May 22, 2009
I don’t read self improvement books as a rule but this struck me as interesting. .. for school leaders
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic as a Personality Ethic and a Character Ethic. (note the sub title) Covey reviewed American self-improvement literature back to 1776…
I began to feel more and more that much of the success literature of the past 50 years was superficial [focused in a Personality Ethic]. It was filled with social image consciousness, techniques and quick fixes–with social bandaids and aspirin that addressed acute problems and sometimes even appeared to solve them temporarily, but left the underlying chronic problems untouched to fester and resurface time and again.
He then goes on to distinguish the Character Ethic as follows:
In stark contrast, almost all the literature in the first 150 years or so focused on what could be called the Character Ethic as the foundation of success–things like integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty and the Golden Rule. Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is representative of that literature. It is, basically, the story of one man’s effort to integrate certain principles and habits deep within his nature.
May 22, 2009
Earlier this year I had a meeting with Gary Phillips who has very similar ideas to me in terms of getting technology into Ladakhi schools. It’s taken me a while to write it up – sorry!
Sending the Acer Aspire One netbooks for a cost of GBP 200 is a great solution. At 1kg + power supply they are light and cheap. These can be used with an external monitor & keyboard in school and be taken home by students. Linpus Linux is pre-installed. The 3 Cell battery only lasts 2 hours but makes the unit light. 6 Cell batteries are not worth the extra weight or money as electricity from solar power is available during the day.
People visiting Ladakh from UK can be asked to take a laptop with them. Visitors might even buy one themselves to donate, netbooks are useful whilst traveling then can be left at the end of the trip. Weight wise it would be feasible for a person to carry 2 laptops but this might cause customs problems.
Theoretically it might be tempting to find or customize an ideal version of Linux for our uses. But without reliable Linux knowledge or support in Ladakh this solution won’t fly. The netbook’s Linpus lite is ok and will allow us to standardize.
Why not Desktop computers?
Sending parts out to India is fraught with difficulty due to customs and getting people with the right expertise to build machines. Getting CRT monitors to Ladakh is still quite a costly due to relatively high resale value, large transport cost and possible damage caused in transit. CRTs also need more power. We estimate that at least two times the number of netbooks can be run off solar than desktop machines.
Windows is still the OS of choice in Ladakh but is virus ridden due to pen drives been carried around and machines are often out of service. Linux avoids the virus problem
Based on a Phone conversation today with Dorjee in Ladakh.
DWLS is still waiting for a computer teacher. But the solar power seems to be working well using 4 panels for 12 machines.
Solar power is also working well for the Siddartha School, recently installed in March.
Gary Visited Drukpa White Lotus School in 2007. I visited Siddhartha School in 2007 and 2008. In summer 2008 I stayed with my friend Dorjee in Choglamsar, and his brother in Law works at DWLS so I have a connection there and subsequently met Gary in London.