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One Tablet per Child: an idea worth considering

Introduction

Technology is becoming ever more prevalent in schools and other learning environments. Advancements in technological systems have shaped the way people conduct business in general, as well as relevant education methods. With increasing popularity since the 1990s, laptops are no longer considered a luxury item. They now outsell desktop computers on a yearly basis. The innovation of tablets has once again changed the world of computers, and it is predicted that they will outsell and eventually replace laptops similar to the trend of laptops replacing desktop computers. Due to continued forward movement of the technological trend, our company hopes to ride this wave and captivate a new market segment by utilizing tablets as a source of pursuing children’s education. While encouraging intellectual growth our company will be providing new jobs for the work force – a task desperately needed during current economic times – and make a dent in environmental issues by reducing waste and use of paper on textbooks and other such learning materials. Education and schools will be the backbone of our company. The goal of One Tablet per Child will be to provide a vehicle to better use textbooks and learning materials to schools through the medium of specifically designed tablets. The tablets will be designed to be education focused, have a low cost of production, and be very durable due to the fact that children will be working on them on a daily basis. We want to provide an interactive learning experience that will not only intellectually stimulate students and provoke their desire to learn, but also cut down on the environmental impact that the production of textbooks creates, as well as increase the accessibility of resources for schools nationwide.

Mission Statement

One Tablet Per Child’s mission is to provide American public school children with an affordable electronic tablet and textbook software to reduce an individual student’s carbon footprint. We intend to curb the devastating effects of deforestation by replacing paper materials in schools with electronic textbooks, workbooks, and handouts.

Market Opportunity

The global business society has been on a constant trend over the last decade to “go green,” through social and environmental initiatives that complement a given company’s business model. OTPC’s opportunity lies in the realistic and practical goal of shifting education to paper-free education. There is a global need to reduce human use of paper books, and OTPC fulfills this need by converting conventional textbooks in schools to electronic versions. Not only will One Tablet per Child cater to the academic market through providing educational resources to school districts, but our company will also bridge the gaps of the current economic recession by opening the doors to new job opportunities for various market segments. This will be a strong market opportunity due to the potential impact that our company will have in various industries – revolutionizing the way that children learn and have access to educational material. One Tablet per Child is an opportune business proposition because education is the foundation of every society worldwide. Education is the basis from which children have the opportunity to grow as individuals. We hope to revolutionize this process and with that, increase the reading, math, and verbal skills throughout the school districts. Increasing the intellect of people, beginning with the youth, will help our nation rise from economic crisis and give us the brainpower to revolutionize industries across the map. With increased intelligence, stemming from our academic initiatives, people not only will have the tools necessary for creatively crafting new products and services, but also for designing new solutions to various challenges facing each person’s nation.

Purpose of Venture

The purpose of One Tablet per Child is to provide school districts with access to electronic textbooks and other readings as well as learning programs, games, and activities in schools. This venture will start in the San Diego school district, and eventually spread across the nation. In addition, our business will help the environment by reducing waste and reducing the amount of paper used to make textbooks. The third purpose is to create more careers in this time of job deficit.

When there is something wrong with the way something works, it should always be fixed. We will address the opportunity by contacting the organizations that we believe are in most dire need, and insist on providing them with our products. Through government subsidies and lowered prices to the consumers (schools), we are certain we will be able to make a difference in the lives of many.

Business Model

One Tablet Per Child is a not-for-profit organization committed to reducing the carbon footprint of every student. Founded in Southern California, OTPC is creating and delivering social and environmental value through our product: low-cost tablets and our service, electronic textbooks, workbooks and handouts. The physical tablets (hardware) will be produced using outside investment (government, corporate and individual) and textbook and publishing companies similar to the current school to publisher agreements will supply the electronic materials. The desired outputs of our company are to;

  • Decrease every school’s reliance on conventional paper textbooks
  • Decrease deforestation globally
  • Provide increased access to learning and education through electronic materials (tablet and electronic materials)

Our organization is dependent on outside investment to produce and distribute our electronic tablet and electronic materials. It is OTPC’s goal to have 40% of funding come from the national and state governments, with the remaining 60% coming from outside investors and donors.

Plan for Implementation

Before ensuring the financial support of our company through government subsidies, personal and corporate donations, we will first need to establish One Tablet per Child as a not for profit corporation. We will found the company in the state of Delaware, because the cost of incorporation is one of the lowest in the nation. Delaware’s business law is very flexible, and shareholders, directors and officers of corporations do not need to be state residents. Upon receiving our Not-For-Profit tax-exempt status, we will be able to accept donations and subsidies without the expense of taxation. We will locate a small start-up location to be able to conduct business from an office, as well as an area for assembling our product and a space for our programmers to work.

One Tablet per Child plans to implement tablets by district, starting with San Diego Unified School District. For the 2011-2012 school year, books and supplies represent 8% of San Diego Unified School’s current spending. The estimated expenditure for books and supplies is $74,838,843 and the estimated budget for books and supplies is $71,845,237. Since spending exceeds the estimated budget, One Tablet per Child’s objective is to make our product affordable and help reduce the costs of other school materials. With our tablet, we will replace a majority of paper, ink, copy machine, and printer expenses each year. Since tablets will ultimately reduce costs in the long run, we mainly need the funding to get our feet off the ground. Using existing district funding, we hope to cover 40% of costs of OTPC, including our tablets and software. The rest of One Tablet per Child funding will come from corporate and personal sponsorship through donations.

Next, we will find a manufacturing plant that has agreeable business ethics (i.e. decent wages, safe working conditions, no unfair labor conditions or child labor) to produce the components for our tablets. All components must be low cost and as basic as possible. The casing for the tablets will be an exceptionally durable plastic in order to guarantee the product has a substantial longevity. In addition, the tablets will be made to have Wi-Fi capabilities, as the students may need to use Internet in class. We will then hire a team to assemble the tablets once everything is shipped to our location in San Diego, as well as programmers to design the interface and operating system for our tablet.

Advertisement campaigns will be implemented to generate more donations towards One Tablet per Child. Using these additional funds, we will continue executing our strategy in schools throughout the United States, and eventually move into other countries. We hope to be nominated for the Classy Awards for added publicity and support (past nominees include Invisible Children, Movember, F*** Cancer, Nikka Water, etc).

Expected Impact

One Tablet per Child intends to reverse the negative effects of environmental issues, specifically deforestation. According to National Geographic, the world’s rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of tree cutting. Consequences of deforestation include loss of habitat for millions of species, climate change, forest canopy destruction, and increase greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Although deforestation is not intentional, the mission of One Tablet per Child could significantly reduce these negative effects. By turning textbooks and other school materials electronic, the need for paper products in schools will decrease considerably. Textbook publishing companies will convert their textbooks to electronic e-books, eliminating mass paper production. Our tablet will also allow teachers and students to reduce their paper use as well. Teachers will have our blackboard site to post handouts and to access their student’s assignments. This eliminates the need for hard copies in schools. Since the United States uses 25% of the world’s paper products and is considered a huge contributor of deforestation, it is our company’s goal to reduce United States carbon footprint.


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