The XO Laptop will bring children technology as a means to freedom and empowerment. The success of the project in the face of overwhelming global diversity will only be possible by embracing openness and by providing the laptop's users and developers a profound level of freedom.
As the children grow and pursue new ideas, the software and the tools need to be able to grow with them and provide a gateway to other technology.
Learning is our main goal. We do not focus on computer literacy, as that is a by-product of the fluency children will gain through use of the laptop for learning. Children—especially young children—need the opportunity to learn far more than Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Of course, picking up these skills, having grown up with a laptop, will be readily accomplished.
Epistemologists from John Dewey to Paulo Freire to Seymour Papert agree that you learn through doing. This suggests that if you want more learning, you want more doing. Thus OLPC puts an emphasis on software tools for exploring and expressing, rather than instruction. Love is a better master than duty. Using the laptop as the agency for engaging children in constructing knowledge based upon their personal interests and providing them tools for sharing and critiquing these constructions will lead them to become learners and teachers.
As a matter of practicality and given the necessity to enhance performance and reliability while containing costs, XO is not burdened by the bloat of excess code, the “featureitis” that is responsible for much of the clumsiness, unreliability, and expense of many modern laptops.
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