I don’t know if you have heard of it or not but there is an organization formed to bring technology to all the children in the world. It is called One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). They had a target price of 100 dollars per laptop but this was not feasible. They have managed to put them out for $200 though. Still well below the typical $500 or more for a conventional laptop. They are currently running a special through their website. Give one get one. What this does is to get you a laptop and give one to a child in a third world country. This offer is only good in the US and Canada. And runs until December 31. You get a laptop and a tax deduction of 200 dollars. And at the same time help out a needy child. These are rugged, waterproof laptops designed for children, and run a version of Linux that is easy to navigate. Children pick up on it very fast.

Mayor Larry Langford of Birmingham Alabama, announced Monday, that city schools will be the first in the nation to get these laptops for all students between grades one and eight. “We live in a digital age, so it is important that all our children have equal access to technology and are able to integrate it into all aspects of their lives,” Langford said. “We are proud that Birmingham is on its way to eliminating the so-called `digital divide’ and to ensuring that our children have state-of-the-art tools for education. The city is buying 15,000 of these XO laptops. “Our students will have access to global thinking now,” said Birmingham schools Superintendent Stan Mims. “It becomes a tipping point in the digital divide.”

Mayor Langford brought back two demo computers from Boston and said a 3-year-old went up to him at a restaurant and began teaching him to use the computer. “Every child in this restaurant came up to me and within minutes, they were on Google surfing the Web,” he said.” These don’t run windows as most of us are used to but are supposed to be very user friendly as the stories of children picking up on them right away suggest. I think Birmingham has made an excellent decision here in getting these laptops. Hopefully we will begin seeing schools across the nation adopting them.

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