One Laptop Per Child was a dream proposed before the economic downfall, before dreams started to take the wrong turns. This particular dream came to fruition though, and now OLPC is a thriving non-profit organization established to provide an educational tool to impoverished children.
The mission of OLPC is to provide one connected laptop to every school age child. OLPC’s website describes it as:
In 2002, MIT Professor Nicholas Negroponte experienced first-hand how connected laptops transformed the lives of children and their families in a remote Cambodian village. A seed was planted: If every child in the world had access to a computer, what potential could be unlocked? What problems could be solved? These questions eventually led to the foundation of One Laptop per Child, and the creation of the XO laptop.
These laptops give options to distance learners at the K-12 level. Children in third world countries that may have as little as $20 a year dedicated to their education (with the average for the United States being $7,500), the XO laptop acts as a window to the outside world: a portal for online learning, for participation in free distance learning programs and accessibility to read all the resources and knowledge across the Internet.
Online education is often looked as a method of convenience; it provides flexibility, it lets you work at your own pace, and it lets you learn in your own way. For children in poverty that do not get to pick between online or campus education, who see distance learning as salvation rather than an alternative, the benefits of learning online are taken to a whole new level.
Through OLPC, online education becomes possible for everyone–from the United States to the far regions of Cambodia.