Like a New Litter of Kittens!

ox out of the box

Our long awaited XO’s finally arrived with very little fanfare on a summer day during kindergarten screening several weeks before the start of the new school year. Ten small square cardboard boxes rested on top of the circulation desk in our Media Center. Diane, our amazing Media Specialist told me I could be the first to open a package. I relished the thought like a child who can’t wait to see what Santa has deposited beneath the tree. As it happened, she and I were in school the same day and with the help of one of our Creek View families who came for the screening, together we broke open the contents and revealed the adorable smiling, squeaky clean little laptops eager to play.

ox out of the box

They had a slightly bumpy surface for easy gripping and rounded corners making them very safe and easy to handle. First step, pop in the battery pack. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t come with the crank generator as they do in the third world, although I know that whole system tanked resulted in the need for more energy exceeding predicted costs and bringing the program to a standstill in Nigeria.

The batteries were 80% charged and ready to go. We all ogled the rubbery lime green key board with its tiny keys. Back up, it did take several minutes to discover how to open the unit, very clever design! The children seemed intent on cracking these nuts and while Diane and I started a chat we encouraged Jimmie to join in. She is entering 1st grade this year. She found us and I noticed the look of satisfaction when she sent a quick ‘HI’ and got our responses. It was time for DJ and Jimmie to head back to the screening room so Diane and I found ourselves surrounded by these cute little devices, admiring them like a new litter of kittens. She took two home as did I. We left three for our Tech Specialist (he has three girls) and set aside three for the family who contributed half the money we raised to make out Give One Get One purchase last December. We have plans for the 10 and they include forming project based learning groups from grades 1-5 and hosting a reception for the contributors, PTA and community leaders mid September.

I keep up with the OLPC wiki and news blog and despite the seemingly endless number of setbacks and

User Group meets in WDC

User Group meets in WDC

failures I feel proud to support their efforts to connect our world. I’m an idealist at heart and I have faith in the God given abilities in each and every one of us. Tapping into the vast human landscape of the third world holds the key to a brighter future for all of us. I really believe that. There is a child, children, and people connecting who hold they keys we need to make the world a better place. Technology provides the launch pad for these big ideas. Americans have long held the belief that anything is possible. It’s a feeling no one should go without. The OLPC is a beacon of hope and an agent of change. The concept has inspired many rival designs and identified a need to pursue affordable technology for all.


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