Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Response to ‘Netbooks: our modern-day Tower of Babel’

Response to ‘Netbooks: our modern-day Tower of Babel’

Dear Ashley Dresser,

I am writing to comment on your column, Netbooks: our modern-day Tower of Babel, published 9/13/2009 at http://www.mndaily.com/2009/09/13/netbooks-our-modern-day-tower-babel

I am the former senior systems administrator for One Laptop per Child (OLPC). I am speaking only for myself.

When I worked for OLPC, it had about 23 employees. How do you realistically propose that we would have provided individual training, “One Trainer per Child” as you put it, to over 700,000 users? That is the job of the country or nonprofit managing the deployment, not OLPC.

OLPC has not been a failure, not withstanding the vitriolic opinion on one blogger on a private .com website covering the UN (not a “UN-based blog”).

Each country and region has its own culture and pedagogical standards and methods. OLPC cannot dictate to Mongolia, Peru, Uruguay, Nepal, etc. how they should use the laptops or how they should teach.

You say, “American customers often experience delays in receiving their laptops and among delivery to those in need, several thousand orders have been reported lost or stolen.”

There are no American customers aside from some local deployments. The Give One, Get One promotion ended nine months ago. Did you not know this?

You say that several thousand orders have been reported lost or stolen. Where and when? If this happened, how is it the fault or responsibility of OLPC?

Why are you so hostile and ill-informed toward such a wonderful and brilliant program? You could do better, I suppose?

I am very proud of the time that I spent at OLPC, and I have never met a more brilliant, caring, hard-working, and committed group of people anywhere. They, and the world’s children, deserve better from you.

I will be posting this letter, and your response should you care to provide one, on my blog at https://scanlyze.wordpress.com .

Sincerely,

Henry Edward Hardy

See:
Nasty UNdispatch blog attack on One Laptop per Child — a response
The dream of OLPC and the aid bubble

Copyright © 2009 Henry Edward Hardy

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15 September, 2009 - Posted by | Ashley Dresser, blog, development, international, journalism, Minnesota Daily, news, OLPC, One Laptop Per Child, scanlyze, UNDispatch, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Just want to support your comments. The positive to come out of that post was it brought out actual field workers to say, no, you’re wrong, it’s working!

    I have just spent a week visiting our pilots in the Solomon Islands. They have had little follow up support in one of the poorest, most remote locations in the world. They are doing great, kids are energised, the machines are holding up extremely well, the teachers and parents are positive and now all they need is more: more resources, more help, more skills. All power to them.

    cheers, Michael Hutak, director, OLPC Oceania

    Comment by Hutak | 16 September, 2009 | Reply


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