olpc community one laptopschool per child

short url to this page: https://goo.gl/CrVokz
Discussion group / email dispatching tool: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/tcolpc
email dispatching address: TcOLPC at googlegroups.com

Welcome to the free and open pages by the olpc community.  The OLPC not for profit makes sure there is an open source - open hardware, solar powered laptopschool that is used in society transformational projects that use as entrance points education and the energy of kids/youth and their transformational capacity in families, as they bring the laptopschools both into schools and their families.

Pictures left to right: Uruguay: All kids in Uruguay have an XO laptopschool.  4 Years after introduction, some very smart kids hacked the XO and turned into a Robot, which the kids named "Butía".  The project became a brand of its own has its own name: google "Project Butia".  The main export product of Uruguay: software.  The XO is an integral part of the kids channel: a puppet and animators "- two silly professors and 1 cool guy" - await the kids and the whole family when the kids return from school.  The kids send in their best pictures, drawings, movies, programs, experiments, music, etc, they've made and the best are shown on national TV for the whole family to watch.
Picture: In Rwanda, the OLPC XO computer is on the 500 franks note. Just about all kids in Rwanda have an XO.  Picture of the Ministry of Education in Peru with a statue of the XO at the entrance.  Just about all kids in Peru have an OLPC XO.  Kid and father showing their XO and portable Photovoltaic Panel that comes with the XO.  Kofi ANAN, Ban Ki MOON, Unicef support OLPC and the olpc community.

Table des matières

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Hi, we are the olpc community team and propose to 
analyse the "Welcome" line at the top of this page, and the terms you find there as a way to introduce you to the olpc initiative
show you some short movies, 
take you a little bit back to the beginning 
and then give you a status update of where we are today and explain the different ways to participate.  
If ever, don't hesitate to ask us a question. 

Let's analyse the "Welcome" line or pitch line "Welcome to the free and open pages on the olpc transformational initiative for a whole society based on education, open source, open hardware and open community." :

"... to the free and open pages ..."
  1. olpc is a free and open community initiative, just like the Wikipedia, Lunix, Raspberry Pi, etc. Only OLPC is not just open software but also open hardware.
  2. if you want to collaborate, just contact us, we'll give you a login and you can start typing/editing here.
  3. official OLPC website: http://one.laptop.org
  4. OLPC wiki, but only for technical documentation: http://wiki.laptop.org
the OLPC 
One Laptop Per Child.  We just needed a name for the not for profit.  It has been a name that has lead to quite a lot of discussion in the ngo and educational world in Europe because the vast majority of people working in the NGO world are very bad, don't know a thing about hardware.  They have very bad experiences with computers and software: things that crash, are expensive, an ICT sector that tricks you in to buying stuff and then all of a sudden they change something and you have to buy not only a new computer, but also a new printer and cables, the adaptors change every other new version, etc.  The sector gets you into a cycle of updates and having to buy new stuff.  NGO's in the west are very reluctant to change: they will help you with analysing stuff, letting you talk about your problems, much more than actually showing you the hardware to solve your problem, how to build the hardware, etc.  In COOPERATIVES in developing countries on the country they don't believe in all that talking and writing reports anymore and they LOVE teams that come with hardware to help out : building composting toilets, biogaz, rope-pumps, clay-pot filters, etc. also the olpc laptopschools.  The proof: all kids in Uruguay, Peru, Rwanda have an olpc-XO.  XO is the name of the machine. OLPC is the name of the not for profit.

