Blog Action Day: OLPC

Blog Action Day logoToday is Blog Action Day. Last year’s topic (Environment) seemed easier for me to find blogging ideas. This year, the topic is Poverty and it has been harder for me. But, then I remembered Nicholas Negroponte’s “Big Idea” from 2005 and thought I would remind my three readers about the One Laptop Per Child project.

opening the laptop, Step 4The initial thought was to create a laptop for less than $100 that could be used around the world to put technology and access to information in the hands of children everywhere. This kind of access to information, education and communication certainly seems like a way to help developing countries’ populations learn and grow.

While the initial price of $100 was not met and Negroponte left the project, it did finally come into production. Last year and again this year (starting in November) you can also participate in the Buy One, Get One campaign. For about $400, you get one of the OLPC laptops and they will also send one to another country for a child to use. The laptops (now called the XO laptops) are pretty cool. Sturdy and colorful, easy graphic interface, internet capable.

David Pogue, of the New York Times, did a nice video review of them last year if you are interested in learning more about the technology of the device and he does a much better job than I ever could explaining what it can do (and he actually has one to show!):

Ready to Take Action?

If you are interested in participating in the OLPC this year, Amazon is doing the “sending”.

One Laptop per Child Foundation @ Amazon.com

And, if you are interested in working for change in driving out poverty locally, please consider donating to Community Shares, which is a federated fund for a variety of social justice, environmental, arts and other organizations working for a better world.

Give to DonorsChoose
Or, if you want to have a more direct impact, you cannot beat Donors Choose (Teachers Ask, Donors Choose, Students Learn). There are several projects based in my state in high poverty schools.