Recent News from Cambodia P.R.I.D.E.

I am awe’ed with the results of Elaine Negroponte’s dedication to the children and communities served by Cambodia P.R.I.D.E. Cambodia PRIDE, “Providing Rural Innovative Digital Education” maintains a low profile in a country which has many NGOs and many obstacles to success. I was so personally inspired by my visit to this project in 2011, that I have become more involved. This year, I joined Cambodia PRIDE’s Board of Directors as a “special advisor.”  I am passionate about OLPC and its XO laptop project because it impacts so many children. The children that Cambodia Pride reach, even those children that don’t complete their school exams, are learning how to think, to learn, to work together with others, and to solve problems. …

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Colombia’s President Santos on quadrupling Internet access nationwide, and on rural OLPC success

Last November, President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia gave the annual speech presenting the country’s National Competitiveness Report (pdf) – presented by the national Private Council for Competitiveness.

In his speech, he spends some time discussing his national plans for education, and recalls one of the great OLPC stories — the first OLPC program in Colombia in 2008, involving delivery by helicopter, no less, when Santos was Minister of National Defense. This took place in the town of Vista Hermosa, which at the time had recently been captured by government forces from the FARC.

Vista Hermosa students receive XOs in Dec. 2008

Here is the story in his own words. It is worth watching the original video; Santos is a good speaker. (The whole talk is fascinating; education starts at 26:25, the Vista Hermosa story is at 28:55.)

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New Scientist interviews Nicholas about the no-intervention literacy experiment

Vijaysree Venkatraman of the New Scientist interview Nicholas about the pilot experiment to see how access to a tablet with books and appropriate software can help children learn in the absence of structured intervention (like an enforced class at a school).   They cover the potential sites for the eventual project, and the pre-pilot beginning next month.

It’s offers a quick overview of the effort, from the audience (5-8 yr olds) to infrastructure and power issues, to the timeline for assessment of the results (2 years).   Sugata Mitra is helping designing the minimally invasive pilots and will oversee the one in India.

Singapore: Changing the world, one laptop at a time

Irene Tham of the Straits Times, Singapore writes:

MOST would agree it takes more than a laptop to make a difference in a child’s life. But the man behind non-profit organization One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) – whose tagline is ‘Give a laptop, change the world’ – is not swayed by naysayers.

‘When people tell you that something is impossible, they usually have a vested interest in it not coming true,’ said Professor Nicholas Negroponte, founder of OLPC.

The organization aims to provide every disadvantaged child in Third World nations with a laptop. Its goal – and one which Prof Negroponte emphasized repeatedly – ‘is not a laptop project but an education project’.

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