OLPC laptop to be offered to needy U.S. kids, too

So far, the only way for users in the United States to get their hands on the One Laptop Per Child foundation’s XO laptop has been to participate in the Give 1 Get 1 program, but that program ended last month. However, InfoWorld reports that the OLPC foundation has announced the creation of OLPC America, an organization that will distribute the notebook to needy students in the states.

According to OLPC chairman Nicholas Negroponte, the U.S. was initially excluded from the program because educational spending and average spending power is much higher there. Still, Negroponte considers it a patriotic move to provide the laptop to U.S. kids, and he believes wider adoption will also help build “critical mass” that will encourage the growth of a development community around the laptop.

Negroponte says OLPC America will launch some time this year. “The whole thing is merging right now. It will be state-centric. We’re trying to do it through the 50 state governments,” he told InfoWorld.

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