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Mike Dawson: Part Three April 17, 2010

Filed under: Vietnam — polyachka @ 1:50 pm
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Mike: So the goal here is to work with the Ministry of Education to create interactive digital books, use them plus multiple choice quizzes. In other words we need to create a learning system, with half the time is spent at school, and half – outside with interactive tools. Also we’ll need to give feedback to students –what is accomplished and what is not…

Mike: It is not a substitute for the lack of teachers… Again, 48% of all Afghan children don’t go to school … And those who go to school, only get half the time of what they need…

Polyachka: How long do they stay in school?

Mike: they should attend technically 12 grades, but some do 6,  some do 12 in the cities, but in the country side and the rural area a lot don’t go to school at all.

Mike: we have another problem too …

Mike: we have to prove the case, make scientific study… If you spend 300$ per child in conventional way by hiring teachers, building the schools, you will get the result. But by spending it on a computer, the results are hard to prove. In case of OLPC, there is no scientific study currently: kids with laptops and no laptops – no difference… But we have to test and prove it… You have to have a measurable result for the donor, who will justify the spending… It hasn’t been done yet…

Mike: You need curriculum content…and extra curriculum stuff… English? Also things to do with health, hygiene, home…

Polyachka: How much have you already developed?

Mike: household health guide, economic development section. We have a program that will ask parents questions and identify what skills they have to suggest appropriate micro business they can start. There are games, interactive books for math, science, religious education for grade 4. Adding more games now…

Mike: There was no Internet, we developed schools server with digital library. All updates are done with usb stick… You can have a server, a developer key and by pushing a button all computers in the area become copies of the master laptops…

Polyachka: Are you in touch with Nepal deployment?

Mike: I’d like to go there. They have complete digital curriculum in e-paath, check it out at

Mike: most of it is in Nepalese. Both of our deployments want to do the same things but they use flash to develop it all…

Mike: it is easier to get development people in other parts of the world, in Afghanistan it is almost impossible…


2 Responses to “Mike Dawson: Part Three”

  1. People from OLE will be in Hanoi May 5th for the OCW Consortium conference, please get in touch so I can link you all

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