Trends in Ed, 6.4.10: From One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) to Tablets (OTPC?)
Nearly two million children worldwide already use the renowned XO laptop computer, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). Now OLPC has teamed up with developer Marvell to design the next generation of durable, low-cost computers for students in global regions underserved by technology: The sub-$100 XO tablet.
The new tablet model is designed to be even more conducive to "constructionist" education, wherein students engage in a great deal of hands-on learning, undertaking projects that result in a "product," such as a book or video game, for public consumption. Such project-oriented learning generally requires collaboration among students, as well as educators, and regular sharing of ideas and content. To this end, Marvell is contributing its Moby tablet platform, which supports high-definition (HD) video, 3D graphics, Adobe Flash Player 10, and two-way teleconferencing.
These new tablets will be available next year for around $75. The original XO-3 design is still planned for 2012. The Moby is currently being piloted in at-risk schools in Washington DC, and Marvell is investing in a Mobylize campaign to improve tech adoption within US classrooms.
Weili Dai, Marvell's co-founder, comments on the partnership:
“The Moby tablet platform — and our partnership with OLPC — represents our joint passion and commitment to give students the power to learn, create, connect and collaborate in entirely new ways. I am immensely proud of the capability of our Moby tablet and I am extremely honored to partner with the inventor of the netbook market for education, Dr. Nicholas Negroponte. I applaud his leadership, vision, passion and together we will make the world a better place.”
Nicolas Negroponte describes the prototype of the new tablets.