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Friday, April 2, 2010

Sooner than later?

In Haiti right now- beautiful country. Thinking of heading to STP sooner rather than later.

I was originally planning on going over in September but now I thought it might be nice to do something in June. It can be the end of the school year and we could also have a summer program going where I teach the kids Squeak/Etoys (thanks to potential support from Squeakland).

This is what we'd do:

-2-3 week course on Etoys
-Check-in with teachers, see how everything is going
-Introduce Ebooks and other teaching materials
-Give a couple of classes on how to fix computers (bring tools)
-Help reflash computers for next year??
-Bring any more computers that I have acquired over there

It'd be a lot and I'd maybe do it all over a month. But I think it could be really great for us.

I'd love to see some funding come in so that we can purchase enough computers for the rest of the grade, but I'm not confident that we can get that happening by June. We can, however, build on what we have. I am thinking of using money that we've raised to pay teachers over this month and hold classes. I'm scared to use the money we've raised because I know people wanted to use that money to buy computers, but simply put, we don't have enough money to purchase 100 computers, which is the purchasing minimum. So maybe using that money toward keeping the program going over the summer is better....

Not sure. Thoughts would be good. Not sure if the Union Leader article was ever published. Should look into that!


  1. How is your work in Haiti going? Have you found opportunities for the OLPC? The one thing I noticed while in Haiti is that they don't seem ready for the laptops. I perceived the need for more initial groundwork in structuring educational programs before the laptops could be effective. What do you think?

  2. William,

    The work we're doing in Haiti is actually going amazingly well. The mentors (teachers) that we have are even more determined than the ones in São Tomé to get this program working. We've already trained all the mentors and in the next few weeks will be visiting them at their locations and watching the program really take off. This week we're heading to Darbonne, and it's very interesting because it seems the Darbonne mentors are the most passionate about the program. Not only do they very much appreciate the educational value of the laptops and feel that it is something that should have been introduced to Haiti a long time ago, but they also feel strongly that students need something to focus their minds on, especially after this earthquake. They need something positive to look toward and to work for, and they feel that the program is doing just that.

    I think now is about as good a time as any to get a laptop program started- keeping in mind that OLPC is more than just a laptop program but also a new pedagogical/learning initiative. We'll see what happens in the next four weeks, but these first two weeks have really gone better than I could ever have expected and I'm very pleased.

    For more information about how our program is going here in Haiti, the org I'm working with, Waveplace, as a blog going at You should definitely check that out if you have a chance.



Please click the button below to donate to STEP UP OLPC to support the São João school's computer program in São Tomé:

Donate $200 and you will be paying for a computer for at least FIVE very special children at São João (as estimated computer life is five years). Thanks so much!

Want your donation to be tax-deductible? Send a check to STeP UP with OLPC in the memo. Then mail it to:

Eric McClafferty
Kelley and Drye
3050 S St. NW, #400
Washington, DC 20007