Friday, March 13

OLPC test-a-thon

It has always been important to me to have some of my personal time devoted to community work. I enjoy it more than anything and always feels good to contribute in some way. While I was at university I volunteered at the Community Law Centre and Radio One at Otago University, but since then salaried employment made it difficult to divide up life so I could fit it in. Now as a self-employed business owner I have more control over my time, and as a member of Unlimited Potential and on the committee organising 2010, I now have more than enough to keep me occupied in my spare time.

This weekend UP is running an event at the Southern Cross Bar and Restaurant called the OLPC test-a-thon. If you haven't ever heard of One Laptop Per Child, its an inspirational story. The project began at MIT with the idea that it should be possible to make a laptop for around $100 that can survive in hot equatorial regions, so that virtually every child could have access to a computer. They are distributed to schools and communities in developing countries so children in those countries get access to e-books, and communication tools, games and activities that promote learning and knowledge and try to limit the 'digital divide'. The software running on the laptops is open sourced, and is constantly improved and updated courtesy of volunteers around the globe, even in Wellington. A small group of volunteers have been regularly gathering every Saturday at the Southern Cross to work on the software and contribute to the project.

To assist them its always great to have kids to test out the unique interface, and so this Saturday Unlimited Potential want to help support the work that they do and promote a test-a-thon. Adults and kids alike are welcome to come along and learn about and test the laptops at 10.30am this Saturday. Martin Langhoff and his team of volunteers will be there to demonstrate the games and activities to talk briefly about the work of OLPC. Unlimited Potential will be there to giveaway prizes and some free coffees, and a free brunch to a lucky individual. Register now to save your place.

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