In this week’s readings there is a focus on case studies relating to the One Laptop Per Child initiative, which promotes giving inexpensive and child friendly laptops to developing schools in order to promote introduction to ICT and increased educational opportunities. The project was founded by Nicholas Negroponte who is involved in many other pioneering technological achievements.
A graduate of MIT, he studied computer aided design and has always been a strong proponent of the importance of user friendly technology in daily life. He sees technology, especially computers, as being increasingly beneficial for humankind with still yet un tapped potential.
His major focus today is on children’s education around the world, believing that it is the key to growth. He is also believes that children can learn through doing, and should be in charge of their education. (Read more here) “Everybody agrees that whatever the solutions are to the big problems, they … can never be without some element of education.” – Nicholas Negroponte
Negroponte co-founded and directed the MIT Media Laboratory which strives to bring together creative and technological researchers and developers to study cutting edge technology and inventions that will impact everyday life.
He was also the first investor and a writer for Wired Magazine, as well as an investor in over thirty tech startups.
He has been described by some as having “techno-utopian” ideas that are not actually feasible, for example there are many critiques in the assigned reading “Can One Laptop Per Child Save the World’s Poor?”
Watch Negroponte TED Talk on OLPC