transformational initiative for a whole society based on education
  1. you reach the whole society - the parents, the family VIA the kids.  You give the kids a kind of swiss-army knife: 
    1. put it on a white screen and the olpc XO becomes a lamp and with the 2 round holes you can easily hang it on a piece of wire at the ceiling
  2. the XO can hold about 500 eBooks. So that's more than a kid will ever need even in a whole school career.  So teams that deploy, can also put books on them that are useful for the parents: how to make soap, how to make a clay-pot water filter, a rope pump, a composting - biogas toilet, a book about hygiene & why it is important to wash your hands, etc.
    1. the olpc-xo allows kids - but also families to video-phone & chat to each other if they are mesh networked
    2. The PV panel can charge other things than the XO, e.g. gsm's and that can be a little revenue generator for the kids.
    3. The XO and the books and the virtual assistants that deploying teams can put in, allow to tap into the learning capacity that is present within the families.  Actually things don't go that bad in the world.  All these international aid programs got "traction"/started to work in many regions in the world.  Growth in many regions of the world is such that teachers are very quickly recuperated by the private sector. So there is a lot of need to support new teachers or teachers who themselves haven't even finished primary education.  That's why the virtual assistants that can be put in the machines are so wonderful.  Most of the time there is someone in the larger family that know reading/writing/numbers.  They quickly figure out there is teaching eBooks in those machines and they can help the family become a little school itself: do these exercises by the end of the day, etc.
  3. Teacher training how to dismantle/repair/upgrade the XO-laptop. 1 standard cheap screwdriver and all the same screws!
    For teachers it is really transformational.  Most teachers are in a challenge: they hardly have any education themselves, no continuous learning by the ministry of education, they are in a classroom of 50-80 kids, who don't have the necessary books and exercise books and worse have nothing to write on and the difference in levels and ages is just extremely wide from near to street kids to kids from normal families.  With the olpc-XO you put the kids and families in power and the teacher becomes more of a coach.   Kids find out a lot if you put them in little groups.  And as a teacher you just walk around from one group to another. You have sessions with the whole class, then you have break-up sessions.
  4. Transformational:
    1. several things have been mentioned above.
    2. costs: a schoolbook typically costs about 13€ and kids need about 13 of them/year, and a book in a rural developing country will typically last only for 2 years, so 190€/2 years = 95€/year.kid  Compare that to the XO: 25 €/year - average life time 7 years, comes with some 500 eBooks and virtual assistants, wifi, video-phone, ..., made to be repaired, etc.
    3. the olpc-xo allows you to access the internet and thus data: what is the real price of your crops? And then you find out your "friend" who comes buy up all the goods has been exploiting you for years: the price of your crops is actually 100 and the intermediary made you believe it was worth 5. So the revenues from a family can sky-rocket once olpc's have been implemented.  This sets in motion a wheel of change: if revenues rise, people re-invest, when they can finally read/write/know numbers, they start e.g. buying small sms-packages with the local gsm provider, this in turn results in additional tax revenues for the state, which can partially pay for the olpc deployments!
    4. Transformational : NOTHING stops the energy of a 1000 of kids + 5 great social workers and a bunch of teachers. Just watch the 10' video report of OLPC Colombia - Proyecto Transformando.
      1. olpc Colombia - Proyecto Transformando!

      2. There is just so much energy in these kids, if channelled well by some social workers and teachers, it really has the potential to revive this town of drunks, unemployed, etc. and heal it.  The social workers did a project where the kids would make a little thank you card for their parents with the XO, they colored it themselves, put a personal message on it and gave it to their parents, often drunk, abused, etc.  Often it was the first time they received a gift and it was from their kids.  This has profound impact, enough so that when the healthy parents/teachers/social workers knocked on the door, they finally opened and the healing could begin.  And if one fell, there were always others that picked them up, blood was washed away and the transformation continued. THAT is what a transformational project is about, can do and what olpc is about.

Frequently made mistakes / mis-assumptions
OLPC is a very small not for profit.  Just about 3 great hardware engineers who make sure the latest technical updates are integrated in the machine, a couple of people to pick up the phone to take your order, and that's about it.
It is up to the olpc community to explain what olpc is about and to form teams to implement the projects.  It is an open hardware, open software project, so you can find all you need to educate yourself - just like the wikipedia - on the internet.  It is up to you to edit the wikipedia, it is up to you to make the teams, to prepare the presentations, fundraise the money, etc.
When we started collaborating in OLPC, we knew, we were going to embark in a transformational, revolutionary initiative: the best universities in ICT and some of the top leading companies on the topic,  an open source-software, -hardware, -community based initiative combined with the power of the internet, miniaturisation, massif orders to reduce prices, built to be repaired, a place at the table next to the financiers-innovators-policy makers-ngo's, etc.  But of course, we didn't know where the project would be taking us.

