[Olpc-indonesia] My investigations into the XO laptop in Indonesia

Gede Suparsa gede.suparsa at gmail.com
Tue May 6 08:42:20 EDT 2008

Wow that's some great information you've got there.

Perhaps it might be a good idea to reproduce this information on
olpcnews.com or even on the olpc wiki? It would certainly get more exposure
there and generate some discussion.

In terms of implementation I read this (
article on olpcnews on the experience of an ongoing project to setup an IT
learning network in the Solomon Islands. Of interest was the point that they
heavily involved the community in nearly all aspects of the project - not
just the teacher and students but also the parents so they understood for
instance what are the potential dangers for a child online and involving the
community in the maintenance of network infrastructure.

The Solomon Island project also highlights that instead of a big-bang
approach which I understand is the general approach for the OLPC project,
they have opted for a gradual roll-out. Which to me makes more sense as the
deployment is iterative and on each pass, lessons learnt from the previous
are used to make the next pass better.

Campuan College and Wayan Rustiasa sound like a perfect A-Team for a pilot
project. He and his Yayasan are a good find. I'm assuming from the fact that
he went with you a number of times to schools he's interested in being
involved in a project?

It doesn't surprise me that the government haven't got their act together.
Red tape and paperwork is the Indonesian government's speciality. Having
said that what I've read so far seems to indicate the government is actually
on board to fund this larger scale and longer term. I think though it always
helps if there's a local good-news story that can encourage the government.

I was talking about this with my wife and she had an idea which I thought
may work to get a pilot up and running. Here in Australia there are a number
of schools which teach Bahasa Indonesia. We could get a school in Australia
to help get an Indonesian school some laptops which would aid as a
communication tool between the two schools (via fund-raising from parents or
perhaps even Australian government grants). This would also be beneficial to
help tap into the teaching resources of the Australian schools for the
benefit of the Indonesian school. Add to that children from each school have
someone that they can learn about directly from another country.

Any thoughts on the Sister School idea?

On Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 2:05 PM, Dennis N. Raymond <dennisnr at comcast.net>

