28 Jun 2010

Radio links could be major boost to value of One Laptop Per Child programme in Pacific

7:36 pm on 28 June 2010

A team of New Zealand engineers will this week travel to Poland to compete in a technology competition, with software that has huge potential for Pacific countries.

The technology will allow educational materials to be sent via FM/AM frequencies to laptops distributed under the One Laptop Per Child programme.

The OLPC charity has donated more than 5000 laptops to countries in the region, including Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The leader of "Team One Beep" from the University of Auckland, Vinnie Jeet, says they are already developing pilot programmes for Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

"So the ministry of education wants to send health information and tutorials. So know they can send [it] out to all the islands throughout the country using one transmitter in maybe an hour, which would have taken a whole month of operation before. So the beauty of it is, these laptops could talk to each other. So only one needs to receive the book."

Vinnie Jeet from the University of Auckland.