[Marketing] (Safe) Some thoughts RE: [IAEP] The Associated Press on Peru's OLPC project

Caryl Bigenho cbigenho at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 3 13:26:15 EDT 2012

I would love to post this comment somewhere where lots of people will see it, but I'm not sure where the best place would be. Any suggestions?
Some Thoughts on the AP Story on Peru's OLPC Project

Oscar Becerra's attitude toward teachers is probably one of the biggest things holding back progress in the deployment in Peru.  Comments like these, attributed to him, and similar ones from others in "high places," pretty much doomed the project to failure.

"We knew from the start that it wouldn't be possible to improve the teachers."

"In a school that's a disgrace, with teachers who are ignorant and lessons that are a joke, how is having computers going to improve motivation?"

Any perceived failures were probably not the teachers' fault. It most likely due to the inadequate training they received. What did the 40 training hours consist of? Did they learn how to employ the XO as a learning tool for themselves as well as their students? Did they learn about constructionism? cooperative learning? How about the teacher as a learner… being a co-learner with their students? The joy of learning? The joy of learning along with their students?

Even university-trained teachers in developed countries may fear technology until they learn to make it their "own," to use it as a tool to make their lives and the lives of their students richer. 

Teacher training is one of the most important keys. This idea was ignored by many fine people involved with OLPC and the project in Peru and other countries. 

Hopefully, things will change for the better. Respect for the teachers as professionals, even it their educational background is not ideal, is one of the keys to success. Help them succeed. Give them all the tools they need to progress and they will.

BTW: Mochilla Digital in Mexico did do what appeared to be some excellent training in 3-day workshops when they first started out. Their teacher-training materials were originally available online, but seem to have been removed.

Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2012 15:49:52 +0200
From: e0425826 at student.tuwien.ac.at
To: iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org; Marketing at lists.sugarlabs.org; support-gang at lists.laptop.org
Subject: [IAEP] The Associated Press on Peru's OLPC project

Hi all,
just wanted to give you a heads up about a good (IMHO) compilation of the broad spectrum of opinions about Peru's Una laptop por niño which AP posted earlier today: "Peru's ambitious laptop program gets mixed grades" - http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i64_K6m2309EdF4ccQunEkRd9P0Q?docId=51c5e4c6d7d9493aacdb8ed27f7c31e5 

And since this is AP the story will be all over the globe within the next 24 to 48 hours (I'm already seeing it on TIME, Washington Post, Fox News, and Sydney Morning Herald).

Christoph Derndorfer
volunteer, OLPC (Austria) [www.olpc.at]
editor, OLPC News [www.olpcnews.com]

contributor, TechnikBasteln [www.technikbasteln.net]
e-mail: christoph at derndorfer.eu

IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
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