Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Laptop per Child: Give One Get One

Just a little bit of a commercial this week, but since it's for a non-profit I hope you won't mind.

I've mentioned the OLPC XO before, I got one as part of the 2007 Give One Get One program. They are offering this program again this year through Amazon.com/xo, but for some reason this time Canada is considered "international" and must be ordered through Amazon.co.uk/xo starting December 16th. It is also possible to just Give One or Give Many.

In the words of the OLPC Foundation, however, "it's an education project, not a laptop project". They are not just dropping a box of laptops in a classroom and hoping that will somehow change things. Among other things, they are helping with support resources, Internet access, and teacher training in the developing nations where these laptops are being deployed. The vision of the foundation, from their website, is:

Education is Our Motivation

Founded in 2005 by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte, the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) has a simple mission: to create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each and every one with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.

By giving a laptop, you are helping bring education to children in some of the world's most remote areas. You are connecting them to each other. To us. To hope. And to a better future.

For more details please visit laptop.org.

2 comments:

Patrick Black said...

I fully support the OLPC mission and cause, but have some reservations. I think my biggest concern is the fact that so many students in the United States are without any kind of computer access at home or in a school setting, and have to wonder if that is the best way to spend resources. I think it's a great goal to have One Laptop Per Child, but we need to think about all students.

Mr. Hay said...

I agree that there are issues with computer access even in developed nations. I think the value of the OLPC program, though, is that for many students in developing nations they don't have textbooks, pencils, or even electric lights in their houses.

That being said, this is just one worthwhile project. Local projects or World Vision projects are certainly no less worthy, the OLPC program just happens to appeal to us geeks. As well, perhaps it is a program that could also be extended to lower income areas in developing nations.