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Will $100 Computer Revolutionize Education?

Since the beginning I have been intrigued by the $100 laptop which soon will be distributed to poor children worldwide.  This is not a mere toy, it could revolutionize education and computing.  After reading Jim Rapoza’s review at, I thought so often we talk about how war spawns new technologies, but in this case MIT’s peaceful quest to help educate children everywhere, has spawned many new innovations, which apparently will creep into mainstream computing. Here is Rapoza on of innovation: 

Looking at the mesh, I could easily see how an interface like it could be a huge asset in any corporate collaboration or project management tool.

Collaboration and sharing also is a big factor in other Sugar applications. Using the XO’s built-in camera and microphone, users can easily jump into video or audio chats with other users.

Along with a couple of colleagues, I am running a program now in schools to help teachers use blogs in classrooms, but for many of the kids finding a computer is no easy task. So I am thinking, even in the USA every kid should have his or her $100 computer, which now, according to Rapoza, is up to $170 in manufacturing costs.  Read the review you will be impressed.

2 Responses to “Will $100 Computer Revolutionize Education?”

  1. Wayan Says:

    The XO computer would be a boon to American schools, but there is resistance at OLPC to follow that path. Nicholas Negroponte is focusing on the developing world and government sales – not individual sales that would be the most logical in the USA.

    We’ve explored a OLPC USA option extensively on OLPC News:

  2. Leonard Witt Says:

    Hi Wayan:

    I just checked out your site. It’s helpful.

    I want laptops in the hands of kids everywhere. So using your figures, someone with a modest two worker income, like mine, could for $3,000 provide a classroom of 20 hardy take-home computers for every kid in the class. Sounds great.

    However, what about the articles saying schools with laptops have found little improvement in learning, and the schools spend all their time trying to fix the computers? I know these 100 laptops are built to last, but what maintenance issues?