One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is a non-profit global social entrepreneurship founded by M. Nicholas Negroponte and first conceived at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. OLPC designs, manufactures and distributes children early education platforms consisting of rugged, low cost and powerful “XO laptops” combined with rich and empowering educational activities.
Since its inception, OLPC strives to reduce the gap between the digital world and the world of knowledge, reaching out to 6 – 12 years old underprivileged children with an empowering educational platform for self-learning. Over 2.7 million children in 45 countries use their XO laptop to learn in schools and at home.
OLPC Academy Program
The OLPC Academy program was launched in 2010 to provide University students with the opportunity to travel across the world and support the development and growth of a global and inclusive education for children. The OLPC Academy targets students at the Masters and PhD programs in in the specialty fields of:
- Computer science;
- Information and communication technologies;
- Economy and Business administration;
- Political science;
- Education and learning;
- Social science and Psychology.
The participants are placed in target communities to work at the frontier between education and technology. The students are active actors in creating and enhancing education opportunities for of the world’s poorest children.
The OLPC Academy program exposes students to exceptional research and fieldwork opportunities. Students can partake in a range of project areas for a period of two months to one year, with potential to receive academic credit. There are five core focus areas within the Academy;
Pre-field and field assessment – Students conduct in-depth studies and interviews to define the education baseline and landscape in countries post OLPC deployment projects.
Monitoring and evaluation – Students track the progress of existing deployment projects; an exercise which aims to report the impact of the projects and support applications for funding.
Curriculum development – One of OLPC’s founding pillars is constructionism; learning should allow children to explore, create and share. Participants will work with country partners to develop and implement innovative curriculums, tailored to specific locations and demographics.
Technical support – Technical support teams will work with country partners on projects such as implementing laptop repair centers, designing support infrastructure, developing software programming and advancing the use of the school server.
Social inclusion & sustainability – Targets the development and the learning skills for children with special needs, indigenous languages and children with disabilities.
Special student proposals – Covers work and research proposals adjacent to OLPC focus areas, include more than one area or have the potential to evolve into a subject of interest for OLPC.
Participating and Potential Locations
Mexico, Rwanda, US, Cameron, Armenia, Honduras, Peru, Canada, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Argentina, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Colombia, South Africa, Chile, China, India, Brazil and other countries.
Benefits and Rewards
The OLPC Academy program offers beyond personal satisfaction when helping underprivileged children access quality education, other benefits and rewards including:
- Credited contribution to the OLPC mission
- Life experience and foot print in a community
- Unique experiential research environment
- Direct contact with the host communities
- Live experience of laptop deployment projects
- Logistic and financial support
- Contacts with government and NGOs officials
- Sponsored gathering at MIT event for program kickoff
Application Timeline and Program Start
To Join the Program
OLPC Academy team looks forward to hearing from motivated and committed students willing to experience a unique and life enriching experience.