How to Contribute Educational Content to the OLPC $100 Laptop





Introduction: How to Contribute Educational Content to the OLPC $100 Laptop

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...

The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) association is looking for educational content to place on the laptops and in regional/country repositories. Instructables is a great format for content, so we're inviting all of you to contribute your great Instructables for consideration to be included.

Step 1: Create a Great Instructable

Good ideas include projects that can be made with materials available in the developing world (generic materials wherever possible), are suitable for ages 6-15, and are useful as well as good fun or demonstrate a broadly useful technique. A large number of Instructables already fit these criteria.

OLPC has a wiki with a discussion of the content they would like to see.

They plan to judge the content by the breadth of its educational value across age ranges and cultural context, by the freeness of its license, by its size (smaller is better), and by the ease of translation (related to cultural context, language difficulty, and the elegance of any images).

Step 2: Set As Free a License As You Can

All freely licensed (CC-BY-SA, Attribution, or Public Domain) educational content is eligible for inclusion on the laptops directly. Non-commercial (CC-SA-NC) content is eligible for inclusion in the larger regional/country repositories. If you're not familiar with the licenses, you can read more about them here.

Change the license of your Instructable by clicking on the "Change license" link while in the edit menu.

Step 3: Add Your Instructables to the OLPC Educational Group

Add your Instructables to the OLPC Educational content group.

To do this, you first need to be a member of the group. Under the Explore heading, click Groups, find the OLPC group, and click on it. Or, just click here. Once on the group, click the join button. Now, you can add any of your Instructables to the group by clicking the "Add this instructable to a group" link on the left sidebar when viewing the Instructable.

OLPC plans to do a top tier content review in September, so make sure to get your Instructables in the group by September 10th.



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    36 Discussions

    It won't solve all problems, but the OLPC project sure does help on the education end. I don't see the problem with software not being interactive. Some of you guys must be newcomers to computers. I still remember my Tandy Color Computer, which was limited to a max of 64K. The graphics were blocky but presentable, and there were lots of interactive games, many educational. Same can be said for the Commodore 64, Apple II, etc. People were running businesses -- SUCCESSFUL businesses, I will add -- on 16-32K computers. Mostly with text based programs, but we gotta have "eye candy" now! And why not? Even the OLPC laptop will easily support it. Worst case is you use some of the old "home computer" tricks. Some of the big educational programs for the Tandy CoCo were disk based. What they did was boot a stripped down version of the OS when they ran. That gave them more memory to run in -- loaded only the necessities for that game. Had to reboot when you got out of it though. Something similar could be done, especially when running from an SD card or from a USB thumb drive (prices have also come way down... use the USB drive like a game cartridge). Those things have 256MB. The "old guys" worked in 64-512 KILOBYTES. Programmers today can't do something better in 100MB (OS does take up some room, and housekeeping room...)???

    hey wait a minute ... lets think this out here if over 35,000 children die a day of starvation WHY I REPEATE WHY!!! are you going to give them laptops can you eat a laptop??? no. So lets focus on a bigger problem GIVING THEM FOOD BEFORE WE BUY THEM A LAPTOP!!!

    12 replies

    Here's some stats I pulled from the web, and they show that the problem with starvation isn't the lack of money donated.

    16,000 children dead/day * 19 cents (enough to feed a child for a day) = 3,040 USD per day are needed to save every child on earth from starvation.

    Now, if we multiply 3,040 USD by 364 days, then that is only 1,106,560 USD per year that would be enough to save all of the world's starving children.

    In 2006, over $11,600,000 million dollars were raised in the United States during the "30 hour famine" event. There's plenty of charity going towards world hunger, the problem is that the food isn't getting to where it needs to go, which is a political issue.

    At this point, the world's food generators (farmers, fishers, livestock, etc.) produce a massive surplus of food. All starvation is a political problem. And, while I could be wrong, I'm also willing to bet money that charitable food banks acquire and are capable (not able to, but capapble) of distributing sufficient nutritious food to feed every starving person on earth. Politics of race, religion, and greed are what stand in their way, with the occasional fuel costs and bursts of pure human stupidity to spice things up. The MOST effective method of seeing the end of political problems I know of is to increase the education of people closer to the problem. If they can't find a peaceful solution to the problems, educated people make better agitators and fanatical assasins, as we've seen. Starvation is a problem of stupidity, and the solution to stupidity is always access to information.

    Using modern technology to predict available supply availability, contact those individuals in possession of said surpluses, predict natural disasters, it all points to better preparation for the future. After all, to "look at the problem with childs' eyes" may produce some insightful redistribution solutions! Agreed, access to information produces options, which most people prefer.

    Not that I am saying this is much better but your number is a bit high.
    "Every day, more than 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes--one child every five seconds"
    Taken from:
    Also should be noted that large portions of this aren't due to strict malnurishment but to diseases that would perhaps be survivable to someone with the proper diet. Again not trying to say that we are in a good situation, just pointing out you aimed a bit high.

    I don't think you understand who these laptops are going to. These are NOT going to Ethiopia, or some tribe in Africa. They are going to places like India where the people have the basic necessities of life, but they do not have access to modern tech., either because they are poor, or the society isn't developed enough to have any sort of computers available, even for sale. Not only that, but what the hell do AMD, the Linux community, and other companies contributing to this project have to offer for food?! They are simply contributing in the best way that they can, which is quite respectable IMO.

    ok ok i see your point but there are still country (not in the middle of nowhere where the language is DFDFGfgidflgkyhlgGartpearTadgERtyDFGj) that need food n whatnot

    Are you saying every single charity that isn't feeding starving children is bad because it isn't providing the absolute necessities of life to people? I'd better call the Red Cross and tell them to stop their blood bank until everyone has food.

    I dunno, Id put blood under the absolute necessities of life categorytoo.

    give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to operate a computer and he'll earn his living.. er.. taking support calls etc But seriously, there is a lot more to this than giving computers away

    Lol, I say keep the kids fit... better not introduce them to the obesifier of the western world.