OLPC Pilot Project in Peru - awesome

I posted this on my other me because it's tech. But it's sufficiently good (socially, economically, emotionally :-) that I'll post it here too.

There's a great post on OLPC uptake and how it's changing the school experience in Arahuay, Peru.

This is very inspiring. If all (or even half of all) social/economic development projects were to end up 1/10th as effective as OLPC-Peru/Arahuay has been, the world would be incredibly good.
Antonio is repeating second grade, but:

The first day Antonio came to school with his XO laptop, instead of playing during recess, he kept on exploring the XO. He quickly became one of the most acquainted with it and empowered to help his classmates by telling them how to do this or that. The change was suddenly and highly noticeable. His teacher was amazed of how he had become more focused doing the class work and was helping his classmates with the computer activities.

And Diego's story is hard but heartwarming.

Diego is in second grade. He had stopped coming to school. However, he did come to pick up his XO laptop the day we handed them out. His teacher explained to me, that he has no father, and that his mother went to Lima, the capital, to work. And now, Diego and his two brothers are living by themselves, but a kind neighbor gives them their meals.

After that quote, there's a picture of Diego helping a first grader on using the OLPC.

Emilio is a hero:

“Once, when the teacher was explaining to the children how to look up some new words in the on-line Diccionario de la Real Academia EspaƱola [the best Spanish dictionary, costly and practically out of the children's reach in book form]. Emilio understood the procedure and quickly looked up the entire list of words while the teachers and the other students, together, slowly went through the process. The Internet connection went down. The teacher made the best of the situation and explained what the Internet was and about the satellite connection, for them to understand what was going on, and ended by saying, "We will have to wait a little bit until the connection is reestablished." To which Emilio replied, "No need, teacher. I got all the words, and everybody can copy them from me.”

But not just any hero. Anyone can shoot other people or order peons to shoot other peons. Emilio is a hero of the mind.

It's pretty clear that the OLPC is inspiring kids to stay in school. At best, they get interested in school and using the OLPC. At worst, they'll stay in school because if they don't, the OLPC will be taken from them.

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