A Child’s View of the OLPC Laptop

Posted on December 12, 2007  Comments (1)

A child’s view of the $100 laptop

Enter Rufus Cellan-Jones. He is nine, has far more experience of games consoles than computers, and has strong views on most matters. “Looks fun,” was his only comment when I handed over the small, green and white laptop, explaining that he was the only child in Britain to have one. But very quickly he was up and running. All I did was give him the security code for our home wireless network so he could take the XO online. The rest he figured out for himself

“I just seemed to work it out. It was rather easy. I didn’t even need help.” Surprise, surprise, his first discovery was a game. “I found Block Party. It’s like Tetris. I’m now up to Level 7.” I thought my young games fanatic might stick there but he moved on. “Then I discovered paint. You can use pencils, change the texture, use different sizes of brush.” Even better, there was an animation programme called Etoys. “That’s my favourite.You make things. You can see tutorials and demos. Then you can make a new project. I’ve made a crazy UFO which you can move.”

With no help from his Dad, he has learned far more about computers than he knew a couple of weeks ago, and the XO appears to be a more creative tool than the games consoles which occupy rather too much of his time. The One Laptop Per Child project is struggling to convince developing countries providing computers for children is as important as giving them basic facilities like water or electricity. Unusually, Rufus does not have an opinion about that controversy, but he does have a verdict on the laptop. “It’s great,” he says.

Related: What Kids can Learn on Their OwnOne Laptop Per Child – Give One Get OneMake the World BetterAppropriate TechnologyMicrofinancing Entrepreneurs

One Response to “A Child’s View of the OLPC Laptop”

  1. Anonymous
    January 10th, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

    Isn’t it too early to allow nine years boy to play games on computers. I know that probably all his friends doing same, but be careful. It is better to bring him outside, to play soccer, or any other activities, he will have much time to play games when he grow up.
    If you still want to let him play games, find some creative games, not doom type of games.

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