There was a meltdown on the One Laptop Per Child developer list because Negroponte (OLPC chief) said that they would work on a Windows version. In the ensuing discussion (which was, in fact, very enlightening and constructive), many issues came up, about code development and open-source and the educational value of having computers in the hands of children.
One point made by one of the developers, with which I strongly disagree, is that the
leading-order term for the educational impact of the OLPC is that it gives children access to the web. Although I love the web (as my non-existent readers know), this is not the leading educational impact of OLPC, if OLPC is successful. If the main point is the web access, then give the students all ASUS or Nokia or Classmate low-cost computers and be done with it!
The leading-order term in the OLPC project is that the computer is a device that can be modified, programmed, altered, and made to do new things. The project de-mystifies computers and electronics and technology and software and the web. It is not access to the worlds information, but an introduction to the world's modifiability and opportunity for innovation. Unfortunately, I don't think everyone on the project agrees, and I don't think that the countries that are investing in OLPC understand. This may bode ill for what might be right now a marriage of convenience between constructivist educators and countries hungry for development (of the economic kind, not the code kind).