Dance Dance Revolution: Madagascar edition

If you haven’t seen it already, take 5 minutes to watch this ridiculously joyful clip from the pilot project in Nosy Komba, Madagascar, supported by OLPC France.

If you have, it’s worth watching again and sharing 馃檪 The lyrics are a popular Malagasy dancing song, carried out with XOs and other props.

Summit notes: XO keyboard and touchpad fixes

At the community summit, Caryl Bigenho talked about the need for a musical keyboard for the XO, and discussed a design for an overlay that could be placed on top of the normal (typing) keyboard with the names of musical notes.

And there was a little repair session, including showing how to fix various XO-1 issues. There are still a few people who need the frozen keyboard fix. Others were playing around with keyboard overlays.

Others need touchpad fixes, and benefited from upgrading to 11.2 or 11.3 — which has an option in the frame to turn on the resistive touchpad mode. For people working in areas that are very humid, or have high iron content of the dust, the resistive touchpad mode can be a reliable alternative to an external mouse.

Community Summit 2012: streaming live from San Francisco!

The OLPC Community Summit hosted again by OLPCSF this year is underway now at the downtown SFSU campus. Student volunteers and the amazing local group have again pulled together an amazing event… you can follow a live stream of the process all day today and tomorrow no the summit’s main page.

If you are inspired by the event, and are in the area, please stop by.

OLPC SF Community Summit: October 22-23

The OLPC Community Summit is back for a second year, hosted again by OLPC San Francisco. It promises to be the year’s best rundown of OLPC efforts around the world, large and small.

You can see the schedule online at olpcsf.org, and should register now if you want to attend. Last year was pretty packed!

Sugar Day Argentina: Sept 25-26, in Jun铆n

Reposting an invitation from SugarLabs Argentina to their first Sugar Day, in Junin, to be held September 25-26.

SugarLabs Argentina quiere hacer publico el pr贸ximo encuentro de desarrolladores de la plataforma de aprendizaje Sugar. Este evento sera realizado entre los d铆as 25 – 26 de Septiembre del 2011 en la ciudad de Jun铆n, provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

El objetivo del encuentro es de juntarnos en una sesi贸n de trabajo de programadores – code sprint – con la intenci贸n de escribir c贸digo, ense帽ar, aprender, colaborar e incentivar el desarrollo de software libre sobre Sugar en las distintas comunidades de programadores. 隆 Y por supuesto reforzar y generar nuevos lazos de amistad en esta comunidad !

La propuesta del encuentro se basa en el dictado de un taller inicial de programaci贸n en Python sobre Sugar y en el code sprint ya mencionado. Compartimos el cronograma preliminar:

— —
<Domingo 25>
11:00 – 13:00 Apertura – Discusi贸n, pendientes y prioridades a programar en el code sprint.
13:20 – 15:00 Almuerzo.
15:30 – 20:00 Se dispondr谩 de un espacio para quienes quieran iniciar el code sprint.
</Domingo 25>
<Lunes 26> /*dos track en paralelo*/
Track 1
09:00 – 11:30/12:00 Taller inicial聽de programaci贸n en Python sobre Sugar.
Track 2
09:00 – 13:00 Code sprint.
13:20 – 14:30 Almuerzo.
15:00 – (a definir) Retomamos Code sprint.
Despedida.
</Lunes 26>
— —
El taller se聽realiza聽con el apoyo de la empresa Actvity Central.

Por ultimo, queremos difundir que durante el Viernes 23 y S谩bado 24 en la misma ciudad -Junin-, el grupo de usuarios de Python Argentina -PyAr- llevara adelante la conferencia del lenguaje Python 2011. Motivo por el cual decidimos realizar nuestro evento en continuaci贸n a la PyConAr-2011

Acercarnos tus propuestas e聽inter茅s聽en participar, para que juntos, ajustemos todos los detalles necesarios para llevar adelante y compartir entre todos este evento.

http://ar.sugarlabs.org聽 |聽聽 sugarday2011@ar.sugarlabs.org

Registration opens for SugarCamp Paris: September 9-11

reposted on behalf of OLPC France

Registration is now open for the 2nd SugarCamp Paris. Please join us in making Sugar a better learning experience!

