Back in February, we reported that in OLPC Thailand, XO Students Show No School Improvement. The post was quite controversial - generating the response Roger Siptakiat on OLPC in Thailand on the official OLPC blog.
Sadly, the OLPC News comments were down at the time, so community feedback was lost. Yet, this comment was emailed to me directly, and I thought it worthy of sharing:
To Whom It May Concern,
When I visited a large and obviously well endowed school in Bangkok -- I saw that no computers were being used there. Not XOs or any other larger laptops.
Computers are only used when the teacher believes in them for education purposes -- certainly what I saw was a lot of hands on learning but not computer learning usage. I think if this happened in a major city that the rural areas would have an even lower rate of usage.
What OLPC never has understood is that it is not the XO laptops that make the difference -- it will always be how motivated the teachers are to use any computer. Problems such as these occur in the US as often.
And yes, that is the Elaine Negroponte who sponsored laptops in schools with her then-husband, inspiring an entire movement.