What is the status of OLPC Rwanda in 2011?

   
   
   
   
   

So One Laptop Per Child Rwanda is now the largest XO deployment outside of South America. But that is just the purchase of computers. What does the actual deployment look like? YouTube user Jacquesmurinda gives us an idea in this great video about school-level OLPC interventions:

Looking carefully at the video, I do get the strong impression that these XO laptops are not being deployed using the Child Ownership principal. In fact, watching the students put the XOs back in their shipping boxes makes me wonder how much the laptops are used outside of promotional videos. But don't take my opinion, watch the video and express yours in the comments below.

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The OLPC in Rwanda team has there own Youtube channel and there are other links too

http://www.youtube.com/user/olpcrwanda
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xScVy4MS0k

There is also a website
olpcrwanda.org

Maybe these sites of the actual team would be more reliable.

A quick web search would have found them!

Hey Wayne,
You were going to go away. What happened? Can not find other topic to criticise?

so let's make a quick summary;

* 2 blogs with no more than 7 posts, lasts from June 2011, first from 2010 (2nd blog contains the same entries us the first one)

* on website just basic information, little originally created content

* 3 movies on YT + Sugata Mitra speach

* program launched in june 2008

* 110.000 XO's deployed

* long list of schools where XO's are deployed

* team of 18 listed + 4 from OLPC

for me hardly any evidence for the project of that scale


We learn by doing, and correct things as we move on. the excitement created by XOs limits concentration on other subjects for good grades, thus i believe the child ownership principle has to be implemented with caution.

Thanx

Moses (Rwanda)

Wayan,

Ok. I found the youTube video of which you spoke, http://www.olpcnews.com/ and I see your concern.

..... No, it most certainly does not look good.

Carefully placing those XOs back into their boxes does not look good at all; and it looks like the daily ritual.

Also, the class atmosphere appears to be just as bad: it looks like most every classroom in America; nice and orderly.

I have been a teacher for 25 years; 15 years in 5 different High Schools in Montana and 10 years in colleges/universities (math and physics).

The reason why schools don't "work" ... (and they never really have worked... we have simply put up with them; USA prospered in spite of schools because we had all the resources we needed and little world competition) ... Anyway, the reason is because humans don't learn in the same fashion that schools "teach." Humans learn WHAT we are INTERESTED in, WHEN we are interested, and we LEARN at our own unique rate and method.

The first moment I became aware of OLPC (on TED), I saw a video of kids excitedly teaching kids, figuring out EVERYTHING themselves with ZERO "teaching" from wonderful instructors with good intentions; and that, in a nutshell, is the ONLY value of the XOs. Kids teaching Kids.

That classroom in Rwanda looks like it could have been in Atlanta; or Dallas, where I now reside.

Here is how to make Rwanda work: fire all the teachers; and leave the doors to the "school" open 24/7. The children will kick educational ass as long as they have their XO's, each other, and access to the web.

(I suspect you already know this.)

And once we educators in America became conscious of how wonderful our world could be if we would trust our children, we could do the same here.

Yes, even the children in Atlanta and Dallas could learn.

I can't adequately put into words how HORRIBLE our system of "education" is in America... and in the rest of the world (because they foolishly copied us).

Human Beings are learning sponges. And there is plenty of research that shows that grade 4 is the great divide: in Grades 1-3 kids still love learning; from Grade 5 up it is all over. The swing year is the 4th.

Love of learning is lost; Creativity and Spirit have been snuffed out.

All in the name of "education."

How ironic.

And this is the goofy part: once we have survived school, whether it be k-12, or k-20, we magically forget how bad it was! "Aw heck, it wasn't THAT bad."

My response is, "compared to what?" What might our world be like if we allowed ourselves (and our Children) to fully flower?

The message is crystal clear to the kids (as it was when we were in school): sit your ass down and shut the fuck up... the teach will down-load skoolin' into yo' empty heads.

Yes, I was a part of it all those years. But at least I was Fighting for kids and young adults the whole way. I told them the damn truth: "this is a game... and the best I can do is to help you play the game very well."

And then day-in and day-out I filled in the details by pointing out reality to my spiritually crushed students. I had a very heart-breaking job.

As Jerry Farber wrote in the underground classic in 1969, THE STUDENT AS NIGGER, "You can't really get away from it (school) so you might as well stay and raise hell." (4th paragraph from the end of the essay.) This is a small book any parent should read.

And so I have raised hell for many a year and in many a school by being smarter than each and every one of my administrative supervisors (not much of a challenge).

Actually, it wasn't that I was any smarter; I simply played the game better than they did. You see, I also took the advice written in a book authored by Neil Postman & Charles Weingartner titled, TEACHING AS A SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITY; also published in 1969.

I just realized that '69 was a good year, I graduated from college that year.

Now I have accepted reality: the System is not going to change. EVER. It took me 25 years to accept this fact. The solution? Schools need to be ignored.

Fortunately, most of today's school kids are pretty much ignoring schools already (some good research there, too) as the real draw during the academic year is the social life. Children get to get out of the house and away from their parents; and they get to be around their friends.

Hey, it's a two-way street: each fall the parents scream loud and clear, "Thank goodness it is finally late August!" Twitter talk a month ago reinforced this fact.

Nothing like 9 months of free baby sitting.

Yeah, I got it figured out. Every kid in the World needs an XO; AND every person associated with formal education (past grade 3) needs to be fired.

Our Children could Save us.

Really.

Sincerely,

John; Age 65. Ex-teacher.

The XO's are clean and not personalized.

How is that possible if the children take them home? So they were indeed kept at school.

How can these laptops be clean if the children use them? Are they cleaned every week?

I know things look "better" on video, but I have to question whether these XOs have been in regular use.

Jacques Murinda is Executive Director of OLE Rwanda. OLE Rwanda has been supporting the use of the XO at the school in the video (EPAK Don Bosco in Kigali) under the sponsorship of Systematics, a Danish firm.

EPAK is one of the original 10 schools to receive XOs. This (2011) is the third academic year that the laptops have been available at EPAK. Indeed, EPAK may have the most experience in using the XOs of any school in Rwanda.

It is my understanding that P6 students at EPAK are taking the laptops home but, in general, the laptops are not assigned to individual students. I believe students are currently using the laptops about 2 hours per week.

The video accurately depicts XO sessions as I experienced them at EPAK. Granted, the desks are arranged more neatly than I remember and a projector is not usually available.

As shown in the video, the laptops are operated while connected to power strips which are daisy-chained across the classroom. I think this needs to be changed to the 'charging rack' model in which the laptops are charged in a rack in the classroom and used on battery at the desk.

It is interesting to note that the scratch activity is being used in the video to provide a lesson in English.

Hi guys ... how wonderfull to find you all here working together, setting the example and inspiring people around you.
I have an assignment: This year 2011 is the UN International Year for People of African Descent... and I have to link it up with the 3 other major teams for this year:
2. the 2011 UN International year for Youth
3. the 2011 UN International year for Forests
4. the 2011 UN International year for Chemistry.

So... you want to work with me on this assignment? Maybe we can sell the best idea to a company-foundation that wants to use it to get some link with one of these UN Years... e.g. some Chemical Company?

Anyway... looking forward reading you on the olpc ruanda youtube channel of which the link was mentioned above.

Meanwhile ... be excellent !

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