Monday, April 6, 2009

fiji time

The XO progress is slow despite the enthusiasm of everyone who has tried them. Teachers at one school have been using them for three weeks, but the school committee hasn't found the time to meet to approve a fundraiser (for flash drives to reflash as needed, two-pin adaptors and power boards for charging, and wireless routers so they can access the internet). It's about $240 for a school to take on 20 laptops, and that level of fundraising is both reasonable and a good indicator of how invested the teachers and staff will be once they have the laptops. We've given an end-of-April deadline for applications, so we should have a good idea of where they will be after that. I have meetings with two other school committees set up this week.

I'm still learning about the laptops. Trying to work with Blue Print Data to secure internet filtering software to reassure concerned head teachers about the safety isssues of bringing the internet to their school.

Half of the laptops are upgraded to the 8.2 OS, a tedious process that I'll be thrilled to complete. I've run another training of trainers for Rotary club members, Cultural Center employees, and our social welfare officer, and invited so many more who haven't yet found the time to attend. And I just helped the Ministryof Education draft an application for a new volunteer to continue this work beyond my close of service in August. I see so much potential for teachers to use these in their classrooms, but I believe a volunteer might be necessary to keep up the enthusiasm and provide technical support for the first two years.

Hopefully I'll have more news soon!

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