The one laptop per child mission is to provide affordable laptop computer for children in developing countries. The goal of the laptop is to help support and educate children that have limited, or no, access to a proper education. The program is not about teaching the children about technology but allowing them to learn by connecting with other students via the laptop.
The laptop was created for use in developing countries by children with little or no technology experience and a limited income. As such, it was designed with the goal of being sold low price but with the ability to be rugged and easy to use. The laptop is a smaller than a typical laptop to make it easier for a child to carry around and comes in bright pastel green that is attractive to children. The machine is equipped with a rubber keyboard, wireless ability, track pad and software. The machines contain no hazardous materials and can be powered by a pull-cord, pedal or crank when a power source is not available.
To aid in the laptop being stronger and lasting longer the case is thicker than a standard laptop casing, the display is cushioned and covers for the external ports. In addition, by using a rubber for the keyboard it the keyboard becomes waterproof preventing any damage to the system from spills. The laptops do not come with a CD, DVD or hard drive, which reduces the chance of any of the components breaking and having to be replaced.
The software installed on the systems is free and open source software, which greatly aids in the cost of the machine staying low. The basic software includes a browser, RSS reader, word processor and a paint program. There is additional software installed such as system tools and games, and there are other applications currently being developed.
In addition to providing basic software such as word processing, the laptop is also equipped with a camera and chat software to allow child to interact with each using the laptop. This includes sending photos, chatting, shared writing and shared browsing. There is also a journal and software for playing music.
In areas where it is available, the laptop will be able to connect into the Internet. Even if there is no Internet available, the system is equipped with wireless capabilities that will allow the children to connect to each other and create a peer-to-peer or mesh network between the systems. This will allow the children to chat and send photos and files to each other. For some of the software applications it will allow the user to collaborate with each other.
It is not a complete solution for helping educate children that need a better education but it is a step in the right direction.