February 19, 2007
It's called one laptop per child or OLPC. It's a non profit organization and a bold new program aimed at providing children around the world the opportunity to learn how to use computers and computer software, combating a problem developing countries face commonly referred to as the digital divide.
"The digital divide means that there's a gap between the people that have regular and effective access to digital technology and those that don't" said Mary Lou Soffa, Computer Science Department Head at UVa.
Mass production is the key to getting the price down. Right now the computers are going for about 130 dollars but OLPC hopes to get it down to 100 dollars by next year and with seven countries already signed up it looks like they may get there sooner than expected. That will not only help the kids who receive them but the countries that they live in as well.
"There seems to be a direct link between the development of technology infrastructure and the economic growth of countries" said Soffa.
And if these new child friendly laptops are a success and these countries become more and more developed it will hopefully not only have a positive affect there but also globally.
"As Thomas Friedman has said, the world is flat so we're depending more and more each other" said Soffa.