Computer literacy: One laptop per child

olpc-rwanda

One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is a project organised by the One Laptop per Child Association, a U.S. non-profit organization funded by member organizations such as eBay, Google and Red Hat.  Its original mission was to develop a low-cost laptop that could change completely the way we understand children’s education.

Their goal is to provide children around the world with a tool that will allow them to learn, explore and express themselves. But how does it work? Basically, laptops are sold to governments to be distributed through the ministries of education or similar having a final goal of distributing “one laptop per child”.

It sounds like a good concept to us but you might be also wondering if the project makes fully sense since some of these children may have no electricity or even running water. Why should they be provided with computers if their basic needs are not covered?

According to the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan “this is not just a matter of giving a laptop to each child, as if bestowing on them some magical charm. The magic lies within — within each child, within each scientist, scholar, or just plain citizen in the making. This initiative is meant to bring it forth into the light of day.”

Under this approach, this project can be seen not only as a technology improvement but also as a global movement which will make a different world one day. In this sense, participation is the key. Everyone can be part of this initiative in different ways. You can obviously donate laptops which are sold by Amazon but if money worries you, other sort of involvement might be better as for example organising a fundraising event.

On top of being and operative and durable laptop, the XO-1 is fully recyclable, uses environmental friendly materials and it is not non-toxic. It lasts longer, costs less, and is more energy efficient. The XO-1 was the first laptop awarded Gold level rating by EPEAT, the definitive global registry for greener electronics.

Nowadays, they are working on developing a tablet, the XO-3, that will cost about 75 dollars. The trouble at the moment is not being able to design a low cost tablet but to find the right materials to build a device robust enough to be operative at the conditions these tablets are meant to be used.

 
  • posted by heathrow hotels | 17 April 2011, 22:41,

    Sounds like a great cause 🙂

     
  • posted by Col | 03 May 2011, 11:17,

    Great if it works, i’m a bit skeptical though :S

     

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