>  Hi Gede:
> Good hearing back from you. I'm posting this to the OLPC-Indonesia blog in
> the interests of sharing my findings here in Indonesia since arriving in
> December 2007 with an XO laptop in hand.
> Unlike you I have not had a response from OLPC. Repeated emails and phone
> calls have gone nowhere as far as I can tell.  I understand they are
> overwhelmed with inquiries from all over the world, and that they are
> working with limited resources. If you know contacts within OLPC that have
> your attention please forward this message to them.
> I might have mentioned that I work as a business analyst in technology in
> my home city of Seattle, USA.  Like many I have heard news of the XO laptop
> for some time, and eagerly awaited its appearance. I acquired one at the
> time of the "Give One, Get One" promotion at the end of 2007, and was eager
> to test the laptop in the school environment within Indonesia.  I've been
> recording the responses to the laptop, and would like to share some of the
> details herein
> So far I've put the laptop in front of the following schools and
> organizations on Bali:
> ·         *Suta** Sharma School*: This is a private school for local
> children in the Ubud area.  This eleven year old school encompasses grades
> kindergarten through six, with class size averaging 20+.  There are about
> 350 children in the school.  Approximately 30% of the children are on
> scholarship paid for by local supporters or Westerners like me.  The school
> has a rudimentary computer lab consisting of about 13 PC's.  There is no
> internet access at the school, although DSL has recently become available
> within the Ubud area.  Every time I've visited the computer lab the children
> are playing shoot-'em-up games on the PC, usually two to three students per
> computer.  The computer teacher explains that this is a way to teach the
> children how to use the mouse.  I believe this is happening because the
> school administration has handed off the curriculum and learning goals to
> this teacher, and there is no one else monitoring the overall goals or
> results. I have countered that, in the West, computer games are not part of
> the school curriculum and that, in fact, this has been demonstrated to be
> counter to the learning process. As proof of this I lent the XO Computer to
> a family whose daughter I support in the Suta Dharma School.  After a week
> her parents reported that she was bored with it because there were no
> games.  The computer teacher is Balinese and your typical IT guy:
> introverted, cerebral, deploying old school learning models.  I lent him the
> XO Computer for one week with no orientation or instruction, and he liked
> it.  Suddenly there was a spark of enlightenment as he spoke of having many
> laptops scattered throughout all the classrooms in the school, not just the
> IT class.  I thought that was fairly forward thinking.
> ·         *Campuan** College*: This small Ubud-based college was
> established a few years back by Wayan Rustiasa, the owner of the best
> computer shop here called Mega Systems.  Technology transformed Wayan's life
> and he is driven to share this opportunity with other local people.  The
> College holds a variety of courses in everything from Excel and Word to
> authoring HTML, all for about Rp 500,000 per quarter.  Wayan has also
> developed a management course where perhaps one dozen Balinese youth were
> awarded scholarships (including room and board) for the two year program.
> In this course the students learn how to apply management skills to real
> life community projects of their own choosing.  A requirement of graduation
> is the completion of these projects per the identified goals.  This is
> extremely forward thinking for Bali, and such project management skills
> (outside the hospitality industry) are much needed. Anyway, in the early
> stages of this program the management students spend two Sundays a month
> doing outreach to poor rural communities in Bali.  Twice I have accompanied
> them to the Jatalewi area where they meet with the local school children to
> teach English, cooperative games and motivation skills.  Add to that
> technology as the XO computer was shown there to great effect.  Of course we
> only have one XO Computer on hand, so we would drawn off 3 or 4 students at
> a time from the larger group and, with minimal instruction, give them 20+
> minutes to play with *Memorize, TamTam* and other OLPC-specific
> applications.  I've attached some photos of these sessions, and I believe
> the reactions on the children's faces says it all.  There is no WiFi in the
> mountainous region of Jatalewi, so the Internet remained unseen to this
> group.  In many ways Campuan College and its founder, Wayan Rustiasa, are in
> the best position to qualify potential candidate schools for XO Computer
> distribution. With the management team he has in place Wayan can execute on
> all the details that could make OLPC a success here in Bali— identifying the
> needs, distribution to the field in Bali, training and monitoring the
> project. Wayan Rustiasa can be reached at +62 81 2365-9773 or
> rustiasa at hotmail.com.  Apart from the business enterprise, Campuan
> College, Wayan does his good works through the foundation *Yayasan Karuna
> Bali*.
> ·         *Green** School*: In September of this year jewelry baron John
> Hardy will open his ambitious new school called Green School.  Although the
> target market is beyond what any poor Indonesian family might afford
> (approximately USD $9,000 per year) there was interest from school director
> Brad Choyt in seeing the XO laptop for consideration at the school.  After
> Brad and his team spent several days looking at it he suggested becoming a
> part of a buying group for 40+ units.  OLPC promotes a sales plan at $299
> per unit with a minimum order of 100. The idea is to find other schools that
