Making a Difference, One Laptop at a Time
One Lap top Per Child is a worldwide effort to provide rugged, low-cost, connected laptops to children in developing countries. But in 2007, a group of Duke CS undergraduates realized the project could also benefit the Durham community, a county where the majority of school-age children come from low-income homes, and few use computers at school or home.
“We wanted to bridge the technological divide in Durham,” says Alex Keybl, cofounder of the Duke University Chapter of OLPC. With fifty laptops donated by Professor Dan Ariely of the Fuqua School of Business and the help of their advisor Professor Jeff Forbes, Keybl and classmates John Pena and Justin Mullen initiated a pilot OLPC program in a fourth grade classroom at the Carter Community School in Durham. Over fifteen Duke undergraduates participated in the program, visiting Carter two to three times a week to teach lessons on the laptops. “Hopefully this will prove OLPC is a viable option for a community in the United States,” says Keybl.
The three founders graduated in May 2009, but the program will continue with other Duke undergrads at the helm, expanding into a second classroom at Carter this fall.