Final paper draft

One Laptop Per Child: a manufactured mismatch between digital media and Education



The dissemination of OLPC (One Laptop per Child) over developing countries from Africa and Latin America occurs since the middle of the 2000’s, when Nicholas Negroponte, , settled at MIT and from the same generation of Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg, launched, in 2005, the One Lap Top Per Child (OLPC) project. Although the considerable amount of governmental investment that has been allocated, the outcomes of the adoption of this new artefact in the context of teaching and learning have not be convincing. Evidences from Brazil show policy challenges as well hardware design limitation that prevent improvement in the teaching and learning process.



The purpose of this paper is to examine the design concept of the mini-laptops known as OLPC (One Laptop per Child), which is the most popular digital media for use in primary education, in face of the “ Dyanabook metamedium” concept, which was first idealized by Alan Kay, Adele Goldberg and the team of the Xerox PARC in the 1970’.

Questions to be answered

While the envision of mobile devices and mobile learning principles can be identified in the documents produced more than 40 years ago by Kay and his team, to what extent the OLPC can be considered a development of the  “metamedium” concept? What are the consequences of OLPC current design to the experience of teacher and students at schools? What were the constrains for the OLPC to be developed as it is today? How common sense ideas as “digital native” and technology deterministic approaches help to explain the current scenario of low adoption of digital technology at schools.

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