David Talbot

A View from David Talbot

Laptop Training Begins in Peru

As teachers converge, One Laptop per Child takes a big leap from pilot program to large-scale national execution.

  • March 27, 2008

This week, teachers from remote rural villages in Peru are gathering in several regional cities to learn how to do their jobs via One Laptop per Child (OLPC) machines distributed to their pupils. Peru is now engaging in the world’s most ambitious OLPC deployment: some 400,000 machines are headed to the Andean nation’s poorest and remotest schools–about 6,000 schools in all. The first 25,000 of these machines are now being inventoried in a Lima warehouse and are poised for shipment to the interior.

Cecilia Aquino (left) and Rosaria Carrillo, both 10, use preproduction versions of the One Laptop per Child machines at their school in Arahuay, Peru, where a pilot project was implemented last year. Credit: Ana Cecilia Gonzales Vigil

One Laptop per Child (OLPC) machines distributed to their pupils. Peru is now engaging in the world’s most ambitious OLPC deployment: some 400,000 machines are headed to the Andean nation’s poorest and remotest schools–about 6,000 schools in all. The first 25,000 of these machines are now being inventoried in a Lima warehouse and are poised for shipment to the interior.

Success of OLPC now depends largely on frontline teachers and, of course, parents and kids. Peru’s effort, if successful, would be a model for other nations. In the training now under way, teachers must become versed not only in how to operate and maintain the laptops, but also in how to do their jobs within a newly laptop-centric educational model. The laptops will contain some 115 books, including textbooks, novels, and poetry, as well as art and music programs, cameras, and other goodies.

What many of these kids won’t get is Internet access: about 90 percent of the villages lack it, and may not get it anytime soon. In these villages, any updated content will be delivered to the machines by what OLPC president Walter Bender calls “sneaker-net.” Each month, when the teachers visit regional education offices to pick up their paychecks, they will have the ability to tap Internet connections to load new content onto thumb drives and bring them back to their classrooms.

Tech Obsessive?
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.
Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium

$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Business Impact

How technology advances are changing the economy and providing new opportunities in many industries.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.

  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look. Exclusive early access to stories.

    Insider Conversations. Join in and ask questions as our editors talk to innovators from around the world.

  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning magazine and daily delivery of The Download, our newsletter of what’s important in technology and innovation.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

You've read of free articles this month.