What If Every Child Had A Laptop?
From a story tonight on"60 Minutes:"
Nicholas Negroponte, a professor at MIT, had a dream. In it every child on the planet had his own computer. In that way, he figured, children from the most impoverished places – from deserts and jungles and slums could become educated and part of the modern world. Poor kids would have new possibilities.
So, two years ago he founded a non-profit organization called “One Laptop Per Child.” He recruited a cadre of geeks and viola! The hundred dollar laptop, designed specifically for poor children, was born.
"One Laptops" are for sale in minimum lots of 250,000. Each costs $176, though Negroponte expects the price will go down to $100 within two years. It's designed for a child, so it looks like a toy – on purpose. But it’s a serious computer with many innovations. For instance, it’s the first laptop with a screen you can use outdoors, in full sunlight. You can draw on it...or compose music.
They have two or three times better Wi-Fi range than a $3000 dollar laptop in the U.S., and the battery lasts up to 12 hours with heavy use. If the battery does run out and you live in a thatch hut in the middle of nowhere, you can charge it up with a crank… or a salad spinner. A minute or two of spinning and you get 10 or 20 minutes of reading. And they're completely waterproof and sandproof. The families love the computers because in villages with no electricity, they are the brightest light source in the house.