The $100 (actually it’s up to $140) laptop for children at the BOP—Bottom of the Pyramid— is taking a sharp hit with the rejection by India of the entire concept. The One Laptop Per Child idea is the work of MIT MediaLab co-founder Nicholas Negroponte, which is chairman of OLPC. Indian Education Secretary Sudeep Banerjee said that: “We do not think that the idea of Prof Negroponte is mature enough to be taken seriously at this stage and no major country is presently following this. Even inside America, there is no much enthusiasiam for it.”
My colleague, Bruce Einhorn who reports out of Hongkong on Asia, tells me that the Indian government has been unhappy with MIT’s Media Lab for some time. The MIT Media Lab tried to set up Media Lab Asia in Mumbai, India and it flopped, leaving a wake of bad feelings within the Indian scientific and political elites.
Wired magazine this month has a great piece on Yves Behar, the founder of fuseproject, and his work on the $100 laptop. Design Continuum did the first work on it (the one with the hand crank). Will this entire effort be for nought? And is it all politics or are there serious pedogogical issues to be hashed out here?
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