Mobilize 2010 took place on Thursday, September 30th at the UCSF conference center. It was the ideal place to think about future interactive collaboration between education and new technologies, as well as announce the OLPC’s XO-3 tablet, coming in 2012.

When the Founder and Chairman of One Laptop per Child , Nicholas Negroponte, came on the stage, he promoted tablets. Before that he reminded the public that his foundation delivers high technology laptops for children in developing countries, and the devices are highly adapted to their specific environmental conditions. OLPC’s purpose is to develop the level of education in those countries. He argued that the tablet is really lighter than a book, easier to hold and turn pages while also being clearer to read. According to Negroponte, “physical books are our luxury”.

Because of these reasons, ten months ago they decided to develop the XO3 tablet. According to its founder, the tablet is a more suitable way to learn and share knowledge. It is also convenient and a more suitable device for children. For example, with a laptop you need to sit in a chair to use it, while the tablet can be used while sitting, standing, crouching, etc. Another point Negroponte made which speaks for itself: with one tablet, you can read hundreds of books. Can you imagine how many books could be contained in tablets destined for a classroom in Bolivia, for example?

To develop specific tablets for children in more difficult living conditions, OLPC has formed a partnership with Marvell, which is becoming more and more involved in education projects. During the afternoon, they also led a workshop about their new educational project, whose operating mission is “Investing in our future by mobilizing the US Education System.” Marvell’s Moby tablet platform is one of the leaders in low-cost tablet computing for students with $99 units. Together, they agreed to produce according to some conditions in the conception of this new OLPC tablet: the device must be low cost (the price announced was $75, unbreakable with semi-flexible plastic, low energy usage (1 watt expected device), as well as connected and interactive.

The public seemed to be really excited to discover this new revolutionary device. Unfortunately we all have to wait a few months more until its release.

By Laura Tisserand