P2P Foundation

The Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives

Here is an article I just came across Ala. City Eyes Developing-World Laptops which discusses the possibility of the Birmingham, AL City Council buying a large number of the "XO" laptops, better known as the "One-Laptop-per-Child" machines.

A lady from the school board is quoted:

Birmingham school board member Virginia S. Volker likes the idea of laptops for students. But she said Langford didn't think through the plan before committing millions of tax dollars to pay for the machines. Birmingham schools lack wireless networks needed to get the laptops online, she said, and the system doesn't have enough technology workers to train teachers, much less students, on the computers. "Thinking of public money, I am very reluctant to make a commitment on this until we are sure we can afford it," Volker said.

My comment on the article:

Maybe someone should tell Ms. Volker that these laptops have the capability of forming, among themselves, a mesh network (which means they can link up with each other) and that the whole school system could go on line without having the expensive infrastructure. Probably it would be enough for very few of these things to act as gateways to provide access to the internet for the rest of them. Wouldn't that be a great experiment for a school?

Any thoughts? Could it work?

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