OLPC’s Give 1 Get 1 Program

Starting November 12, if you donate $399 to the OLPC program, they will send a laptop to a child in a developing nation and send one to your child at home.

10 reasons I like OLPC and this form of buying computers:

  1. It’s Linux and Linux rocks (oh yeah, it’s free, too)
  2. Hand cranked power option
  3. Portable computers let kids work at home and at school
  4. Long range wireless is cheaper than wiring everything for Ethernet
  5. Reasonable overhead: 95% of funds raised go to the kids
  6. OLPC set an aggressive price point then built a product to match
  7. Connections: OLPC users will be connected with the rest of the world
  8. The Five Principles
  9. “Buy 1 Get 1″ is a cool idea to satisfy North Americans interested in buying the laptop while still helping needy kids
  10. “It’s an education project, not a laptop project.” Nicholas Negroponte

(hat tip to Seth Godin from his recent post titled This Changes Everything)

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Software I Use: PaperCut

I have about 100 users and 3 network printers in my school. About two years ago, I installed PaperCut to manage print quotas for students and teachers.

PaperCut is set to limit students to printing 50 pages per week and teachers to 100 pages per week. For everyone, I opted to limit any single print job to 15 pages, regardless of the pages remaining in a user’s account. I’ve found that I save somewhere around 100 sheets of paper a day (about 20% reduction).

How do other schools limit printing, especially by students?

Journaling Collaboratively

Thanks to a new book on the project, I’ve been reminded of the 1000 journals project. The idea is simple: an artist going by the moniker “Someguy” sent one thousand blank journal books into the world. They would travel from place to place, from person to person, collecting stories. It’s being called a collaborative art project.

For younger folks, the Flat Stanley Project has a similar feel.

I think both are really cool offline ways to engage kids in a worldwide discussion.