The mission of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is to empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child. You can help accomplish the goal and help make education for the world’s children a priority, not a privilege. OLPC is offering1 a Give One Get One program in the United States and Canada. During this time, you can donate the revolutionary XO laptop to a child in a developing nation, and also receive one for a child in your life (or for yourself 😉 in recognition of your contribution.
When you make this donation, you also get one year of complimentary T-Mobile HotSpot access. This complimentary service from T-mobile for one year, valued at more than $350 is a sweet bonus you get for your for your good deed.
I just ordered one. This is an excellent, practical and useful laptop computer for kids or even for adults for basic computer needs. Check out the specs. It is a very rugged, portable, practical and cool computer to carry around at the fraction of the cost of rugged laptops like the Panasonic Toughbooks for business, which are also excellent, but meant to serve business users’ needs.
The XO can be used for basic Web use, writing documents and communications. The XO can even be recharged by human power. That makes it a great system to carry on personal travel, adventure trips and camping because of its rugged design, low cost and that it can provide basic computer needs during personal travel (writing, communicating, and accessing the Web).
- Mentioned on Rob Haining’s blog
- NY Times Article
- 2007-12-09 update: now extended through December 31 2007. Earlier was only between November 12 and November 26 [↩]
It has now been one year since I wrote the original post above about the OLPC. Due to various reasons ranging from technical & product to business & political, the OLPC has not been the success story its creators wanted it to be.
The OLPC was and still is a great idea. However, the implementation has fallen far short of what was required to make it great.
The OLPC’s user interface is too radically different from “normal” computers that people are used to and would benefit children to learn. Its interface may be innovative, but sometimes radical change results in failure. In such cases, gradual, iterative change would have worked.
For example, people are used to driving a car using a steering wheel. If an automaker were to replace the steering wheel with a touch screen, it may result in accidents. Sure, a car controlled using a touch screen on the dashboard may be a better interface and may even be the future, but we can’t get there in one jump.
Children in developing countries would benefit from a computer that has a mainstream operating system like Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X or Ubuntu Linux.
The OLPC’s operating system and user interface are incompatible and not easy to integrate with other non-OLPC computers. That makes it difficult to use the OLPC as one of your computers.
I’m glad I bought an OLPC since half of my payment went to a charitable cause. As for the OLPC itself, it is a cool toy, but not a practical computer as I had thought it would be.
My Apple iPhone 3G is by far a more practical portable “computer” than my OLPC is. As for a portable laptop computer, I love my MacBook Air.
I agree to that OLPC because it would make children develop a good learning skills, but of course the education fund must be enough for students. Allowing children engaged in this very accessible way of learning I believe they would make a long run in the future.
Make a Wish Foundation
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