From the New York Times:
Nicholas Negroponte, the technology guru from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology Media Laboratory, prowled the halls of the
World Economic Forum holding the holy grail for crossing the digital
divide: a mock-up of a $100 laptop computer.
… in partnership with Joseph Jacobson, a physicist at M.I.T., he
wants to persuade the education ministries of countries like China to
use laptops to replace textbooks.
… Mr. Negroponte said his experience in giving children laptop
computers in rural Cambodia had convinced him that low-cost machines
would make a fundamental difference when broadly deployed.
can just give laptops to kids," he said, noting that they quickly take
advantage of the machines. "In Cambodia, the first English word out of
their mouths is ‘Google.’ "
I’ve been looking for additional info on this project, but haven’t found it yet. I think Bill Gates had it right in 1998:
[he argued] that it was more important to address basic life necessities –
health and food, for example – before connecting the world’s poorest
citizens to the Internet.
Why not just spend that $100 per child on more textbooks?