News and Events
Professor Stager and Education Technology Students Build Charity Web Site
Gary Stager, visiting professor of education, and students in his Online Master of Arts in Educational Technology (OMET) class at the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology, have contributed their design expertise to create a Web site for a charity campaign.
The One Laptop Per Child Foundation's "Give One, Get One" promotion works to enhance and promote education with the purchase of personal computers for children in developing countries. Stager brought the project to his class as a tool to integrate advocacy with web design as part of the OMET course goal of tying the use of technology to a broader, important context.
It took two weeks for 25 students to build the site, brainstorming content ideas and designating project management, web design, graphics, writing, and editing responsibilities.
The site went live last month, just in time for the holiday season. Visitors are asked to either make a donation or to purchase a laptop for themselves, the cost of which also covers the cost of the same laptop for a less fortunate child.
"The timeliness of the Give One, Get One promotion provided a rich authentic context for students to apply their knowledge and contribute to the greater good," says Stager. "Having a sense of purpose also makes learning more meaningful."
Students relished playing a role in the marketing initiative, as it was an opportunity for them to develop technological, project-management, and advocacy skills, while at the same time supporting an important cause.
"The students are using donations via the site as a metric of their success, but they have already achieved much," Stager reflects. He was touched by the response the completed assignment drew from his class. "Several students sent email messages thanking me for the assignment. Imagine if all students were grateful for their educational experiences."
To see the results of the class' efforts, visit http://www.laptops4kids.net/.
Give One, Get One
The program began in 2007 by the nonprofit organization, whose mission is "to create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning." Over 150,000 XO laptops were shipped out following the program's inception.
The program asks Americans to purchase an XO laptop computer (known as the $100 computer) for $398, the cost of which will also cover the purchase of the same computer for a child living in a developing country. The special offer is valid through December 31, and donors receive a $199 tax deduction.
Gary Stager played an integral role in the creation of the Online Master of Arts in Educational Technology program and has taught at Pepperdine since 1993. He has helped learners of all ages on six continents embrace the power of computers as intellectual laboratories and vehicles for self-expression. He led professional development in the world's first laptop schools (1990), has designed online graduate school programs since the mid-90s, and is a collaborator in the MIT Media Lab's Future of Learning Group.