Analyzing the use of laptops in the first month of class

This is a translation of a post originally published in Spanish on the sixth grade blog of school #37, Canadá, in Uruguay. It discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the XO laptop one month after its implementation at the Canadá school in rural Uruguay.

Use of Laptop:


They freeze up and it is slow to fix them
I lose my work every time they freeze up
They are very slow
The keyboards have different layouts
The battery life finishes quickly
It continuously disconnects from the internet and I lose the connection to the web page I am reading
You can only connect at school because the wi-fi antennas don't have much range
It lacks a Flash plug-in and so there are websites and activities that we can not see
We can not upload images to make slideshows.
It takes a long time to load images.
We are not able to see the videos on the Internet
We lose the desire to work
I see warnings online that say “these seem to take longer than usual,” which doesn't allow us to work continuously.
We are losing a lot of time in class because of the delay.


Free access to the internet
We can write, take pictures, record audio, film, paint, and edit images.
The text and images from the web can copied and pasted in some cases
Easy to carry.
We can work collaboratively.

12 thoughts on “Analyzing the use of laptops in the first month of class

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  3. Amazing summary. I just had an exam question on the pros and cons of the OLPC project. I wish I saw this post before writing the exam!

  4. Nice analysis! I got an OLPC under the “give one get one” program. I agree with the assessment – especially on it hanging and being slooooooooow!

    My 4 year old daughter uses it – her biggest complain is the sensitivity of the touchpad. When I plugged in a mouse she found it much easier to use.

  5. I don’t know enough about the OLPC project. Is there some kind of mechanism in place for the XO users’ comments and criticisms to be collected and forwarded to the developers?

  6. I follow one laptop pre child story with great interest. Thanks

  7. Thanks for this summary of the pros and cons of the OLPC project. It’s great to see this from the users’ perspective!

  8. Hi Nicholas,

    I think that is a very good question. I forwarded it to someone who works on the OLPC project and here was his response:

    I recommend writing to — that’s where we process most feedback from the field — or posting to the wiki…
    is watched by many people, but hasn’t added any general commentary yet. A full description of the class in question, who is submitting the feedback, and what their context is, in addition to the direct comments and criticisms, would be most welcome — preferably in Spanish first, and then with English translation.

  9. This is very valuable information, nice work!

    We often receive inquiries on the OLPC project. Now I can reference this handy summary and feel confident in giving realistic, first hand user feedback.

    In addition to writing to (where the feedback may end up in a queue somewhere) is it an idea to have the students write a letter to the OLPC and include their findings?

    If ongoing testing of the laptops is also carried out by school children, the students at the Canada school could suggest becoming part of the testing and feedback panel linked directly with OLPC.

  10. Great informations from very professional users. It must be a little bit annoying for kids to not have enough space and speed for images loading and flash effects since most of the time they use computer for this purpose.
    I hope everything could be resolved for the next OLPC project

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