India’s $35 tablet an iPad killer? and one laptop per child?

While browsing the internet this morning, and lusting over the prospect of an iPad, I discovered this little gem:
Indian Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal unveils the "laptop" device in Delhi on 22 July 2010
BBC News – India unveils prototype for $35 touch-screen computer
Apparently, this $35 device would function as well, if not better than most home PCs and be completely mobile. Although I find this to be completely unrealistic, and most likely a fraud, it actually brought something else to mind. Some of the linked articles discussed $100 laptops promised by MIT for the One Laptop Per Child charity organization. In fact, they even want to collaborate with the $35 tablet guys and wrote an open letter to them inviting them to share in the technology they have already pioneered.
While I find this effort noble and, as a tech lover and advocate, exciting, I cannot help but be bothered by the fact that we and sending children in foreign countries laptops (regardless of the cost), while many in our own are starving. Lets also add that many children around the world are starving, many in the very same countries we are sending these laptops to. In fact, I would guess that some of the children who have received these laptops are starving themselves.
I am very much for the advancement of technology throughout the world, but not when we aren’t doing the same for our own children. Now assuming all our children were fed, clothed, and sheltered appropriately, I then think we should extend this luxury to our own children. After that we should invest in the rest of the world, ideally making sure they are fed first.
As a nurse, I cannot help by prioritize based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. I cannot help it because I was forced to know and use it in preparation for the NCLEX and to provide good patient care. But honestly, it is just good common sense.
I don’t see how we can put things like property and achievement about food.

I support the concept of One Laptop Per Child, however, I strongly wish they would  first focus efforts on underprivileged American children, as before we can take on the task of saving the world, we have to save ourselves.


  1. James Pearson-Jenkins says

    Ive seen this tablet device and was really encouraged to believe that this could spurn a new price war that puts technology into the palms of students and transforms learning.

    There has been discussion about Internet access being now classed as a human right, as a measure of freedom. I can’t agree with the use of Maslow, who stated his belief that only 1,000 people (including himself) would reach SA. Indeed we need people to eat, drink and have a safe environment, but denying technology and access to the Internet stalls the developing world further. In our world of Social Media, an everyday person in a developing world, a person without a voice, an invisible could tweet world leaders. They could develop a network and at the same time, they could help to organise political change that brings food and essential services.

    With regard to aid, there is room for both. But food will be a finite aid. Technology and the learning it brings lasts forever and is a potential catalyst of change.

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