The One Laptop per Child project, now known as XO-1, was created by a non-profit organization to distribute computers all across the world. With an anticipated cost of $100 for each laptop, the project’s goal is to educate the world’s children through internet technology.
When I first heard about this idea a couple of years ago, I was astonished. This is a great example of social entrepreneurship and how an innovative idea can improve the global community.
I also think that the project will further the development of an eLearning industry.
Many of you may be familiar with the University of Phoenix and their online degree programs. Like the University of Phoenix, several other institutions have begun to offer online degrees as well; even the University of Florida has an Internet MBA. The concept of an online degree may have seemed outrageous just a decade or so ago. But today, these degrees provide working professionals the ability to advance their education, without jeopardizing their current living situation. With a computer, an internet connection, and some extra time… anyone willing can earn a new degree.
Indeed, the internet institutions have been successful, with room for continued growth. But from what I can see, the eLearning industry focuses on the over 18 age group. What about those under 18?
The One Laptop per Child project may be the key to additional growth in eLearning. Entrepreneurs, get to thinking!
When I was much younger, my teachers wouldn’t allow students to use the internet as references for our papers. Back then, the internet was very young and polluted with non-credible information. Today, with Google and Wikipedia, the internet has been transformed. Although poor information still exist, the introduction of search engines and a social encyclopedia has successfully prevented such information from being relevant.
Now, you can find a vast amount of information online to fuel your thinking cap. Imagine how this can help young children with a curiosity for knowledge…
Although the One Laptop per Child project will be used in countries around the world, I think the project can have a significant impact on our children here, in the US. What if every single American child had a laptop for academic use? How would this change our educational environment?
I am specifically thinking about textbooks, which plagued me every single semester throughout college. I am sure that these textbooks are also costly to local school districts nationwide… having to make them available to every student and up to date every year. What if we supplemented these text books with a laptop? And what if we made digital information, verified by the school district, available on the computers? A school district has the potential to realize some major cost savings. And, a young entrepreneur may successfully create eTextbooks with verifiable information.
In addition, I think a savvy web entrepreneur can profit from eLearning websites that could be accessed in different languages from children all around the world. These sites could tech basic math, present science concepts, or be a history reference. Thats some good social entrepreneurship!
Last week, I mentioned the idea of developing a blog about bloggers. I received several comments from readers who expressed support for the project. I appreciate all the feedback! I’ll expand on the idea a little further.
Foremost, I have to give credit to Ouch and his post about the Hottest Female Bloggers which sparked my interest. When I originally posted about this idea , I vaguely alluded to creating a blog-magazine similar to People Magazine. Many of you may be familiar with People Magazine’s 100 Sexiest People. I made the connection between Ouch’s post and People Magazine’s yearly publication.
What I’m thinking about is having a blog that previews several bloggers with the goal of finding the Sexiest Female and Male blogger of 2008. As I’ve mentioned before, the Blog would focus on the blogger himself/herself; including their age, background, their website, lifestyle… and of course.. a picture! I haven’t worked out the details yet… mainly where the heck I’m going to find these bloggers and how the voting will work… but I still think the idea has promise.
Of course, I have my concerns. Creating/designing another blog will take considerable time. I’m not a professional coder, so I have to tweak and re-tweak until I get things the way I want. With a money blog, you may notice that I’m a cheapo and would much rather spend time doing it myself than paying someone else to make the blog for me.
I’m also worried that the content will become mundane. I’m sure many bloggers will have the same story; ie blogging to make money and the like. To avoid this, I’ll have to track down some very unique bloggers in very specialized niches. Hopefully this will be interesting… it interest me anyway.
Another major issue is that several bloggers blog anonymously. This will limit the pool of people that I can use. Although I don’t necessarily have to list the blogger’s real name, I wonder how comfortable some anonymous writers will feel if I post their picture online? Sometimes I wonder who is reading my blog… =) . As a point of argument, with Facebook, MySpace, and the power of Google, I have to wonder if your real Clark Kent identity is really hidden online. Who the heck would care anyway? Eh, I guess I’m being insensitive… I’ve never really had a stalker, *knock on wood*.
My last major milestone is time. I work full-time, and do this blogging thing as a side hobby. Sometimes, I’m just so tired from work that I don’t want to write a blog entry. If I decided to run another blog, how would this impact Pro Money Blog? Hmm?
Whatever, I still think this idea is worth a shot. I’ll try to develop the site within a few weeks. Wait and see!