I've always wondered about the OLPC Peru mystery. How One laptop per Child was able to get such a quick uptake in Peru, a poor country with many problems?
Reading Nicholas Negroponte's interview with Fortune, I am starting to understand. Its all about personal connections!
In fact in 1991 a Peruvian educator [Oscar Becerra Tresierra] visited me at the MIT media lab and I introduced him to Seymour [Papert, the educational researcher who has been deeply involved in OLPC], and he was very taken with Seymour's theories.
So he went back and sent several people to the U.S. to study those theories. They went back to Peru in the early 90s, and this man who started that work has recently become the Minister of Education. And several of the people he sent to the US are in the ministry working with him.
Just check out this photo I found on angelcaido666x's Bolivian blog.
That would be Brightstar CEO R. Marcelo Claure showing off the XO to Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales Ayma. Marcelo also promised XO's for Bolivian children, but unlike Oscar, hasn't delivered on his promises yet.
Now while personal connections aren't bad per see, I only wish OLPC would deliver on its own promise - to be the best educational solution for the developing world. Then it could expand sans personal connections. It could expand based on superior performance, the best sales conversion tool ever.
Thanks to Agroblogger for the links.