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Different strategies (Part Three) March 27, 2011

polyachka: So what do you think should have been done differently at OLPC or by OLPC?

curiouslee: They should have worked harder to build a stronger coalition of other partners.

polyachka : And that was not done because marketing strategy was different – go direct?

curiouslee: Yes. OLPC felt their way was best–go direct to governments and work top down.

curiouslee: Very few at OLPC had any idea of how to build a lasting non-profit.

curiouslee: Was crazy mix of educational idealists and tech dreamers.

polyachka: so how can you marry the two -techies and teachers?

curiouslee: I think the teachers, as you call them, lost. Techies now rule OLPC and Sugar.

polyachka: So how to build a long lasting non-profit?

curiouslee: Aside from Nicholas, OLPC needed a “servant leader” in their management.

polyachka: so what does it mean servant leader?

curiouslee: Definition from wikipedia: Servant-leaders achieve results for their organizations by giving priority attention to the needs of their colleagues and those they serve. Servant-leaders are often seen as humble stewards of their organization’s resources (human, financial and physical).

polyachka: what do you think about hardware part. Is it up-to-date?

curiouslee: Hardware is not up-to-date at moment. XO-1.75 should catch up.

curiouslee: OLPC doesn’t feel it needs to keep current because they are shifting to serving the most remote areas.

polyachka: Is it due to the lack of resources at OLPC or vision?

curiouslee: Move to remote areas? Lack of resources yes, I think. Best to go where there is little or no competition and greatest need.

polyachka: what about Intel computers? Are they more up-to date but serve to remote areas as well?

curiouslee: Intel computers like classmate are not power efficient at all and not daylight readable. Also, the educational software is often included as an afterthought.

curiouslee: I have two classmate laptops.

curiouslee: They are miniature office productivity machines.

curiouslee: OLPC wants to focus on original “no school” scenario.

polyachka:  does it mean that no teachers are needed and no curriculum for Sugar?

polyachka: i thought it was proved that it doesn’t work

curiouslee: That varies very widely based on local culture. Adult and teacher presence is essential.

curiouslee: There are plenty of small school houses with no electricity or teachers teaching under a tree.

polyachka: but they all need curriculum

curiouslee: Sure.

polyachka: and who is working on it?

curiouslee: In the larger deployments, there have been contractors or Ministry of Education staffers working on curriculum.


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