theorycast.35 :: OLPC = Really "Social" Computing

Topic: OLPC • Show Guest: Kelvin Lee • Music: SeaStars 2007 • Show Length: 20 mins

Having received his OLPC from the Give 1 Get 1 (G1G1) program, senior OLPC-ologist Kelvin goes through this little funky green computer with me, highlighting its unique features and discussing its potential as an education project (not a laptop project!).

While we delve into the OLPC’s hardware and software design, what’s important to note about this device is that almost every app we played with allowed for fellow OLPC users to “join in” via wifi network. Think of it as a true multiplayer computer, be it for collaborative writing, music making, etc. That’s a killer feature for classrooms if students get to work in groups.

So, do you think the OLPC will actually help third-world students learn?
I think it’s darn clever, only if we don’t forget the human support needed to sustain it.

Unless the OLPC foundation announces another G1G1 program, we’re outta luck. Meantime, you can keep in touch with the OLPC community at as well as the official site,

Lastly, be sure to read the Rambling Librarian’s thorough opinion on whether the OLPC will work for learning.

One Comment

  1. Posted January 5, 2008 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    Dude, thanks for featuring the music from the album. That was a nice webcast. Watch the entire thing even though I didn’t intend to.

3 Trackbacks

  1. By hendron’s digest » Blog Archive » OLPC Notes on January 5, 2008 at 1:23 am

    […] For even more of a hands-on look, Kevin Lim takes a look at an OLPC. What I found interesting in his video was his distinction of the OLPC as an “education tool” rather than a “laptop.” […]

  2. […] Thanks to Kevin, for using the tracks from SeaStars 2007 in his video. […]

  3. […] One of the issues that I brought up specific to this case is how there’s a little problem of technological determinism in all this. While the OLPC is designed with collaboration in mind (watch our OLPC video review), the technology is afterall Western liberal centric by design, just as the Internet itself is. For more insight into the effects of how our world is divided into civilizations, do take a look at The Clash of Civilizations by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington. In it, he argues that people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. […]