Boston meeting, ebook discussion

What a great meeting of 14 minds on Friday, March 11 at 6PM at OLPC office, One Cambridge Center (right above the Kendall/MIT Red-Line Stop), facing OLPC’s most serious challenges.

Meeting agenda:

  1. eBooks on Sugar Realities (New Read 89)
  2. olpcMAP Jams: Los Angeles, Philippines, and each OLPC/Sugar CITY that will follow in March/April (Paris, then French Africa, etc!)
  3. West Somerville eToys training by Solution Grove
  4. Uruguay Summit May 5-7
  5. Intel/Computer Clubhouse’s new global mentoring network (“starting soon right here in town”)

One of the topics was about using eToys or Scratch to engage older kids and/or adults with programming. Nick Doiron summarized some ideas on this topic for the group:

There are a lot of ideas out there about how to do intro-to-programming and I like what people have done with eToys at the primary school level (if you haven’t seen Waveplace’s experiences in Haiti, read about them online! )

As you target middle school level students or above, they’re interested in the internet and media. Some are interested in technical details – ask any programmer you know when they started. You can make a high school kid an expert in eToys, but they won’t be any closer to making their own website or Space Invaders game. If you would give someone a power tool in shop class, you should give them a real programming language on the computer.

Mozilla’s Hackasaurus program is designed for learning HTML at this level. Two amazing workshops in the past month:

They have information about setting up your own workshop at Also, check out

This meeting had tremendous value for all participants as it presented an opportunity to connect to people who are interested in similar edu-tech ideas.

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