Cost and Affordability - ereaders
If it is desirable for each child to have an ereader, which can be loaded from the computer, and cost about 10% of the computer cost. No ereaders have yet been designed (as OLPC is) for low cost. If the OLPC costs $100 then ereaders could cost $10 in comparable quantities, utilizing (very low power) static screens like Sipix and E-ink...
A computer isn't a TV and it needs a lot of support. Even if the operating system can be repaired or updated by simply booting from USB and clicking one button, millions of people are needed for software training, hardware repair, network infrastructure, translating,...
This is a much bigger challenge than producing the hardware.
- Simplifying computing and using it for development with the least hardware specification is a work-in-progress since 1998, and the best suite of software for this that is now ready is PuppyLinux. It is now moving into translation. Training of teachers and innovative applications in education have been started and being published at http://schoolpup.net. A new site will be up soon for online training of school executives. - Raffy
What if OLPC tried to develop a way to literally build the laptops in the developing countries. Tech factories can open up which will inspire more education to fill new jobs.
More than 20 million teachers need to be trained. Most of the teachers don't have a computer. Lots of them never used a computer. Some of them have never seen a computer. They will need more help than the students, perhaps.
Activities in poor countries
I was traveling in Laos in february and march 2006. I read all the information that is available online about olpc but I couldn't answer a single of the many questions from people (teachers) I told about this project.
Is this a project to clear conscience of people in rich counties? Shouldn't there already be much more people from poor countries involved in this project than people from rich countries?
- Getting one's hands on an information device such as the laptop is empowering in itself. Rather than ask questions, people should get started and equip themselves with skills for making the most out of the device. Some ideas for getting started are available from littlecandle.net.
Only for "rich" countries like thailand and china?
There are poor countries like Cambodia, laos, myanmar, ... If I look at the map at http://laptop.org/map.en_US.html only the more devoloped countries are marked green. What is the reason for ignoring the poorest of the poor?
- Could there be a special fund so that the poorest countries are not left out?
Answer: The countries that are marked green in the deployment map are the "pilot" countries. Those are the countries in which the deployment will begin, which will be the first phase of the project lasting 12-18 months... Once the first phase is over, the door will be open for all countries to participate. And at that stage, different funding strategies could be explored to allow the poorer countries to provide those laptops to their children, ranging from international grants to buy-a-child-a-laptop kind programs.