Friday, November 30, 2007

Give One Get One

Picture a child in a Haiti school room where kids are using their own laptop computers. A little girl is using her laptop's calculator. The student next to her is recording his poem that he just wrote onto his computer. Another student is drawing a picture on her laptop. All of them are connected to each other, as well as the teacher on her laptop.

Does that sound too good to be true ? Perhaps, but with the "Give One Get One" program that scene can happen. When a donation is made to One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) they will send an XO Laptop to children in either Afghanistan, Cambodia, Haiti, Mongolia, or Rwanda.

The XO Laptop is designed for kids to learn while they have fun at the same time. It’s designed to be used in some of the world’s most adverse weather. Here are some of the features I think are important:
  • Word Processor
  • Music Program- The kids can be very creative and compose their own music.
  • Built in Camera/Recorder- New friends can be made by sending their photos and recordings to those on the network.
  • Mesh Network- All of the computers in range can be connected. If one is on the internet than the others will be also. Teachers can supervise and assist their students while connected.

Let’s take a few minutes to watch a video by David Pogue in his review “Laptop With a Mission Widens Its Audience", NYTimes, October 4, 2007. The video is opposite the fourth paragraph. His column is quite thorough and gives us a picture of the XO’s features. It's loaded with software for learning.

How does the “Give One Get One” program work? When you donate $399 (plus shipping for your XO laptop) one XO Computer will be sent to either Afghanistan, Cambodia, Haiti, Mongolia, or Rwanda.

To place your order click here. Donations can be made by phone by calling 1-877-705-2786. For general questions please phone 1-800-201-7144. For other questions see FAQ. Since OLPC is a non-profit organization $200 of your donation is tax deductible. This program ends December 31, 2007.

Perhaps $399 is beyond your giving budget then consider asking your church, synagogue, mosque, employer or community organization to take on this project. There are other things that can be done to promote this worthy program. Send this link to others who might be interested.

The kids are our future whether they be in the U.S.A. or in other parts of the world. When children have their own XO laptops they will learn how to learn and be creative in ways they would not discover otherwise. An XO will be their window out to the world and a tool with which to think. Furthermore, independent interaction and exploring are a wonderful way to learn.