Peru Distributes '$100 Laptop'

One Laptop per Child effort faces on-the-ground test
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Apr 24, 2008 3:18 PM CDT
Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child non-profit, gestures in front of an image of an early version of the $100 laptop at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Wednesday,...   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – One Laptop per Child got a bumpy start, with the “$100 laptop” soaring to $188, for-profit competitors snatching customers, and developing countries hesitating to buy. But the true test for the nonprofit comes now, as Peru prepares to send 486,500 computers to its poorest schoolchildren. The country faces daunting obstacles, but rural kids testing the laptops are enthusiastic, reports Technology Review.

Educating teachers to use the computers is among the biggest hurdles. Still, watchers hope that by bringing outside information, like digital books, to far-flung villages where printed books are rare, the laptops will help kids improve their skills and broaden their horizons. That, in turn, will let subsistence farmers’ children “think about being engineers, designing computers, being teachers," said a government official.