Where we are today anno 2017
in just about every country, even region in the world, XO's have been presented and left behind by enthusiasts of the olpc community
All kids in Uruguay have an XO
All kids in Peru - or just about - have an XO
All kids in Rwanda have an XO - or as the Rwanda refugees in Europe say - well, if you live in a region that has been voting loyaly for Kagamé
In 2015, 42,000 OLPC laptops have been distributed to children in Nicaragua. More: http://blog.laptop.org/
In 2015, 50,000 OLPC laptops have been distributed to children in Costa Rica. More: http://blog.laptop.org/
In 2015, 5,000 OLPC laptops have been distributed to children in Honduras. More: http://blog.laptop.org/
Australia is using the XO to reach out to its remote areas and it's becoming more and more nation wide as well.
a couple of years after the deployment in Uruguay, kids tinkering with their XO, hacked it and turned it into a ... robot. More: Butia - the olpc Robot
a new version of the XO is developed by a refugee who found shelter in Australia
the price has fallen to about 25€/XO.kid.year including portable photovoltaic panel.  And every XO can hold about 500 wiki-books.  That is more than any privileged kid has ever read in a whole school career.  
  1. 25€/500 books = 0,05 €/book = 5 eurocent.  What is your alternative to this?
  2. And the 25 €/yr can be covered by
    1. CO2e certificates the project generates
    2. participating in statistical data collection
    3. the rise in revenues for the governments: tax revenues increase because
      1. people who can read and write and know numbers will now buy stuff that is taxed: e.g. a subscription to sms text messages from a mobile phone company
      2.  people have access to data, are better informed.
      3. increase value of people that produce high value stuff: "What is the real value of my crops ? Oh, it's 200% more than "our family friend" who brings our crops to the market!" - very often lived situation!
      4. Mobile phone companies, satellite TV distribution companies know the value of their products and services and to how much gdp growth it leads.
a more just society because:
  1. people can't be cheated anymore because they have access to data, 
  2. people can't be cheated anymore because they can read, write, 
  3. people can't be cheated anymore because they know basic numbers calculus,
Why don't we see XO's everywhere?
resistance to change
linear thinking vs transformational thinking: "I've had schooling with a book and a teacher at the front - and that's what I'm going to pass on".  How many trees is that going to take?!
  1. "Ow, if you think you have some kind of magical technical pill - well that's been tried before and it didn't help nothing"
  2. "Changing people is complex".
denial: "books are all there is: internet hasn't happened, the internet doesn't exist, miniaturisation, industrialisation, robots, ... , driving prices down, ... I don't work in such an environment, so it doesn't exist, I don't live it, I don't know how to use it, I don't know where these people are, they are somewhere in China and I'm a money distributing organisation from the West and I'm reluctant to techies, I'm only interested in my kind of Political and Social / Humanitarian science people."
  1. can't bring a team together
  2. can't bring initial funding to the table
  3. don't understand a staged planning: implementing olpc is of course more than just throwing some laptops into a school.
no spare time and capacity
no entrepreneurial spirit - decision makers don't think logically
Picture: Al Gore at the World Economic Forum 2015, quoting OLPC as one of THE ways to go forward to combat Climate Change.  Ask us how CO2e certificates can co-finance an olpc deployment !

Now have a look how funding for 5 brilliant Social Workers, a little OLPC team and the energy of just all the kids of a drunk sleepy town in Bolivia, break through all obstacles, change and heal the parents and the whole community and ... take back their lives.

In Europe, 2015 has been dedicated as #EYD2015, year for Development.  Out of the 160 billion $ worldwide aid money, the EU tax payers contribute 96 billion $ vs 65 billion $, so the EU tax payer contribute for about 67.03% and they want to know if it's helping the people that actually need it.
Every month is dedicated to a specific topic in line with the UN Calendar of Observances.  February was thus dedicated to education.  At the EuropAid infopoint centre in Brussels - there were about 4 lunch time conferences by the top organisations that got millions from the EU to help out in the field with education and I managed to go to just about all of them.  All of them were about linear thinking and need paper books and teachers.
20% of Greenhouse gasses come from deforestation.  Why do people deforest their lands? Because they plant revenue generating crops to make oil so when they can afford a hot meal their food doesn't stick to their pans, to make soap because they heard hygiene and washing hands is important, - and yes, one of the brilliant plants to do that is the palm tree and palm oil.  And another type of plants is used to meet the growing demand of paper - fast growing plants and trees. Why? 
Because most white faced decision making people only know toilet paper toilets that use water and they continue pushing that onto developing countries. Composting toilets ... apparently still a mistery.
Because most white faced decision making people only know teaching with paper books - of course, bleached paper to make things worse and that's what they're pushing on the developing countries.

iPi-Solar Library Internet in a box

  1. http://one.laptop.org/ = website of the foundation, with OLPC staff and taking orders for the laptops
  2. http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Belgium = collaborative website. Depending on who's in charge one year to the other, it is only for technical documentation and only techies are allowed to write on it as is the opinion of the actual wiki.laptop manager person with the account name "Quozl" - Real name James Cameron http://quozl.linux.org.au/.  At other moments it was the central point for the whole olpc community - as per Giulia D'AMICO.  We've been a very loyal collaborator in the open olpc community and we're fed up by the lack of leadership and bullying from techies, - who even banned us from the wiki.laptop.org - so we've started a page here.  You'll never be banned here for wanting to collaborate and contribute.
  3. OLPC and Wikibooks - Open books
  4. OLPC and SIDS - Small Island Developing States
  5. OLPC and Refugee Camps