[IAEP] Looking for suggestions
brneese at brneese.com
Sun Aug 1 19:50:18 EDT 2010
I'm looking for some advice. My name is Brett Neese, and I'm currently a
high school student at a school in Iowa, USA (although I'm planning on
graduating early in December 2010). I have been working on a little project
(in its current incarnation, it's more of an idea, really) I'm dubbing
Project coEL. See, the OLPC project is great -- I think what you are doing
in developing countries is terrific; I commend your efforts to bring
computing to the poorest children in the world -- but in my opinion there
are a few flaws; namely the fact that most developed countries, such as the
US, don't currently have a large-scale XO deployment. While I understand
that the need for these laptops in developing countries is MUCH greater than
it is in the US (and I'm not trying to sound like greedy, rich, American or
anything, either) , I also know from being a high-school student myself
(albeit one with some learning difficulties) that the US needs some of this
type of technology as well, especially for others who, like me, sometimes
have trouble learning. My other issue is the fact that currently the Sugar
user experience is in no way optimized for the high school learner. I think,
from my experience, that if deployed in the US, the high school/secondary
school student could benefit the most from this sort of technology and it
could trickle down to the elementary level.... but, at present, the UX is
not optimized for the way teachers teach and students learn in today's
So those are my problems with OLPC. However, I don't think these issues are
such in that we can't work together, either now or in the future. My overall
"vision" for coEL is to bring a specially-designed hardware and software
ecosystem to every high school in the US. You can read more about the
overall vision in coEL's blog -- it's at http://projectcoel.tumblr.com/
<http://projectcoel.tumblr.com/%20>-- but in short it's a specially designed
open-source laptop in the hand of every highschooler, along with the
appropriate backend server and other hardware, a highly open and extensible
API/SDK -- many of the same technological goals as the XO laptop -- which I
why I'm asking for your help. You have great hardware, I'd love to build off
of it, but in my opinion, your software is lacking, though with the XO-3
concepts floating around, and your recent partnership with Marvell, its only
going to get better.
I'll be honest, I don't program. I don't know anything about hardware R&D,
nor know anything about education at an administrative level. I’m just a
17-year-old high school student who, quite frankly, hates school and wants
to make a difference in the world. I do, however, know a little bit about
design; I interned at a mobile UX agency last year.
But, in general, what I'm asking you, OLPC staff and volunteers, is this --
what can we do, together, to help make this vision become reality?
More specifically, I want to start a grassroots effort, but I'm not quite
sure where to go from here. Should I apply to the contributors program?
Start a regional group? How? Participate in the IRC chatrooms? Edit the
wiki? Any other suggestions/advice?
In closing, I just wanted to thank you for reading this email. I realize its
a little lengthy, and greatly appreciate your time. Please forgive me if I'm
speaking out-of-turn here, and excuse me if I sent this to the wrong lists
-- please forward this message on to the relevant lists if that is the case.
Again, thanks so much,
brneese at brneese.com
27577 Frederick Drive
Le Claire, IA 52753-9422
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the IAEP