OLPC on BBC News


I watched a 20 minute documentary this afternoon on BBC News 24 about the One Laptop per Child program in Africa.

Really interesting seeing the parents saying just how pleased they were that their children didn’t go out to play nearly as much as they did before the arrival of the laptops, and were busy working. In developed countries, I’d say the opinion’s pretty different.

Something that really hit me from the program is that teachers in Nigeria seem to be more willing, accepting of and excited about technology in the classroom than anywhere I’ve seen in the UK. Whether that’s down to the way the BBC edited the show is up for discussion, but I still noticed it. In any case, it made me feel bad seeing how animated the teaching staff were when using the new laptops in a lesson, and no doubt there are teachers here who could do with watching that segment.

It also highlighted the CMPC, a rival project “powered by Intel”, which I’d never heard of before.

Quote to sum it up from reporter Rory Cellan Jones:

If I came in tomorrow and said we’re going to take your laptops away and you’ll never be able to use them again, what would you be, happy or sad?

Every kid in the (crowded) room yells “sad!”

You can watch it on the BBC’s iPlayer for the next 5 days (until about the 17th Jan) here.