I’m riding on my way to Newark Airport, where I’ll fly to San Francisco for the OLPC Community Summit. As usual, my brain’s a blur with Haiti details. Rather than more logistics today, I’ll instead write about goals.

With all the talk that swirls around, with the unending stream of to-dos and people scolding us for lateness and lameness, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of just reacting all the time, losing sight of the big picture.

So let’s plant a flag out in the distance to remind us why we’re here and where to go. Put simply: Waveplace’s goal is to help transform education, however it happens, so that more children become confident creative problem solvers. We’re not about laptops, we’re not about Internet, we’re not about Etoys, we’re not about standards and curricula. We’re about using these and other tools to achieve a higher purpose: helping engage children more deeply so they become enthusiastic life-long learners.

In Haiti, as elsewhere, we do this by getting laptops, children, and trained mentors together in small groups and giving them materials, support, encouragement. Our focus will always be on small groups.

“But how does this scale?” Well, I’ll tell you, but some won’t like it.


However you rig your spreadsheets, it’ll always come down to a simple unfailing truth: we’re asking people to try new things. Ramming a systemic paradigm shift down their throats will never work, especially in Haiti.

Change takes time. It takes patience. It takes kindness.

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