Laptops in Education - Upcoming IDB Event

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB, or IADB, or BID, depending on where you're from) is putting together a really interesting event for next Tuesday, to talk about technology in education. The slate of speakers includes President Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno, and Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab and the driving force behind the One Laptop Per Child initiative.

They'll be focusing particularly on OLPC-- Negroponte continues to pick up steam, and Uruguay has run a very successful spinoff program that has provided laptops to every student and teacher in the country's public education system.

You may know that we published a paper at NDN a couple years back calling for a similar program here in the US-- A Laptop in Every Backpack.  Alec Ross, who co-authored the paper with Simon, is now a senior advisor on technology and innovation to Secretary Clinton.

Anyway, it's good to see this initiative gaining the support it has, and to see both the IDB and the Department of Education taking laptops seriously as a crucial part of educating our youth. It is pretty hard to imagine a child-- here in the US or anywhere else around the world-- succeeding in the 21st century without a very strong foundation in technology.

I'll be going. You should too, if you can (RSVP here).  If not, I'll be tweeting up a storm and blogging afterward.