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


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 [email protected].

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About the Author

David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and marketing consultant, and can be reached at [email protected].