The Cognitive Challenges of the One Laptop Per Child Program
Abstract: One Laptop Per Child OLPC is a non profit association based in Cambridge, MA, directed by Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the Media Lab of MIT. The mission of OLPC is to give a laptop to children - and teachers- of the poor regions of the world in order to create a cognitive environment to support the challenges of education in the digital era (www.laptop.org). OLPC has produced a small, robust and performing laptop called XO at a very low cost, with remarkable features focused in the construction of knowledge by the child, following the developmental perspective of Jean Piaget and Seymour Papert. it is based on 5 principles::Child ownership, Low ages, Saturation, Connection, Free and Open Source. Several countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa are currently engaged in this program. The first results show a remarkable improvement of the quality of learning and teaching, motivation, cooperation, creativity and responsibility. The ownership of such a laptop provides to the child, the teacher, the family and the community new opportunities of growth. The formidable cognitive change of scale introduced by OLPC in education and technology will be discussed.