Earlier this month, I had the luxury of inspecting a new Omatek Smartbook at the Ministry of Education in Ghana. The Smartbook is a low-cost laptop aimed at the education market, and with one look, you’l know its an XO laptop derivative:
It also happens to be one of the many
4P Computers that are coming out of the developing world. Not content to leave the 4PC market to Asus, these local computer manufactures are making their own low-cost, highly-portable, power-efficient, and performance-relative computers for local and regional markets.
Recently, I’ve been looking at OLPC News in a whole new light. I’m seeing it as more than just a blog. In fact, when you bring in the OLPC Wiki, I see a three part system that is the community of practice around the One Laptop Per Child program.
First, a definition of a community of practice:
A community of practice is a group of people who share a common passion for a subject and through regular interaction and communication, improve their knowledge and expertise in the topic area. Communities of practice differ from teams and networks in that they are bound by a shared desire to learn, and implement the learning through practice.
I believe that the triumvirate of OLPC News, OLPC News Forum, and OLPC Wiki serve to accomplish four goals typical of a community of practice.