Keeping the “C” in OLPC.

The BBC has a field report on the XO, the laptop distributed by the One Laptop Per Child project. It’s a field report by one of the XO’s intended users (sort of) – an actual 9-year-old child. And if this is any example, the project really does have the power to change the world:

But the real surprise came one evening, when Rufus asked me to explain what his friends were telling him on the laptop.

I thought those imaginary childhood friends from years back must have returned.
But I went and had a look – and it was true – he appeared to be chatting online.
So how had he managed that? “You go on “neighbourhood”, then you go to the chat thing.
You go on Nigeria and you chat to them.”

But why, if he was online with the children at the Nigerian school I had visited, were they sending messages in Spanish?

Rufus also learned how to use the paint and animation programs in short order, as well as programming personal reminders into the calendar. And the laptop is reported to be *fun*. That’s a powerful force.