“If kids can learn to read, then they can read to learn” Nicholas Negroponte – Tablets Reading Project in Ethiopia

MIT Technology Review’s annual EmTech is the premier conference focused on emerging technologies and their impact. Each year, this unique event brings together key players from the technology, engineering, academic and management communities to discuss the technological innovations that are changing the face of business and driving the global economy.

During the last conference, Nicholas Negroponte presented the latest information about the Reading Project, an experiment/research, conducted with kids in Ethiopia to see what can happen without a teacher, because these kids have none.

During September, MIT Technology review posted the article “Another Way to Think about Learning” describing some of what was going on. Recently, a new article explains more on the latest findings; “Given Tablets but No Teachers, Ethiopian Children Teach Themselves

After several months, the kids in both villages were still heavily engaged in using and recharging the machines, and had been observed reciting the “alphabet song,” and even spelling words. One boy, exposed to literacy games with animal pictures, opened up a paint program and wrote the word “Lion.”

Learn more about the Reading Project explained by Nicholas Negroponte in the following video (min 57:53):

Watch live streaming video from emtech2012 at livestream.com

Nicholas is back to the stage on a Panel: minute 2:19:20

Why XO?

Special commentary by: Paul Fox

Most of the marketing and message surrounding the OLPC project, and the G1G1 fund-raising effort, is centered on the kids of the world who are our true mission. And that’s as it should be — you only have to look at some of the pictures from the deployments to convince yourself of that.

But let’s face it — if you’re going to donate enough money to both “give one and get one”, you might want to be convinced that the “get one” half — i.e., _your_ cute little green machine — is actually going to be useful. Call it enlightened self-interest. (I’m assuming you’re thinking of this at least partly as a toy for yourself. Go ahead — admit it — it’s okay.) I got my XO during last year’s G1G1 promotion. Maybe I can help convince you.

One of the best parts, for me, is the screen. Shirtsleeve season always feels too short here in New England, so I like getting outside as much as possible when it’s practical. Being able to walk outside to surf the web is a great feeling. Another screen feature: by flipping the laptop into “e-book” form, I take less space on the subway while reading email (offline reading, of course).

Another XO plus for commuting: the extra wireless sensitivity offered by the cute green antennae makes it possible to hit the web, courtesy of a nearby open access point, from my bus stop.

More OS tips and tricks after the drop.

Continue reading Why XO?