Scenes from the Learning Fields of Cambodia

OLPC Learning Club DC member Mike Cariaso popped up on my Google Talk last night to tell me he had arrived at the Elaine & Nicholas Negropnte School in Reaksmy, Cambodia. This is the school featured in the May 2007 60 Minutes report on OLPC. He made the eight-hour drive north with Elaine from Phnom Penh the day before in great weather. After settling in, Mike was naturally eager to document his surroundings to post online. The school has a satellite uplink and generators, so I was chatting with Mike as he uploaded some fantastic photos to Flickr. He even ran back outside to get a better picture of the kids using the laptops in sunlight. Cambodia is exactly 12 hours offset from Washington, D.C. So while I was yawning in my easychair, it was the height of the day’s learning for the kids in the school. Mike’s first observations (as a technologist) were that the kids were still having lots of problems with the XO trackpad and none of the machines were currently accessing the satellite internet due to technical problems. Those sound like great first challenges to which Mike can apply his considerable skills as he begins his several-month stay as a volunteer. We’re looking forward to many more dispatches from the learning fields.

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I would be interested to know whether the technical difficulties have led to frustrations among the kids or, never having had computers in the past, they are willing to put up with imperfection?

Cambodia was a great place when I visited there in 1997 (!) and still looks wonderful in those photos.


Posted Friday, 19 December 2008 at 9:38 am in: