Thursday, March 01, 2007

OLPC social features

For quite some time I've been reading about the One Laptop Per Child initiative and the new GUI that they've developed. It's been hard to get my head around how it actually would work based on screen shots.

Today I came across some YouTube clips on OLPC. Most of them were awful! Get this, they show the Linux booting up in verbose mode - as if anyone's interested!! Rest of the stuff is showing some features in too small font without commentary.

Luckily there was also this one, it pretty nicely presents the social features as part of design.

I would really love to be a fly on the wall when these laptops are introduced to kids!

I wonder what kind of sense they make for users who most likely have not seen conventional computers, nor used the Web.

A funny anecdote: I remember my fist time playing with Mac in summer of '84. I kinda liked the graphical interface (until then I had turned my head away in much of dislike from my brothers Commodor), but I was really quite baffled with icons like the trash can for delete. In Finland, the trash cans didn't look like that at all, so it was rather hard for me to make the connection. Of course one learns pretty quickly...

1 comment:

vuorikari said...

I found this very good article about OLPC at:

It brings out interesting points such as "Educational systems that teach to standardized national tests mean that the emphasis is on making sure a percentage of students learn enough information to pass the national exams, and less on learning through self-guided exploration, which is what the OLPC project is designed to enable."

"Unfortunately some of the most innovative and education-supportive features of the laptop could cause the greatest problems. "The operating system of the laptop is designed around the idea of 'presence'—you're aware of every other laptop in your proximity, and you can send messages to each of these other laptops. Imagine a room filled with students capable of passing digital notes to each other at every point during a lesson—many teachers would find this a potentially troubling development," Zuckerman suggests. "

I restate: I would really wanna be a fly on the wall to see how this all goes down :)