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Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction



What happens if you give a thousand Motorola Zoom tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word? Within five months, they'll start teaching themselves English while circumventing the security on your OS to customize settings and activate disabled hardware. Whoa.


"We left the boxes in the village. Closed. Taped shut. No instruction, no human being. I thought, the kids will play with the boxes! Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, but found the on/off switch. He'd never seen an on/off switch. He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android. Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera! And they figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android."

Meanwhile, your kids are imprisoned for 12 years in public "schools" and still can barely read, when they're released.


Entry #899


rdgrnrComment by rdgrnr - November 1, 2012, 6:59 pm
Something's wrong over there.
Obviously they need union thug teachers to straighten things out.
Maybe they should get a Department of Education first.
Of course they'll have to raise everybody's taxes to pay for everything they'll need to get things going...
And they better be ready to meet the poor teachers' demands for high pay, short hours, paid vacations, paid holidays, full benefits and free medical care for their families for life and jumbo pensions.
And oh yeah, they can't be fired for any reason.
It'll all be in the contract.
sully16Comment by sully16 - November 1, 2012, 8:32 pm
Why can't they figure out how to feed themselves, maybe they should put the kids in charge of the country, they will be better off,
TenajComment by Tenaj - November 1, 2012, 9:54 pm
I don't blame our education system alone to why Johnny can't read. An old African proverb says "it takes a village to raise a child" and I would imagine even an improvished one. But this is truly amazing.
jackpotismineComment by jackpotismine - November 1, 2012, 11:09 pm
It's about the hunger. The eye-of-the-tiger.

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