How to Select wikiHow Articles for the One Laptop Per Child Association

In 2006, the organizers of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) effort requested the wikiHow community help to assemble 1000 of our best how-to articles to share with children around the world. The One Laptop per Child Association has been distributing affordable laptops freely or at low cost to many children in areas of the world where computers aren't as readily available as they are in more developed areas of the earth. Some of our articles will come pre-loaded on these laptops and will be read by millions of children in a multitude of languages.

In June 2007, it was decided to send the first batch of 500 articles to OLPC. This became known as "Stage I" of the OLPC/wikiHow collaboration. Stage II recommenced in fall/autumn 2007 and consisted of sending another 500 articles to OLPC.

There is consideration being given to the development of a mentoring scheme on wikiHow but the methodology for this has proven more complicated than initially hoped. For now, the aim is to find a means for creating ongoing cultural exchanges, wiki collaboration and information sharing between wikiHowians and OLPC children. In addition, wikiHow is strengthening ongoing ties with the OLPC project.

This article sets out how you can help to select or create top quality articles for Stage II of the OLPC project.


  1. Image titled Select wikiHow Articles for the One Laptop Per Child Association Step 1
    Identify wikiHow articles that are best suited for this purpose. Articles should be:
    • High quality instructions that wikiHowians are proud of.
    • Achievable by readers in the developing world who may lack access conveniences and materials one finds in the West, such as a hardware store. This is really important, as the children do not have the same access to stores and materials that many children do in more developed countries.
    • Universally applicable. Not specific to any one culture or region.
    • Suitable for people aged 6-15.

  2. Image titled Select wikiHow Articles for the One Laptop Per Child Association Step 2
    Add the article to this list of articles available for consideration. Do this by marking its Discussion Page with the template {{lc2}} for "laptop candidate".
  3. Image titled Select wikiHow Articles for the One Laptop Per Child Association Step 3
    Edit. If the article needs editing, addition of illustrations or photos or more information, please feel free to go ahead and edit.
  4. Image titled Select wikiHow Articles for the One Laptop Per Child Association Step 4
    Wait. The nominated articles will be reviewed by the OLPC / wikiHow Team. After finalization of the list of chosen articles, this list will be forwarded to the people at OLPC who are responsible for selecting the most appropriate articles for inclusion. The OLPC volunteers will translate the articles into multiple languages. Chosen articles will be pre-placed on millions of computers sent to children around the world. We will keep you updated on the progress.


  • The "$100 laptops" will only have room for about 50 to 100 of our best articles at any one time. Nevertheless, we are able to supply at least another 1000 articles which students and teachers will be available to download for free.
  • To be eligible to be included as one of the 50 to 100 articles included on the laptop, all the content must not contain the "non-commercial" restriction that is standard in the wikiHow Creative Commons license. Therefore all significant authors of those articles will have to make their content available for multi-licensing. This has been undertaken via a forum thread: Multi-Licensing Forum Thread. Feel free to add your name there if required. A new thread on this will be re-opened for Stage II at the appropriate time.
  • The OLPC organizers have specifically requested a good selection of practical things to help out around a very basic house such as "fixing cement cracks, rigging blinds or rugs, making a broom / dustpan / bucket from scrap materials, salvaging 'ruined' nails/wood, repairing different kinds of clothing troubles, fixing various kinds of cars, etc. In addition, how-tos about games and magic tricks are very appropriate." A list of these is currently under preparation for editors to follow.
  • Please still select articles that you consider appropriate but not yet in "high quality" condition. You can either edit them up to standard or leave a note - use the {{Todo}} template - to tell us the article needs bringing up to scratch for OLPC.
  • If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the wikiHow / OLPC Coordinator, Felicity (Flickety).


  • Cooking articles can be appropriate, but they tend to be culturally specific and are therefore usually not a good choice. Remember too that many of the children do not have modern electrical appliances in their homes, including stoves and ovens.
  • Please do not remove LC tags - please contact Flickety if you have any questions or concerns.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: OLPC