The Ministry of Education of the Republic of Gabon organized a five day One Laptop PerÂ Child training on June 17 to 21, 2013. The training was conducted by One Laptop Per ChildÂ Association Inc. representatives from its regional office in Kigali.
The training was designed to give a comprehensive introduction to OLPC. The trainingÂ explained the tremendous milestones achieved to date in providing educationalÂ opportunities to children around the world.
The OLPCA representatives introduced the XO, its preloaded content and the SugarÂ learning platform to the Ministryâ€™s officials, educators from the Institue Superiere Pedagique,Â Foramateurs du project E-education, and Engineers who will be involved in the teacherÂ trainings and the deployment in Gabon.
The training discussed what has been learned in Rwanda during the past four years.
The OLPC team from Rwanda shared its experiences, achievements, challenges andÂ perspectives in its ongoing effort to integrate OLPC technology into the Rwandan educationÂ system.
The Ministry of Education of Gabon invited friends, associates and colleagues, who will beÂ instrumental in furthering the OLPC cause in Gabon, to attend the training. Invitees includedÂ individuals from the Centre Numerique de Libreville, Centre techniques Basil OndimbaÂ and other thought leaders from various organizations. Approximately 22 to 25 individualsÂ attended the training each day.
The first day of the training provided a general introduction to OLPCâ€™s background,itsÂ mission, and learning philosophy. The team presented OLPC achievements to date. OLPCÂ representatives shared an overview of different OLPC projects worldwide. The OLPC teamÂ also discussed the Rwandan experience and the lessons learned over the past four yearsÂ of the project in Rwanda. The team shared galleries of childrenâ€™s work from various schoolsÂ in Rwanda. OLPC representatives examined the impact on Â learning, classroom dynamics,Â changes in school attendance, and the overall changes brought by XO into the familiesÂ and communities in Rwanda. This busy day ended with all attendees exploring preloadedÂ content on XO. Attendees were able to experience the uniqueness of the Sugar learningÂ platform, which allows learners to create, share and collaborate with their peers.
On the second day, the training introduced the Sugar learning environment to theÂ representatives of different organizations in attendance. It is anticipated that theseÂ organizations will be involved in preparation and implementation of next yearâ€™s large teacherÂ trainings and deployments. Participants created different lesson plans integrating curriculumÂ topics. During this process, participants became familiar with the Sugar user interface andÂ the Write, Record, Scratch, Etoys, Social Calc and Portfolio activities.
During the third day, OLPC representatives shared the different approaches used inÂ Rwanda to support schools with respect to the learning side of the project. For example, theÂ OLPC team in Rwanda has organized XO users clubs, after school and holiday camps, andÂ XO weekly challenges. The team has also worked with teachers on developing lesson plansÂ that integrate use of the XO laptop. These are ways that teachers in Gabon can furtherÂ support use of the XO laptops.
The final two days of the training were focused on the technical aspects of the XO laptops.
Participants were introduced to the XOâ€™s hardware and software, the school serversâ€™Â technology and troubleshooting tips. The attendees also assembled and dissembledÂ laptops of the ENSB school in Libreville. The training was concluded with an overviewÂ of the OLPC deployment guide and the project as implemented in Rwanda. The longÂ discussions and debates conducted by the Ministryâ€™s expert Kacandre Bourdelais andÂ OLPC representatives, Desire Rwagaju & Jimmy Intwali, highlighted potential opportunitiesÂ and threats to a successful implementation of the One Laptop Per Gabonese ChildÂ program.