In a recent post on OLPC News, Edward Cherlin was talking about whether or not computers are the best way to help children in developing countries. His response was, I think, quite good. And it really got me thinking about what I can do. He said, in part:
As to what you and I should do, computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra has a suggestion that I find helps to clarify matters for me: “Only do what only you can do.”
Most of us in the laptop project wouldn’t be very effective at direct food aid. We find, however, that we are very effective at what we are doing, and nobody else comes close. Please ask yourself what you know that the children need to know, and come to the Wiki to tell us about it.
The Wiki he refers to is the OLPCWiki. It has sections for educators and developers to contribute ideas and actual projects that they could become involved in.
But the question remains: What can I do that only I can do? And that, in turn, begs another question: Am I willing to do it?