Volunteer contribution is central to the educational spirit of OLPC, and there are many different ways to volunteer for the project. Consult the sections below to learn how to become a volunteer, based on your interests and background.
Kids, siblings, and parents
The XO is meant for the entire family to use, so one of the best ways to get involved is to learn as much as you can--that way you can help others to learn in turn.
You can contribute to the wiki, a web site that anyone can edit, at http://wiki.laptop.org. Wiki contributors can share their knowledge and experience with the XO. To learn how to get started editing the wiki, go to http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Wiki_getting_started.
You can tell others about your projects and recruit others to join your efforts, and you might want to get involved in a regional group with other XO owners in your area. You can find many such vibrant communities at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Regional_community_groups.
Teachers, students, and educators
The OLPC project is an education project above all else, so the contributions of teachers, students, and educators are highly valued. You can contribute by testing, developing content, mentoring, or running group activities. You can start a University chapter of OLPC users--both formal informal clubs exist. Details may be found at wiki.laptop.org/go/University_program.
You can try to meet with other teachers and students within your region, or look up pre-existing groups within the list of regional groups here: wiki.laptop.org/go/Regional_community_groups.
If you enjoy personally helping others, and the challenge of solving problems with learners worldwide, you would be a perfect fit for the Support Gang. The Support Gang works together answering all kinds of questions about the XO, peripherals, software, volunteering, deployment, organizational development, and any other questions OLPC donors and XO users ask.
The Support Gang is an extremely friendly and supportive group, who come together from all around the world, and work together closely online. They also meet weekly with invited guest speakers by phone, and in person whenever possible.
You can join the Support Gang at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Support_Gang. Fellow volunteers and OLPC will help you get started and assist you in finding answers to difficult or unusual questions. Bilingual volunteers are especially welcome.
If you would like to help others learn about the XO then you can help with the documentation. We have a dedicated team and we eagerly welcome new contributors! You don't need to be a expert on the technology to participate - you may wish to just spell check or check images. You may also be inspired to write a chapter or improve existing chapters. You can learn more on how to contribute by joining the OLPC Library mailing list http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/library and the FLOSS Manuals mailing list http://lists.flossmanuals.net/listinfo.cgi/discuss-flossmanuals.net.
You may also want to look at the documentation tools at FLOSS Manuals : http://www.flossmanuals.net.
OLPC is a world-wide program that tries to reach people in many countries, who speak many different languages. If you speak and write more than one language, you can help translate the wiki or the software. If you can help, please see http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Translation.
Content creators, writers, artists, photographers, videographers
Everyone is a creator: by creating and sharing something, you come to understand it better. Writing about the XO can also be one of the greatest contributions to helping others.
Please consider offering your communications or media talents on the OLPC Wiki--whether by writing, designing, editing, storytelling, or simply organizing--anywhere within http://wiki.laptop.org.
If you want to create art for the XO, you can join other artists at the Art Community page at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Community:Art.
You can upload photos to a worldwide archive at http://www.flickr.com/groups/olpc. One group of photos even shows those specially taken by XO laptops themselves, using the Record Activity.
Hardware designers and testers
There are many ways to volunteer to assist with the hardware, from brainstorming about alternative power to developing peripherals to repairing XOs. You may want to develop peripherals for the XO that use its USB ports or other inputs, for health applications or beyond. One such way to get involved is found here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Health.
You can get involved with community repair centers or start your own, either as volunteers or as a business: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Repair_center_locations.
You may want to work on power generation and firmware coding. To find out more about these types of hardware projects search for those keywords at http://wiki.laptop.org.
The XO's software is designed to be malleable because we want the help of all the people in the world who are capable of writing free software to help other people learn. To get involved, you can:
- Help maintain our upstream projects such as kernel.org, X.org, gnome.org and others.
- Help improve Fedora http://fedoraproject.org/en/join-fedora.
- Write activities http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Creating_an_activity.
- Fix, report, or triage bugs http://dev.laptop.org.
- Help test http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Friends_in_testing.
- Help improve Sugar and our OS http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Developers.
In short: "patches are welcome".
Help create changes in the community you live in - as well as ones you'd like to visit. Start or join a grassroots group: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Regional_community_groups.