A visit from Sergio, Reuben & Claudia

Last week our team welcomed the long awaited visit of Sergio, the OLPC manager for Africa projects, Claudia the Director of Learning for OLPC and Reuben the lead country support technician.

We were all eager to show the group where we were in the project and, most importantly, what is actually happening at the school-level for both good and bad. We had many questions and ideas to share and discuss and it was great to have such wonderful sounding boards. In the middle of the week, Claudia held a 1-day workshop to focus on the basis of our learning ideas. I think we came assuming that the things that we thought would be easily transmitted to others through our actions, but it was clear that we needed someone to start from the beginning and clearly explain “constructionism” and the theory behind the laptop. In attendance was all OLPC-Rwanda staff, the core team from MINEDUC, now referred to as the Rwanda Program and past interns from KIE. Claudia did a fantastic job and that was evident when Q & A lasted over 1 hr! That shows the level of interest and excitement in a room that usually stays very quiet! I really have to thank Claudia for this, it was very helpful to all of us.

Reuben worked on developing those on the team that will take leading roles in: inventory, server installation and planning for and determining proper infrastructure. Reuben made a very critical point–the importance of planning for on-going electricity costs. He is working with the tech. team to define the estimated costs.

For me, these visits are important because when you become so intensely focused on something you can begin to lose perspective.

With their new insight I am now working on a proposal for a new model of support for the schools we have been working with (one that involves other NGOs).

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