11 April 2009

One Laptop per Child

A while ago, my partner and I stumbled across this awesome program. At the time, they had a deal where if you bought one of the XO computers for yourself, they would match you an XO computer and send it to a child in need. Unfortunately we didn't have any money at the time, but someone we know did buy one and she let us play with her XO.
It was one of the most interesting pieces of equipment I have ever had the pleasure of using. Although it was small and somewhat difficult to use for my adult-sized hands to use, it was still a pleasure to play with. The keys were made of this rubbery stuff, and it could get great wireless signals. Plus, it looked super slick- it was bright and colorful. And, although the machine itself is very interesting, the bottom line, though, is about literacy and education for children who otherwise would not have the opportunity to grow and play in a digital environment.
The information found here is about the educational possibilities it offers. They have maps that show how many laptops have been donated, with information about the impact of the laptops on under-developed areas. There is a much lengthier explanation of their program on their website as well. I encourage people to check it out- the ideas behind the program remind me of the ideas behind TakingIT Global and other programs for youth. Social networking and information sharing are at the core of both programs, and empowering young people to become proactive in the world at large seems to be a value that both programs share.

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