Some of you may have noticed the link I put on my blog to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Organization a while back. This is the organization that developed the XO laptop for children in 3rd world countries.
The mayor of Birmingham, AL implemented a program to purchase an XO laptop for each child in grades 1 - 8 in Birmingham City schools, in an effort to eliminate the digital divide in Birmingham and help to better prepare youth for work in the increasingly technologically driven economy. Birmingham is the first school system in the US to disseminate the laptops on a large scale. The results from Birmingham will be useful for other cities across the US who are thinking about similar dissemination projects.
I sat in on some of the training conducted in Birmingham last week by the OLPC staff members. I was really surprised at the quality of the XOs and the range of things the XO can do.
I submitted a grant to the National Science Foundation back in January to fund a study evaluating the impact of the XO dissemination program in Birmingham. It was recently funded! Over the past few weeks my team and I have worked hard getting everything finalized for the study and then surveying students at the pilot school. We'll follow up with the students again in the fall. I think our findings will be beneficial for educational, governmental, and academic communities as we assess the educational and social impacts of the XOs.
11 years ago