Until December 31 the One Laptop Per Child Foundation (OLPC) is offering a special deal, where in return for donating a laptop to a child in a developing country, you can buy one for the child in your life as well. The computer, which was in part the brainchild of Seymour Papert (and many others), runs free open source software on a Linux operating system. It has an impressive repertoire of functions. The total cost including shipping was $423.95, of which $200 may be tax-deducted.
Access to computers has a huge impact on learning; see the December 19, 2006, post for one example.
P.S. Seymour Papert’s granddaughter told me this morning that he is doing much better since last year’s health crisis.