One Laptop per Child, a non-profit organization which offers affordable computers for children in developing countries, will be introducing three new products at CES today; a software suite for learning that is compatible with Android, a new tablet and the latest version of its iconic green and white laptop.
The XO Learning platform, designed to run on Google’s mobile operating system, is aimed at nurturing the passion, creativity and energy that children have when growing up. The new user interface has twelve ‘dreams’ to represent this, such as ‘I want to be a scientist’. Each of these dreams then offers a learning experience through a number of different apps, books, games and videos, tailored to children aged between three and twelve. It’s an incredibly noble cause, as at least traditionally, many children wouldn’t think or consider these sorts of professions growing up.
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The content found in XO Learning has been curated by the One Laptop per Child Assocation (OPLCA) alongside Common Sense Media, another non-profit organization but one aiming to help parents and teachers make informed decisions about new media.
The platform, which will be launched in May, supports up to three user IDs, as well as a dashboard where a parent can review what content the child is accessing and their rate of development. At release it will be available in both English and Spanish, although OLPCA promises that more languages will be supported in a future update.
Sakar International, based in Edison, New Jersey, is the first hardware manufacturer to pick up the XO Learning platform. It will be run on a 7-inch Android tablet, which the company has designed internally and named the ‘XO Tablet’. The OLPCA says Sakar has exclusive rights when selling the XO Tablet to other retailers in the United States. We’ll update this post with images as and when they become available.
The iconic green and white laptops have become almost synonymous with OLPCA’s initiative. The non-profit organization will be unveiling the fourth-generation of its renowned hardware, the XO 4.0 Touch, at CES later today. The touch screen laptop features a Marvell ARMADA PXA2018 multicore application processor, with hybrid-SMP technology running at 1 GHz.
The laptop also preserves the dual mode screen, which allows children to use it outside in direct sunlight as well as in the classroom, and comes loaded with the Sugar software availabe on previous models.
“OLPCA pioneered the inexpensive netbook for learning, and that concept remains viable today, particularly with the new touch screen version,” said Rodrigo Arboleda, chairman and CEO of OLPCA. “The XO 4.0 is still the only laptop that is designed for children. It is reparable by a child with only a screwdriver. It now has the latest Marvell hybrid-core processor and Noenode’s latest touch screen technology.”
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Image Credit: PABLO PORCIUNCULA/AFP/Getty Images