Happy new year

Happy new year to the OLPC community around the world!  Thank you for your part in everything we have accomplished in 2010 – from our new initiatives in Gaza, Argentina, and Nicaragua to expansion of work in Peru, Uruguay, Rwanda, Mexico, Afghanistan, and Haiti.

Special thanks to everyone who has worked on the newest iterations of Sugar, and those who put on the grassroots events over the past year in the Virgin Islands, San Francisco, and Uruguay — all of which has helped connect some of our smaller projects and realize some of their educational dreams in new activities.  We’ve launched our new website for the year, highlighting the stories from these and other deployments; this blog may merge into that site as well (and you can see blog posts appearing in its News section).

Designing a new look for laptop.org

Our new site design, first mentioned earlier this year, is close to fruition. You can now see our alpha site online.

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.

An overview of stories

OLPC Mongolia is pretty in pastel

OLPC Mongolia header

OLPC Mongolia banner, from laptop.gov.mn

OLPC Mongolia’s national website has been steadily adding new information about their program, and their site looks beautiful. I need to get a proper translation of their blog, which often goes into extreme detail.

They have charming walkthroughs for every core activity (here’s WikipediaEN and Speak. And they love to share data… sometimes in 3D.

Australia, Oceania, Nepal and Canada are leading the way in terms of detailed maps of the schools involved in pilots; it would be great to see what artistic style Mongolia adds to that meme.

OLPC South Asia takes flight

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

OLPC South Asia homepage

OLPC South Asia homepage

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:



OLPC Photographs

Photography is a powerful medium that conveys a message through an emotional and visceral impulse in the viewer. An image can tell the story of hardships, frustrations and joys, and the immutable human spirit in a way that transcends words.

I am curating and archiving OLPC photographs from around the world – of communities, kids, teachers, and the towns and cities they live in.  I believe the best photographs portray a sense of daily life and learning. I want to collect and show a set of photographs for people who love photography. They will present an intimate portrait of the subjects that can be achieved by close observation and interaction over time. They will show children and their families in daily life at home and in school, reading, studying, working, and at play.

These photographs will strive to answer basic questions about how OLPC affects children, their families, and community: How is learning valued at home?  How do children, parents and teachers work and study together, or with others?  What are their hopes for the future?  How do they share stories or ideas with other towns?  What music and videos do they like?

Here are some great photos found so far:

Boy using XO in Peru

Child and grandmother at home in Peru

Children in a classroom in Peru

Children show their XOs in Uruguay

Whole school with XOs in Sichuan

Girls sitting on gate working on XOs in Colonia, Uruguay

Child on salt lake with XO in Pilbara, Western Australia

Boys working together in classroom in Mongolia

Girl learning with XO in classroom in Gaza

Girls using laptop in field in Peru

Children learning with laptops in a village in Colombia

Boy works with XO on the ground in Uruguay

Children learn and play in Brazil


New OLPC site in the works

Our design partners have been developing a new design for the OLPC website, one that draws in contributions from our partner and chapter sites around the world. I saw the latest designs this week, and loved them!  We’ll have more updates about the site soon, once everyone’s back from the Realness Summit and we’ve heard from Mike Massey, our new photo maven.

The biggest change: we’re going to convert the homepage from a big logo to a series of full-screen images from deployments, with background details and links to more information. If you have any amazing photographs or stories you’d like to see featured on our homepage, please post a link to them.


An overview of stories
an OLPC world map