop per Child by adding our theme to your Google startpage, and by sharing the theme with your friends. As more people use our theme, it is rated more highly and more people see it.