Stuart Blog 2: November 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Saturday, November 05, 2005

One Laptop Per Child

One Laptop Per Child is an exciting project at MIT. The goal is to design a laptop suitable for distribution in the developing world and distribute it widely and at an affordable price. The project has accomplished a lot in terms of the design of the laptop. It's rugged. It has mesh wireless built in. The idea is that data will be primarily stored on the network so the laptop doesn't have a hard drive. They are powered by a handcrank. They use a special low-power display.

In the first year, the goal is to distribute between five and ten million at a per unit cost of $130-$150. They would be distributed largely in the developing world. In the second phase, the goal is to distribute over 100 million. Presumably, economies of scale would drive the cost down to $100. Distribution would be widened to include schools in the United States.

You can read more in depth review at WorldChanging.

It seems obvious that Case could offer a lot to MIT's One Laptop Per Child project. In turn, the experience would be great for Case's engineering and computer students. And when the project began distributing laptops domestically the collaboration would put Cleveland at the front of the line.

The value of this to Cleveland's public school students would be immense. Familiarity with technology is practically a shibolleth in our society. Students in our country are seperated by the oft-noted "digital divide". Students in the suburbs are prepared for college and high paying jobs that require familiarity with computers and students in the cities are left behind.