News Roundup

The OLPC Learning Club DC’s information table at the Takoma Park Folk Festival has been confirmed. Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 14, 2008.

David Rothman, editor of the TeleRead Blog on the Ebook industry, is a happy customer of the DC-area OLPC repair service.

Both of the third-party XO accessory stores, XO Explosion and I Love My XO, will soon offer replacement parts such as keyboards and batteries. XOExplosion will also carry the OLPC specified 10-watt solar panel.

LEGO recently announced that a special XO-compatible robotics system for developing countries, the WeDo, will go on sale January 1, 2009.

Students at Duke University organized OLPC GrassCon,  the first virtual grassroots web conference. The conference video was streamed live Saturday, July 19. There were some technical glitches and speaker lineup changes, but the presenters’ content was excellent in my opinion. I’ve posted a few minutes of video and screenshots on Flickr. The con organizers say the archived video and chat text will be posted soon.
Update 7/23: The archived video of the GrassCon talks are now posted.

The Waveplace Foundation has released 30 (!) new video tutorials on eToys. The tutorials are already being used for teacher training in Haiti, Florida and Nicaragua. The videos will also be released as a DVD and book. Currently, it is necessary to sign up on their web site to be granted a password (some days later) to see all the videos.

The Birmingham Alabama Board of Education has voted to accept the remaining 14,000 OLPC XO laptops after piloting the 1,000 received in the spring.

Jim Gettys’ most recent OLPC Community News Update is chock full of deployment stories, new software activities and product development progress. now has a couple videos in its archive of Nicholas Negroponte pitching OLPC at the conference as well as some classic footage of Nicholas from 1984.

Lastly, I notice that the CBS DVD of Nicholas Negroponte’s appearance on 60 Minutes can still be ordered (for $17.95) on Amazon. I got a copy of this a while back, and it has been very useful in briefings on the OLPC mission and history.

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2 comments per “News Roundup”

Mark Ahlness

Hi Mike,

I’m a third grade teacher in Seattle, with 4 XO’s in my classroom. I’ve started up a wiki at – to hopefully bring XO educators together to collaborate, share, and all that good stuff. Please spread the word, and feel free to contribute, of course :)

We actually chatted way back in Dec 07, via Now my XO’s are on (all have as part of their names) Maybe see you in the neighborhood – Mark

Mike Lee


I remember our brief chat via xochat over the holidays. I was in a Holiday Inn in Pennsylvania stopping midway for the evening on the way from DC to my in-law’s house in Ohio. I admired the progress you had made back then, and am happy to see you still so committed to the XOs. I do hope to see you in a chat one day soon.


Posted Saturday, 19 July 2008 at 11:27 pm in: