Monday, January 14, 2008
I'm in love!
Today, I had a chance to spend some time playing with the XO Laptop (aka, the One Laptop Per Child Laptop).
There have been many (and more detailed) reviews/praises/criticisms published, (like the one below from David Pogue) so I'll not try to compete with them.
What struck me most was the revolution of the interface. [You can read their interface guidelines here. And check out an online demo here.] The focus (unlike most PCs) is around play and collaboration, as opposed to "productivity." In my experience, the icons draw you in and the machine really, really delivers: it has WiFi, word processing, web browsing, programming (in 3 different applications), painting, video recording, audio recording/editing, and, most importantly, networking.
Here's what really hit me. I have been in lots of discussions (both face to face and online) about the role of/use of technology in K-12 situations. And, like many of us, I have strong opinions about this. But this little laptop showed me that it is possible for the whole metaphor to change. And when it does (which I am convinced in does in little XO), who knows what can be possible?
Thanks, Mr. Negroponte.