Every once in a while, my black and shriveled heart is momentarily warmed by a piece of news coming from a tech company. Today is one of those rare occasions. I received an e-mail from Nextar informing me of the company's decision to donate a shipment of its MA715 MP3 players to the One Media Player per Teacher (OMPT) program.
It's always nice to hear about an act of generosity, but I was even more pleased to be made aware of OMPT. The innovative program provides portable-media players, speakers, and solar chargers to teachers in remote areas. The devices contain audio and video lessons recorded by some of the top educators in the rural teachers' respective nations (Nextar's donation is being sent to Southern Sudan). One player can contain an entire year's worth of math lessons, as well as training programs for health care, agriculture, and sanitation. This allows children who are far from an Internet connection to be afforded the same opportunities as those living in more developed areas.
OMPT's goal is to provide 10 million teachers with PMPs by 2015. As someone who firmly believes that education is the key to a successful future on this earth, I applaud the program's efforts. Unfortunately, it does not appear that OMPT accepts device donations by individuals, becuase the program has conducted studies to identify particularly successful products and product combinations.