OLPC Gearing Up for 'Get 1, Give 1' Program

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For two weeks in November, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) foundation will let citizens of the United States and Canada buy two of its XO laptops for $399 so that they can keep one and donate the other to a child in a developing nation.

Founded in 2005 by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte, OLPC aims to design a durable, easy to use educational laptop for students in developing nations that rings in at $100. The laptop hasn't yet reached the $100, price point, but donors can give one to a student for $200 through OLPC's Xogiving.org site or by calling 866-XO-GIVING.

While it works its way to $100, the XO laptop does include a built-in video camera; sound processing; a hand-crank generator so that it is self-powered; and an LCD that students can clearly read both in the dark and in bright sunlight. The XO's hardware platform is geared for minimizing power consumption, opting for lower-power components such as flash memory over hard drives.

In terms of software, the laptop runs on a its own operating system and includes collaboration tools and applications for making art and music, playing games, Web browsing and word processing. It also functions as an e-book reader.

The Get 1 Give 1 program gives individuals eager to own an XO laptop an opportunity to buy one, as long as they donate one, as well. The program will work on a first-come, first-served basis with customers receiving their laptops by Christmas.

"Kids are naturally global and native learners, Negoponte said in a prepared statement. "They need to be excited and empowered by providing tools for thinking, collaboration and expression. Additionally, Give 1 Get 1 is a means to trigger greater interest and commitment from governments of developing nations, as well as those of wealthier ones who wish to help the poorest and most remote children."

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About the author: David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and editor, and can be reached at david@prooferati.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and marketing consultant, and can be reached at david@dkcopy.com.

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