OLPC: Small thinking vs big thinking

A great quote from an OLPC spokesman about why some governments are not following through on ordering educational laptops from the OLPC initiative.

“It has not been that processor versus that processor or that operating system versus that operating system – it’s been small thinking versus big thinking. That’s really the issue.

Change equals risk especially for politicians. And we are certainly advocating change because the [education] system is failing these children.”

However, a Nigeria’s education minister replies,

What is the sense of introducing One Laptop per Child when they don’t have seats to sit down and learn; when they don’t have uniforms to go to school in, where they don’t have facilities?

Maybe you don’t need a seat or a uniform or a roof to engage productively with a computer. Purveyors of mobile computing in developed countries are trying to convince us of that. But other studies say hyper-mobility is a myth: you need somewhere safe and quiet before you can do any real thinking. Maybe it just depends on the person, and the context they are used to existing in.
Young girl carrying XO laptop

See the BBC News article: Politics ‘stifling $100 laptop’

There’s also some great video and a wonderful slideshow of trials in Nigeria.

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