"A low-cost laptop being developed by the Indian government in tandem with two leading Indian education and research institutions will cost US$100 when available, and not $10 as was earlier stated by the government." – PC World.
Details: An updated news release is here, and, no, it isn’t exactly teeming with e-book references. Will India repeat the mistakes of One Laptop Per Child and not play up books as much as it should? I’d hope not.
The Indians show more interest in traditional pedagogy than OLPC has, and presumably that means books, not just Webcentric activites and the like. Here’s to balance! Kids need both. I hope that the Indian equivalent of the OLPC XO-1 (photo) will come with a nice library icon in the middle of the screen.
In implementing the project, India should keep in mind the big three elements: Content, technology and integration with existing schools and libraries.
Related, from OLPC News: Why Give 1 Get 1 is going to be a much harder sales in 2008 and Windows XO: A detailed Microsoft XP video dissection. I agree with the independent OLPC News and commenters: trouble’s ahead, alas. The XO-1 isn’t that upgradeable. Just why the devil should people buy it with the XO-2 on the way? Better to give some money directly to OLPC, then get the newer, better model for yourself and a child in a developing country.
Also of interest: eBay listings for XO-1s and On CIA families, public libraries, and the ‘right books’ for the e-focused young. Just how much does India value the creation expansion of a book-focused culture? Or will it fixate on tech alone? Again—balance, please!