> could afford to purchase in a lot of 100.  So far no one else I have talked
> with has this kind of capitol to invest.
> ·         *Bali** International School*: I investigated receptivity to the
> XO Computer at BIS even through the school, like Green School, is not within
> the target audience of OLPC for XO laptop distribution.  My hope was that
> the BIS administration would consider the idea of helping to pay for
> computers that would go to disadvantaged local children.  But this was not
> well received and, as far as I can tell, BIS students are a privileged lot
> that are isolated from the local cultural environment.  The IT teacher
> there, Stephen, showed the laptop to students and they expressed a mild
> curiosity for something different from the Windows mono-culture.  If BIS is
> likely to go in any direction it would be in favor of the Intel/Window *
> Classmate*.
> ·         *Local Government Schools*: Thus far I have not looked into
> local government schools.  This seems a daunting task, fraught with
> landmines.  A better approach would be top down, starting with the Minister
> of Education, Bapak Bambang Sudibyo.  I have met him in the past, and have
> been looking for an opportunity to gain an audience with him again.  This is
> best achieved through internal contacts here on the island. I have been told
> that Pak Sudibyo recently committed to bringing technology into the
> Indonesian school system including internet connectivity.  Of course this
> has not manifested anywhere and, in the Indonesian way, I'm told we must be
> patient.  Another interesting note: Indonesia, along with African nations,
> was high on the list for distribution of the XO Computer in the first wave.
> What happened?  The Department of Education neglected to complete the
> necessary paperwork on time.  Apparently Indonesia will see the XO laptop
> seeded into the school system at a later date.
> ·         *Some additional thoughts*:
> o        *One-on-one distribution vs. school ownership: *OLPC quickly
> learned a lesson in African.  The very concept of one laptop distributed to
> each child goes counter to the cultural traditions within these nations.
> Within poor rural communities individual ownership can contribute to
> jealousy and strife.  The entire idea behind OLPC is that the child can take
> the laptop home where the knowledge is shared with the family members.  But,
> as in Africa, individual ownership may not play here.  OLPC might create
> greater cohesion if the laptops are "owned" by the school system, kept in
> the classroom, and/or lent out to students as requested.
> o        *Teacher training required:* In order for the OLPC program to
> gain the support of schools the teachers must be provided with adequate
> training on the XO Computer in advance of the students.  I realize that this
> flies in the face of the OLPC philosophy of letting the child play with the
> laptop and discover for themselves.  However, the Indonesian educational
> system would never allow this.  What's more, if the teachers felt that the
> children were learning beyond them they likely would sabotage the use of the
> XO laptop in the school.  These patterns of educational hierarchy are
> intractable, traceable back through colonialism and the systems of royal
> kingdoms and Sultans where information is held close.
> o        *Reaching the poorest:* An essential issue here has to do with
> targeting the right population for distribution.  The wider outside
> perception, both within Indonesia and outside, is that Bali is rich.  It's
> true, Bali is the cash cow for Jakarta due to tourism, but there are many
> pockets of desperation in the rural areas to the East and elsewhere.
> Forward plan for equitable distribution must take into account the entire
> nation— that is, the outlying islands beyond Bali and Java.  I've traveled
> throughout Nusa Tenggara, into Kalimantan and deep into Papua.  Now, *
> these* are places and lives where the XO laptop could make a difference,
> places where a solar recharger would be essential.  Common sense would say
> to leave this kind of remote distribution to the Department of Education.
> However, common sense doesn't often apply to government officials here.  One
> would be advised to investigate other independent distribution channels in
> order to reach the poorest of the poor.  These channels exist through local
> Indonesian foundations (yayasans) that have established networks within
> remote areas that are traditionally not the recipients of NGO aid.  One such
> group is Yayasan Pecinta Budaya Bebali.  For over 10 years YPBB has been
> working with rural communities within the Indonesian archipelago to support
> and promote the traditional textiles arts through weaver communities.  YPBB
> goes deep into these traditional communities, affecting incomes, education
> and resource sustainability.  The founding members, Jean Howe and William
> Ingram, have viewed the XO laptop and see it as a potential positive
> extension of their work in these islands.  In brief, there is a ready-made
> network for distribution in place, where trust and relationships are
> well-established.  Of course, it would have to be mounted as a special
> project with a project manager in place to navigate the details.  You can
> view the YPBB/Threads of Life website at http://www.threadsoflife.com
> I hope this is helpful, and welcome expanding the discussion to OLPC and
> other interested parties.  Naivety is not an obstacle, and eagerness is
> required all around.  It was great hearing from you.  I remain in Bali until
> the end of May.
> Warm regards,
> Dennis N. Raymond
> dennisnr at comcast.net
> +62 087 8610-40100 phone in Bali
> (206) 329-9387 phone in Seattle, WA  USA
>   ------------------------------
> *From:* Gede Suparsa [mailto:gede.suparsa at gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Thursday, April 24, 2008 5:59 AM
> *To:* Dennis N. Raymond
