500+ Miami Students Get Laptops in Digital Literacy Effort

In an effort to improve digital literacy amongst young people in Miami, every student at the Holmes Elementary School will receive their own laptop today, provided by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), with $245,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Community advocates are set to present the XO laptops, specially designed for primary school children, at the Holmes Elementary in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood.

Rodrigo Arboleda, chairman and CEO of the One Laptop Per Child Association, said:

"We are pleased to be working with Knight Foundation and the Miami-Dade County public schools on this new OLPC education initiative in the U.S.

"We believe that partnering with foundations, the private sector and the public sector is an excellent model that can be replicated across the country."

Jorge Martinez, of the Knight Foundation's Universal Access Initiative, said:

"Access to the Internet and digital skills are vital for success in today's connected world.

"We hope the laptops help these eager young minds at Holmes Elementary to become digital natives who are more informed and engaged in their classrooms and their community."

The XO tablet is designed to be inexpensive, use little energy and brave extreme weather conditions. It will include a Marvell ARMADA PXA618 SOC processor, Avastar Wi-Fi SOC, standard or Pixel Qi sunlight-readable display, and can be run on either an Android or Linux operating system.

The XO 3.0 tablet was officially unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier in the year.

Unlike any other tablet on the market, it can be powered by solar energy, other alternative sources or hand-cranks.

OLPC's Chairman Nicholas Negropante said that the tablet was designed to be part laptop, iPad and Kindle.

Along with the laptops, the initiative will provide in-house training at the school for parents, teachers and students on how to use the computers to advance students' learning.

Holmes Elementary School is at risk of closing at the end of the year unless it starts showing improvement in its state standardized test scores. The school has adopted a plethora of initiatives to enhance teaching and learning, and these laptops, which come with tools that allow students and teachers to work more closely together, shows promise.

Atunya Walker, Holmes Elementary School principal, said:

"With this project, every child will carry learning in the palm of their hands and we will be one step closer to leveling the educational playing field in Miami."

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