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Old 31st July 2006, 07:15 AM
555 555 is offline
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IDN'S For every child

Why a laptop? As Negroponte tells us, "Laptops are both a window and a tool: a window into the world and a tool with which to think." The technology offered in a laptop can be used as a tool to teach and to learn, to create and to share. Online resources, virtual textbooks, E-books, educational applications, and whole new avenues of communication become available to the child with a laptop.

Regardless of location. Regardless of wealth. One laptop for every child of the world to own, so that every child has the same opportunity to learn, to create, to share.

Programs in Cambodia, Costa Rica, and Maine that focused on providing children with laptops have seen outstanding success. The laptop will be an invaluable aid in rural areas where schools are rare, funding is low or nonexistent, and teachers often have the enthusiasm but not the experience or education to effectively teach children on a level even with the rest of the world. Here a laptop can provide educational tools, web sites and programs with lessons, tutorials, and long-distance learning opportunities.

There is also research that evidences the positive effects that working with computers can have on the children's learning process.

"This is a project that started 40 years ago," said Nicholas Negroponte at the 2006 Red Hat Summit. "This didn't start last week because the marketing department thought it was an interesting thing to do, it didn't start last year or three years ago. It started with with the early work in 1968 of a colleague of mine, Seymour Papert, who had a very simple observation. If you're interested in learning, one of the best ways to think about thinking is to write computer programs. If you can write an algorithm, that means you can understand what it is. And if kids could do that, if kids could embody a concept, what is a circle, an angle, then kids could get a much better grasp."

We want to give children the opportunity to learn for themselves. To give them the power to control their own education, break down the economic barriers that keep them from realizing their own potential. And ultimately, to give them a window to a world of knowledge and the tool to access it.


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