> *Cc:* olpc-indonesia at lists.laptop.org; jakartadean at gmail.com
> *Subject:* Re: [Olpc-indonesia] Anyone still active on OLPC Indonesia?
> Hi Dennis!
> I should probably introduce my self properly. You can probably tell by my
> name I'm Indonesian but actually I'm really an Aussie. I did however grow up
> in Bali but have spend most of my life in Australia. My mum's Balinese and
> hence my name and yes I have a LOT of cousins. As a consequence I have more
> conversational Indonesian but willing to give a shot at doing translations
> (of course with a lot of helps from friends). I also work in IT working for
> a consulting company - hence my personal interest in the OLPC project and
> especially for Indonesia.
> Wow that's great you've been around communities with the XO (and
> particularly around Bali - a very nice place to go but I guessed I'm
> biased). I'd like to know how people were receptive to the cost of the
> laptop? Or did you concentrate more on the features of the laptop and the
> software and how it could be used for learning?
> Certainly 100,000 would be a challenge - this obviously means getting
> either a large corporation, foundation or the government to fit the bill
> initially. However I just see that as a high hurdle that we need to meet and
> it just may take a lot more to get there... I know I'm young at heart,
> probably naive and definitely eager :)
> Yes I've seen that there's been a bit of fallout after OLPC split with
> Intel over their two PCs. Essentially their goals are the same and I think
> the laptop is here to stay. As for articles in the Jakarta Post touting the
> Intel version - I have no doubt it's marketing from the Intel camp
> masquerading as news.
> I've actually had quite a good response from the OLPC foundation. Maybe I
> can forward your queries via my channel?
> As I said I'm based in Australia but have family in Bali. So my ability to
> get things done on the ground are limited at best. What I'd like to do
> though is get the support material and even translations done. My view is
> that to make this really successful you need someone actually there in the
> community to get the program up and running - like a teach who is passionate
> about getting the laptop to their school. So what is needed is the support
> to get that teacher's project up and running.
> That's my 2 cents.
> Great to hear from others!
> -gede
> On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 6:59 AM, Dennis N. Raymond <dennisnr at comcast.net>
> wrote:
> Hello Gede & Dean:
> Yes, I am on the OLPC list serve as well, and am happy to hear from you.
> I have been in Bali with an XO laptop since December 2007.  During that time
> I've been demonstrating the laptop to various Yayasans and schools.  My
> objective has been to foster grassroots support and carry that information
> to OLPC for the purposes of seeding the units to appropriate institutions
> here in Indonesia.  It's been a valuable experience for me as I've met many
> people in the small educational communities that could benefit from the XO
> laptop.  During this time I've also seen OLPC change their strategy. From
> the website it seems they are only interested in selling the units in lots
> of no less than 10,000.  This is a change from previous tactics where units
> could be purchased in lots of 300.  Phone calls and emails to the Cambridge
> offices of OLPC go unreturned, and it's apparent the enterprise is under
> duress as they struggle to find their place in the world.  All the while
> Intel's Classmate laptop (with Windows XP) seems to be gaining visibility.
> A recent article in the Jakarta Post focused on the Classmate while barely
> mentioning OLPC.
> About me, I am a 57-year-old technology worker from Seattle, Washington in
> the US.  I have been coming to Indonesia for 15 years, the first time under
> sponsorship of my city government.  I've been active in a Sister City
> Association between Seattle and Surabaya, and have a small US-based
> foundation that identifies and supports small projects within Indonesia.  We
> are not an NGO and, no, we don't have money.  But we have the energy and
> ingenuity to identify communities of need and, I hope, advise OLPC of these
> needs.
> I'd like to know more about your interests in this program, and explore
> how and if we might work together to forward this invaluable project within
> Indonesia.  I am here until the end of May, and then return to my home in
> Seattle.
> Warm regards,
> Dennis N. Raymond
> dennisnr at comcast.net
> +62 087 8610-40100 phone
>   ------------------------------
> *From:* Gede Suparsa [mailto:gede.suparsa at gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Tuesday, April 22, 2008 5:23 AM
> *To:* olpc-indonesia at lists.laptop.org
> *Subject:* Re: [Olpc-indonesia] Anyone still active on OLPC Indonesia?
> Well Dean it looks like just you and me on this list.
> I think what might be a good start would be translating some of the
> existing material into Bahasa.
> On Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 11:10 AM, Dean Boulding < > wrote:
> I joined a few months ago and yours is the first message I've seen!
> I'd be interested in helping out, but I don't have the time to take on
> a leadership role at this time.  Anybody else out there?
> Dean
> On Tue, Apr 8, 2008 at 6:56 PM, Gede Suparsa <gede.suparsa at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Hi There,
> >
> > Is anyone still active on this list contributing to the OLPC project?
> >
> > I'm new and would like to know what's happening and where I can help
> out?
> >
> > -Gede
> > ps: That's right, my name is Gede - anaknya Bali.
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> >  Olpc-indonesia mailing list
> >  Olpc-indonesia at lists.laptop.org
> >  http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/olpc-indonesia
> >
> >
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