James: What did you think when Devon first told you about the option of 200 xo's coming to your school? Did you have any questions or concerns at that time? Did he tell you anything about us Americans who were coming?
Pierre: Before Devon came to Pierre he was reseraching on his own, in the 21st century they need to know the alphabet of computers. When Devon came to him he asked if he was prepared to have all 200 computers. All he knew was that we were 4 americans who were going to Mauritania but it didn't work out. Emphasis on IT knowledge. The kids need to know how to read, they need to know how to write, and they need to know how to use a computer. They need computer illiteracy
James: Had you ever heard of OLPC or had you ever seen one of their green laptops?
Pierre: no, I hadn't. But, I am very happy that they are here at my school.
James: What did you think when you first saw the laptops (or) when you first started using one?
Pierre: My first impression was that it was difficult to use. The keyboard was American and not french. It was difficult to find the accents and other French letters. But, eventually, I found that the American system is very easy: you learn by doing. French is very difficult: learning by memorization.
James: Do you think it is easier now? What are you impressions after one week?
Pierre: In the beginning, If you want to know, if you have the desire / drive. If you want to know it is easy. The teachers in the beginning were scared, Im going to break it, but now they are getting it. But in the end it doesn't matter if they are scared or not, come October they have to use it andteach it to the class.
James: We only just started teacher training, but what challenges do you see having with both the teachers and (in the future) the students. Now and in October?
Pierre: the teachers who are motivated and interested in them, it will be easy. They will use them in the class. Next year maybe they won't use the computer every day, but every week.
James: For example, in the USA it is the same. They don't use computers every day, but every week.
Pierre: now we have our school timetable that does not include IT - so we will insert the xo into our school timetable.
James: What experience did the teachers have with computers before this summer?
Pierre: They had a training with a Belgium team about IT- basically windows XP. Not all the teachers, but some of them. One month long for once or twice a week for a month.