The OLPC Wiki is Locked - Make a Donation to OLPC

Ask OLPC a Question about Our Mission

Jump to: navigation, search
542-stopicon.png This page has a more up-to-date location: Archive

  Please copy/paste "{{Translationlist | xx | origlang=en | translated={{{translated}}}}}" (where xx is ISO 639 language code for your translation) to Ask OLPC a Question about Our Mission/translations HowTo [ID# 216491]  +/-  

Our Mission

This page deals with issues related to Our Mission.

Return to Ask OLPC a Question.


The argument for one laptop per child is simple: many children—especially those in rural parts of developing countries—have so little access to school—in some cases just a tree—that building schools and training teachers is only one way—perhaps the slowest way—to alleviate the situation. While such building programs and teacher education must not stop, another and parallel method is to leverage children themselves by engaging them more directly in their own learning. It may sound implausible to equip the poorest children with connected laptops when rich children may not have them, but it is not. Laptops can be affordable and children are more capable than they are given credit for.

Once upon a time only the very adventurous could travel and only a few privileged individuals had access to knowledge. Technologies like the compass, paper, and printing changed the world by expanding these limits. Today there is the opportunity for Ethiopia to revolutionize knowledge once more, by participating in a revolutionary use of digital technology that will empower school children to explore the most distant places and to access knowledge on an unprecedented scale.

Throughout the world, computing and communications technologies are sparking a new entrepreneurial spirit, the creation of innovative products and services, and increased productivity. The importance of a well-educated, creative citizenry has never been greater.

Most people see a natural connection between computers and education. Computers enable us to transmit, access, represent, and manipulate information in many new ways. But they can do much more than that. They can move beyond static information-centric views of computing and learning by taking full advantage of new computational technologies, such as those in the One Laptop per Child (olpc) program. These will enable students and their teachers to become better learners and thinkers.

Other mission questions

Evidence for OLPC's educational theory?

In response to some of Lee Felsenstein's issues with the OLPC program, he cites your lack of evidence that your theory of how children learn (esp. in developing worlds) is flawed. While he is no expert, as I read through this wiki, you say things like "we have 50 years of research", and that a lot of your board members are steeped in child-technology education, but you don't seem to give any definitive evidence that your idea is any better than anyone else's. The best I can find is the wikipedia article on inquirty-based science, citing two sources.[1] Anyhow, while I'm no expert on the subject, peer-reviewed publications supporting your educational theory would be helpful for laypeople to understand the science behind your logic, besides your organization just saying "it's right because we think so." It also would give more creedance to your values, which would be nice to deflect the critics. Thanks. Rhetth 17:20, 5 January 2008 (EST)

Laptops for under privileged children in Pakistan

Please let me know how I can get a few laptops for children from poor areas in Pakistan. In your Give 1-Get 1 option, I would like to Get and Give to the kids in Pakistan in the area I am helping. I am currently concentrating in an area where most children are on the streets trying to make a living and help their families. These children are very young. As of now, I have about 19 whom I am putting through school.

I am very keen on getting them these laptops, as I believe it will motivate them to attend school and develop a love for learning. I believe it will have a tremendous impact on their lives and will make it better all around. It will also encourage those, who are not currently in schools, to join a school.

If I can get a couple of laptops to start with, so I can introduce it to them, I would greatly appreciate it. I sincerely pray that the OLPC can help me.

Thank You

Try contacting the Pakistan team. Their main page is at: You can find e-mail addresses to some people who work in Pakistan there. Gregorio 13:47, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Internet connection

We have wireless network connection at our house (Comcast & Apple Extreme Airport). The connection is a secure one - but not a closed network. However, the XO laptop can’t locate our network. How can we fix this problem? Thanks.

where is the computer?

I bought the XO back in December, knowing at the time it would be a bit before I recieve it. But it is now March and I have not heard from anyone since I recieved the email thanking me for the give one get one program. I would also like to know if I use that letter for my taxes or is there a more proffessional reciept that I need? Please respond as I have been feeling that this was just a large hoax and I was sucked in by wanting to help. Kelly Coltas

You might want to read some of the questions in the Donor Inquiries section of the Support FAQ; there is a donor services phone number and e-mail address there, as well as some tax info. —Joe 12:18, 3 March 2008 (EST)

help me help

I am an internationally recoginized scientist with teaching experience on three continents. I am infatuated with what you are trying to accomplish and wish to contribute actively and often. While I am a well educated user of utilities,I am not a programmer and feel I need a mentor to help me learns the system and find useful ways to contibute. Is there anyone out there willing to assist me? I don't even know where to look for a reply. I can be reached in the windows world at Please help me find my way in.

John Kearns Frederick, MD USA

Music Makers on the OLPC

Hello -

I am trying to connect to those out there that use the OLPC as a creative music sound making device...

