As discussed in class and in other blog posts, the OLPC project has many problems preventing the computers to be successful as an education project. The Firstpost article, “Aakash vs OLPC: How fair is Jha’s anti-tablet grouse?” discusses how the president and the CEO of the OLPC project in India, Satish Jha, openly criticized Aakash, a similar project aimed at increasing education through giving children tablets, months before OLPC introduced its own tablet.
Jha claimed that the Aakash is a “product of deluded dreamers who are out of touch with the realities of technology product development” and will not be able to replace what computers are able to do. He also stated that it has “little to do with education”, as the tablet can only work off of a wifi network. However, Jha wants to introduce the OLPC to Indian students, which seems very hypocritical.
This situation demonstrates that there is not communication between the global leaders of OLPC and the regional leaders, another factor preventing success. OLPC needs to stop using a top-down approach and seek advice from regional technology development practitioners. If Jha believes that a tablet is not a realistic technology for Indian students, then he should not be using the resources to promote the technology and should remain distributing laptops. There are many problems that need to be addressed with the OLPC program, and one of the key aspects that needs to improve is communication.