Skip to main content

OLPC to Drop Tablets from Sky in Developing Countries

The One Laptop Per Child Foundation has been around for years, providing children in the developing world with cheap and cheerful laptops for educational purposes. The company recently graduated from small, low-cost laptops, to small, low-cost tablets and this week at the Open Mobile summit, OLPC announced plans to try something a little different with regard to deploying these tablets.

PCMag reports that while speaking at the Open Mobile summit, OLPC founder and chairman Nicholas Negroponte revealed that the company was planning to airdrop shipments of the XO tablet into remote villages and return 12 months later to see how things panned out. The idea behind this approach is a 'hands-off' method of education; give the children the tablets and then leave them to figure out the devices and teach themselves to read.

"We will literally take tablets and drop them out of helicopters," he said, adding that "literally" no adults or staff will accompany the electronics. "When I say I drop out of the helicopters, I mean it... it's like a Coke bottle falling out of the sky," PCMag quotes him as saying, the Coke bottle falling from the sky being a reference to the '80s movie 'The Gods Must Be Crazy.'

Of course, while there are positives to leaving the children and tablets to their own devices, there is a risk that the tablets will be stolen before the kids even know they were dropped. However, it seems Negroponte is not worried about such a scenario:

"Adults may be able to steal it, but they won't be able to use it ... maybe an older brother will get a hold of it, use it for pornography - that's life," Negroponte said.

  • bruhthakuga
    Dumb Ass Idea, they will only end up in the hands of rebels who will sell them back to people in developing countries.
    Reply
  • dontknownotsure
    in that case, bombard and napalm the area prior to airdrop lol
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    Oh great, give a free tablet to someone who will never in their lifetime have the mental capacity on how to actually use the device because of the lack of education of where they live.
    Reply
  • pwnorbpwnd
    Sounds like a science experiment to me..
    Reply
  • dontknownotsure
    pwnorbpwndSounds like a science experiment to me..*psychological experiment
    Reply
  • drapacioli
    What, they can't spend a few more resources physically handing the tablets to the children to ensure they are in the right hands? That's just laziness and cheap strategy on their part.
    Reply
  • pwnorbpwnd
    drapacioliWhat, they can't spend a few more resources physically handing the tablets to the children to ensure they are in the right hands? That's just laziness and cheap strategy on their part.
    You see what they are doing if you just drop something people know nothing about into their hands and seeing if they can use it.
    Reply
  • aevm
    drapacioliWhat, they can't spend a few more resources physically handing the tablets to the children to ensure they are in the right hands? That's just laziness and cheap strategy on their part.
    If these things can surf for porn, and they are physically handled carefully only to children, some children may get hurt the next day when adults steal them. Better to just dump them in the desert.
    Reply
  • xerroz
    dontknownotsure*psychological experiment*PR stunt
    Reply
  • aevm
    ""Adults may be able to steal it, but they won't be able to use it ... maybe an older brother will get a hold of it, use it for pornography - that's life," Negroponte said. "

    How does this work if you're an adult and somebody's older brother at the same time? Can you use the tablet for pornography or can't you?
    Reply