Thank you! michelle king san francisco

please email me at

I know this is an old issue on WPA but I have exhausted all options

WPA2 connection through Apple Airport Extreme, build #656

ran the script manually and could see my AP but it asks me again and again the 'Wireless Key Required'. No matter how many times I entered my network password, it wont help. Had gone and deleted the networks.cfg file and rebooted but that didn't help either.

How do we connect to another user of olpc in another country, make friends, to have friends in a chat area? How can we connect to a classroom in another country? My daughter loves her computer but is having difficulty connecting to other users

lern programing

is it able to prosed an computer language like as c++,c+,java etc.

Will magnetic case latch harm XO?

I purchased a small bag for my daughter's XO. The bag latch stays closed by using small magnets.

From my reading, I know the XO itself uses magnets in the hard case.

Is there any risk of magnets in a soft laptop case harming the XO over time?


Can I return this XO for refund?

If so many people are waiting to get one they can have mine. I am proboly going to send it back. It is usless to me. My kid doesn't hang out at Starbucks much and it is just very NON USER FRIENDLY! Andrea

Bridging the Digital Divide

I am a digital media instructor in San Francisco. We teach underpriviledged youth in the Bayview/Hunters Point and surrounding districts. I am curious to know if you donate to students who are in the U.S.? Thanks!

Will Hammond email:

Uploading m3u files to listen to.

How do I upload and listen to a m3u file from an online book? thank you, Buddy


exactly how much money is the video chat laptop?

how do you copy and paste

i don't know how

non-profit schools in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Uganda and the Dominican Republic

I am part of the non-profit Children of the Nations ( We run several schools for underprivileged children in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Uganda and the Dominican Republic. We are interested in adding computer curriculum to help the students learn the skills that they will need to be successful after graduation. How can i get a hundred OLPC computers for my schools in these countries?

Thank you for your consideration

Display has faded away

The display of my G1G1 OLPC all of a sudden faded away, i.e. there is almost no contrast left. What I can see with full brightness are the colored items (but also the colors are like washed out). The activities symbols are almost not visible.

The mouse cursor is not visible anymore while moving. This makes it almost impossible to navigate with the mouse.

I have just installed the OS 656.

I appreciate any help take care Markus

Why Use the Constructivist Approach?

Why is OLPC supporting the Constructivist approach to education, instead of the standard "instructivist" one? Why not just use standard educational software, instead of going to the great effort involved in developing a whole new ecosystem of Constructivist software? There seems to be an implication in the Mission Statement that with Constructivism children can learn on their own, or at least with much less teacher input, than under the traditional method. Is that the reason? And if so, why do think that Constructivism makes it possible for children to do this?

hi. we are wondering if we could send some computers into are villiage in punjab? If you can, can you please send us the info at also if u cant can we buy a computer off you, and send it to are village ourselves?


I have a network with 2 laptops and 1 desktop. I brought this XO computer home in December and never tried to connect to the internet. I went online to read the user manual so that I may go online. When I click the network, there are NO dots (as on the screen from my desktop where I see the user manual). I tried to go through linux and when I type iwconfig, it simply says no wireless signal. Is this an error with the computer? I read all of the help and could not work it out. Please let me know exactly how I can make it work. Thank you. Also: Is it possible that the computer is defective and not able to connect wirelessly?

help with my olpc

hello i'm rosie and i don't how i can get sound to her what their saying on my olpc. .

Reset Settings

How do I reset my OLPC XO Laptop back to factory settings?

music makers on the olpc

how do i add music to my computer. i have searched the web looking on how to doit and when I've found the the website that can help me i didn't get it so plese give me easier nd helpfull step on to add music to my olpc computer asap.

thank you



How do I download this to my pc? My browser doesn't understand the git protocol


Hi Glenn,

I'm not a GIT guy but I can tell you that you can browse that code by changing it to

I believe that GIT is for pulling down whole repositories of code so you probably need a client (could be just a command like tool like FTP) and its not something you do in a web browser. That's my guess and I hope it gets you started. If you want more specific intructions you can try e-mailing or development list:



Gregorio 13:36, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

sofware which permits editing of individual tracks of existing midi file

I somehow stumbled into a feature, I think of etoys, which presented a menu of each track and controls to pan L & R, and adj Vol. I have never seen it since and don't know how to invoke it.

how do you buy the xo


Buy it now on Amazon at

Its only available until December 31 so place an order right away. They usually ship right away so you can still get them in time for Xmas.

I'll send you a direct e-mail too.


