OLPC unveils new products

The One Laptop per Child Association (OLPCA), the world- renowned project to provide a modern education to children through a connected computing device, has introduced three new products.

At CES, OLPCA unveiled the XO Learning System, an Android compatible software suite for child-centric learning, which is available by license to computer manufacturers, governments, NGOs and content providers such as book publishers. Tablets under such a license will be called the XO Tablet, the second product announcement. Third, OLPCA showed the fourth generation of its iconic green and white laptop with both a keyboard and a multi-touch screen using Neonode technology.

“The challenge in computing and education is to use the technology to develop new ways for children to learn. The rich content of the dreams allows the child’s natural passion to be directed into learning experiences,” said Giulia D’Amico, the lead designer of XO Learning. OLPCA teamed with the legendary designer Yves Behar of Fuse Project and his team to create the XO Learning user interface and cover.

The content in XO Learning has been curated and selected for age-appropriateness and learning value by OLPCA, in collaboration with Common Sense Media, the leading non-profit organization dedicated to helping parents and teachers make informed decisions about media. Common Sense Media offers more than 18,000 media ratings and reviews based on both robust educational research and child development guidelines. .XO Learning also offers a full range of parental controls and user IDs for up to three children, a dashboard where the child or the parent can review usage, types of content and the skills the child is developing. Press a single icon and XO Learning switches from English to Spanish with all new content depending on the language. Additional languages will be available in future releases.

XO Learning also offers unique learning experiences from leading partners who support OLPCA’s program to foster child-centric learning. Many international companies share the vision to create learning experiences that unleash a child’s creativity, D’Amico said. In addition to helping to curate the XO Learning content, Common Sense Media has also provided Digital Passport™ an interactive learning environment designed for students in grades 3-5 to teach them how to safely navigate a technology-enhanced world, to the XO Learning platform. Digital Passport™ is already available in classrooms via OLPCA XO laptops in the U.S. and internationally.

Other XO Learning partners include Sesame Street, MyCityWay and Little Pim, among others. OLPCA is currently in negotiations with many other of the world’s leading companies to provide unique experiences through XO Learning in time for the product introduction in May 2013.

“OLPCA and Common Sense Media share the same vision of a world in which all kids have access to the limitless learning opportunities that technology provides,” said Amy Guggenheim Shenkan, president and COO, Common Sense Media. “By using ratings and reviews from Common Sense Media to inform XO Learning, OLPCA has created a product that will point kids towards the highest quality digital media products available, and will go a long way to ensure our kids are well-prepared to grow, thrive, and succeed in the 21st century.”

Sakar International, based in Edison, New Jersey, is the first licensee of XO Learning. It will offer XO Learning on a 7″ inch Android tablet of its own design. The tablet will be marketed as the “XO Tablet”. Sakar has the exclusive right to sell the XO Tablet to leading U.S. retailers for both in-store and online sales.

OLPCA also continues to develop its own line of iconic green and white laptops. At CES, OLPCA unveiled its fourth-generation system – the XO 4.0 Touch. This touch screen laptop features:

• Marvell® ARMADA® PXA2128 multicore application processor with hybrid-SMP
technology running at 1 GHz
• Marvell® Avastar® 88W8787 highly integrated SoC
• Neonode touch screen technology with multi-sensing capabilities

The XO 4.0 Touch preserves the dual mode screen, which allows children to use the laptop in full sunlight as well as in the classroom. The XO 4.0 Touch will also offer the free educational software, Sugar, which has been featured on all previous versions of the laptop. Sugar offers over 300 child-centric learning apps and three programming environments for children.

“We are pleased to be launching XO Learning and the XO Learning Tablet. OLPCA pioneered the inexpensive netbook for learning, and that concept remains viable today, particularly with the new touch screen version,” said Rodrigo Arboleda, chairman and CEO of OLPCA Association. “The XO 4.0 is still the only laptop that is designed for children. It is reparable by a child with only a screwdriver. It now has the latest Marvell hybrid-core processor and Noenode’s latest touch screen technology.”

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