[OLPC-Philippines] Vision, Mission, and harnessing the power of volunteers...

James Shields james at marasbaras.com
Wed Feb 25 02:14:22 EST 2009

Sorry if this is short or disruptive ... the comments that follow are not
meant as criticism.  I just want to provoke a little thought.

The point of education is to prepare children for the future.  Now, I'm not
one who argues that kids should only be taught that which they need to know
to work.  I believe in a broad education.

I do think, tho, that computing-wise, they need to be prepared for what they
will face.  Currently, they'll need to deal with word processors, spread
sheets, and presentation software.

How does Sugar translate into computing skills for later life?  Will Sugar
skills help them?
In the majority of cases, will computing skills even be needed?  The schools
I have visited desperately needed materials.  Basic materials.  Computers
would be a huge luxury.

Sorry if these thoughts are jumbled, I'm quit sick ...

James Shields

  -----Original Message-----
  From: olpc-philippines-bounces at lists.laptop.org
[mailto:olpc-philippines-bounces at lists.laptop.org]On Behalf Of Arthur Soller
  Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 2:10 PM
  To: OLPC Philippines/Pilipinas grassroots
  Subject: Re: [OLPC-Philippines] Vision, Mission,and harnessing the power
of volunteers...

  To two cents complicated is my tow dents worth; I've seen kids in the US
learn computing with a limited access to computers. Let the learning become
an exploration. We have taught limited-English-speaking adults with grade
three level of education with success in the US. So get the organization
structure up with responsible people to manage it and start it.

  2009/2/23 Ryan Letada <rletada at gmail.com>

    Hello Everyone,

    Hmm. Where to begin?

    Essentially, this goes back to the question of what our purpose and
mission are as an organization. With Jerome's important points regarding
sugar, and despite the instability of OLPC and G1G1 program,  I think we
have to continuously look at the bigger picture – which is using
technological innovation to improve access to quality education for Filipino
youth. The current discussion regarding organizational focus is certainly an
important one, especially in regards to scalability and sustainability.
Regardless of whether we use Sugar on a Stick or XO laptop, or even both, we
need to focus on increasing access to education through whatever means.

    Depending on the capacity of our team, we can focus on both sugar and XO
development in the meantime. Despite my lack of technological knowledge, I
still see the benefits of deploying XOs. For examples, we can deliver
education to indigenous communities, and rural communities that do not
necessarily have stable electricity or reliable infrastructures [which is a
major percentage of the population]. Sugar on a Stick, on the other hand, is
cost effective and can be deployed in urbanized areas, Netopias and internet
cafes. Developers can begin to focus on creating content, but how do we
deliver these contents? I do not see why we cant focus on both. I guess this
is how we differentiate ourselves from other OLPC grassroots movements. We
can employ numerous strategies in answering the "education access" question.

    Second, I feel that it is important for us to begin to build our
capacity by developing an efficient and effective  volunteer model. For the
past months, our conversations have centered on content delivery and
development. However, there are other numerous important matters that we
need to address -funding capability and development, partnership
development, education and curriculum development. For the past few months,
numerous interested parties and individuals with different specializations
have approached our group. I think that we can appropriately harness their
potential contributions in parallel to the development of content.

    Third, I was given the task of scouting for some possible schools for an
information sessions. I have approached a couple of schools and educations
groups regarding our intentions, however, I am somewhat hesitant to finalize
anythign them. We have a vision, but we do not have a clear mission yet. Our
who, what, where and why have yet to be clarified, even within our group.
Once we answer these questions, we can then provide some sort of value
proposition to potential benefactors of our vision. I just fear we may be
jumping the gun, without actually having a solid foundation. So…. Would you
guys still like me to schedule a meeting with these schools?

    Phew. These are definitely tough questions and I hope I didn't overwhelm
anyone or set us back. As my mentor would say "you have a sexy idea, but it
the not-so-sexy work that you have to focus on."

    Cheers guys, and thanks for reading this long-winded email,


    OLPC-Philippines mailing list
    OLPC-Philippines at lists.laptop.org

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