Gregorio 13:29, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Record activity no further works


My name is Andrei (Andrew) from Romania and I am 12 years old. I have an XO laptop since March 2008 and until now I was very satisfied with it. The problem is that for several weeks the record activity is no more functional. I can not take picture and record video and audio, I only can view images. On the right bottom side of the screen it appears all the time "Your disk is full" but this is not true because I have erased all the activities from the Journal, that is now empty. I can not take picture and record video and audio both pressing the right button and clicking with the mouse properly on the screen. What do you think is the trobleshooting and what can I do about it in order to activate again the record activity? Thank you very much and best regards,


Hi Andrei,

I hope you check this page again to get a response. I think the best idea is to try sending an e-mail to help at (change the "at" to "@" for the full e-mail address). There is a team of volunteers who respond to those questions. They may take a while to answer but should be able to comment eventually. My guess is that there are some files of some kind on the XO which are taking up space. The problem is finding them and removing them. If you don't mind losing everything you have on the XO and starting over, you can try upgrading to the latest version of software. To do that, see:

Good luck!


Gregorio 20:01, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

give one, get one--getting laptops to U.S. programs

I am considering soliciting small donations among a large group of people for the the "give-one, get-one" program. Then, I'd like to donate the "get one" laptops to some local education program in a low-income area. Does someone have experience doing something similar with this program, or do you know of restrictions that could prohibit this?

Thanks, Kristi Leach New Port Richey, FL

Hi Kristi,

There could be restrictions. Its up to you and the people you work with to figure that out. You also need a longer term relationship and plan. Just delivering some computers (even one as well designed as the XO) to a school is not enough to make an education project. That's my opinion. If you can work with the school over time, understand what they need, support them in achieving what they need etc. then you can make a bigger long term difference.

One organization that has delivered the full package successfully is Wavplace. See: They have one deployment in Florida too! Contact them and tell Tim I sent you his way. If you raise money for them to use in a deployment I think they can effectively bring in all the additional support needed to make it a success.



Gregorio 13:25, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

How is child defined? (age)

What are the requirements for a child in regards to age? What is the beginning age these laptops are designed for?

What is the youngest age these laptops actually go to?


They are designed for 6 - 12 year olds. Older kids and grown ups can use them too. Especially the technically inclined older folks will enjoy the graphical programming environment. On the lower end, younger kids can use them too but you may need to come up with some special programs. The newest thing I have seen for young kids is this one: Someone is making that available for the XO. For details see:

It looks like fun and now that my kids are older, it reminds me how much I miss reading Dr. Seuss :-)

HTHs. Gregorio 13:19, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

download this book "pale ink", step by step instruction possible?

how to download this book onto the xo olpc? can you help me by giving me a step by step instruction? once i have successfully followed through for this download, i will be able to do it for the other books. Thank you for your kind patience. Swannjie

Cannot install new hard drive!?

I have bought recently the drive: Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000.B - 1 TΒ - 7200 RPM - 16 MΒ - SATA II (bulk edition) and when i connected it to my pc after a long period of showing the bios picture says something about to connect a cable of 2x12V and reboots. After the reboot starts normally but does not find my drive, neither in the system bios and in the OS.

My pc is: Pentium(R) 4 4.3 GHz L2 Cache 1024 KB Memory: 4 GB (4x1 GB DDR2-SDRAM PC4200 CL4 (KVR533D2N4/1G) - Kingston) Mainboard: Intel D915GEV video card: ASUS Extreme AX300SE/T Drives: 1) ST380013AS (80 GB - primary - OS installed) 2) SAMSUNG SP2004C (250 GB - slave) 3) SAMSUNG HD501LJ (500 GB - secondary controller - master) OS: Windows XP sp3 PSU: ATX12V300WP4

Now my pc works great except that sometimes stacks for 3-4 seconds and then continues regular. My mainboard has 4 SATA which i already have 3 on them and i tried to disconnect an older drive and connect the new but still no luck! What is the problem?

What if my laptop doesn't start up properly?

I successfully start my laptop several times. Then, the next time, it just gives me a screen with the OX from which I can do nothing. I can't type. I can't restart. There's no cursor. How do I fix this?

Charger stops working

My charger seems to have stopped working. I've tried several outlets in the go. How do I order a new one...or is this a problem with the computer. The computer powers up still.


where can i buy a 100 dollar laptop?


If a laptop is brought from the USA to Nigeria, is it possible to transmit e-mail from Nigeria back to the USA with that laptop?

What is "XO"

Has anyone wondered what is the full meaning of the term "XO"? I have read a lot of documentation on OLPC webpages but i have not seen this abreviation "XO" defined. Can someone provide us with the meaning please.

where can I get a lit showing SYMBOLS and the meaning of Symbols for connections of my laptop and pc?'

how can i get rid of the bugs, worms, and other viruses of my XO laptop? because it is too slow to load

Windows XP for 1st-Year G1G1 Donors?

Will donors who participated in the original G1G1 be able to load Windows XP on their OLPC machines?