Now with a few days to rest and tend to homefront fires, I’m ready to turn two weeks of talk into a plan for sustained action. Eighteen organizations are interested. Now it’s time to choose which to focus on first and how exactly to proceed.

I’ve decided to keep up the daily blog, given the tremendous feedback I keep getting. Thanks to everyone who has retweeted and emailed. It helps to know you’re out there. It’s an odd kind of community we’ve got, but it’s almost as real as if we were sitting in a circle helping each other.

SO! How to choose? We’ve got 100 laptops sitting in customs and a Waveplace workshop planned for December. We’ve got another 50 we can scrounge up if we need to, which means we’ve got room for four to six pilots. This means saying “no” (at least for now) to twelve rooms of hopeful kids and adults. Like some sick Santa Claus list, I need to decide who’s helped and who waits.

Can I tell you just how much this completely sucks? Yeah, in a minute I’ll start writing about my very rational reasons for who we picked, but there’s nothing rational about this:

How on earth can I say “no” to these kids, or the hundreds of others I met on my trip? Yeah, if someone wrote a half-million dollar check I wouldn’t have to, but we’re on a shoestring here, so choices need to be made.

To keep things easier, we’ll focus on just the December stuff. Which organizations do we send accords (aka contracts) to for our next workshop and pilots? Which groups get to choose the kids and adults who get the 100 to 150 laptops?

Here’s the rational part: Money. Realness. Publicity.

We’re choosing to favor organizations that can fund the pilots, both now and in the future. We’re choosing organizations that already have a spirit of guided discovery and progressive education. We’re choosing organizations that can help spread the word about our collective efforts.

Why? The greatest good for the greatest number. Each of these initial laptops is a seed that needs to be planted into fertile ground. If we want our efforts to grow, if we want models of demonstrable success that can inspire similar efforts, we need to stack the deck to increase our odds of success.

Yeah, it sucks to say it out loud, but that’s the way it is. Later we’ll get to the ones who can’t afford it, to the ones with no teachers, to the ones who don’t know any journalists. But until then, we need to build a solid foundation.

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