This event is organized by OLPC France, and takes place in Paris, France from September 9 (evening) to September 11 (evening).

The goal is to enhance Sugar as a free learning platform, already used by ~2M kids around the
world, and to focus on a specific problem: how to make Sugar *documentation* better with respect to accessibility and readability?

Partial travel refunds are available for regional trips for those who could not otherwise come. Please contact the organizers with any questions.

Let’s take this challenge, and enjoy a good time with many members of the OLPC/Sugar community!

olpcMAP and Map-12.xo

The latest version of the Map activity was released this month, and works smoothly with the XO-1.5 and with openstreetmap or google map data.

And olpcMAP has been updated to work with new features of the Google App Engine. 聽 Check them both out! 聽 聽HT to SaigonOLPC for publishing these monthly status summaries.

eduJAM! starts in Uruguay

The eduJAM! convocation is going strong, with 2-3 days of Sugar camp and discussion among developers and teachers from across the world. Keep an eye on the ceibalJAM site in the coming days for videos and notes from the event.

You can browse some of the presentations on the edujam2011 slideshare account.

eduJAM!-invitacion

eduJAM! invitacion

OLPCistas in Uruguay this week and next

Over 20 OLPC and Sugar collaborators are in Uruguay this week, visiting schools, meeting with the Uruguayan communities (ceibalJAM, RAP Ceibal, and the eduJAM event team), and preparing for the eduJAM! summit for Sugar developers and educators across Latin America.

The attendees are using a separate OLPC Uruguay 2011 blog for the week to track their various travels and projects in Uruguay. If you can’t be there yourself, you can follow along (and share your own questions for the group) here.

OLPC Australia’s XO-AU USB toolkit

OLPC Australia has released an update to their USB ‘toolkit’ for XOs, a collection of software on a USB thumb drive designed to assist in recovery, repair, and support scenarios. The new version is ready for testing, and Sridhar expects only documentation changes between now and its final release.

The XO-AU USB is OLPC Australia’s official means of delivering updates and troubleshooting tools to schools.

Only 24% of Jamaicans have access to a computer at home

Professor Hopeton Dunn of the Mona School of Business in Jamaica writes and speaks about the need for more widesperad access to computers in his country. Citing a recent ICT indicators survey, he notes that Jamaica has hit a plateau of access, and that while projects like OLPC are introducing more children to computers and the Internet (a kind thing for him to say, since we are working with under 1000 children and teachers in the region, largely thanks to the efforts of Sameer Verma and Charlie Nesson), new plans are needed to provide access in the workplace and at home for the whole country.

Read more at the Jamaica Observer.

April olpcMAP updates

We’re hosting an olpcMAP discussion session at our Cambridge HQ on Wednesday night, with students (and future collaborators!) from Tufts. If you can’t be there, catch up on recent additions and developments to the project with this month’s olpcMAP update.

Meanwhile, mapping maven Nick Doiron shares the view from his seat in Montevideo, where he is a resident hacker this month with Plan Ceibal.

Dextrose 2 is available for the XO

Dextrose2, a revamp of the popular XOOS flavor developed by Activity Central and Sugar Labs, in partnership with Paraguay Educa, is now available for both XO-1 and XO-1.5 laptops. It has a number of performance and other improvements, including 3G modem and connection sharing. I can’t wait to try it out on my old XO-1s.

Dextrose 2 by activity central

The original Dextrose build + activities that was released last fall was based closely on the latest XOOS release available at the time (OS 10). This version has one major difference from the main OS: it does not offer a traditional Linux desktop as an alternative to Sugar. 聽(Some students managed to delete their Sugar home directories from within their Gnome desktop, making work with Sugar difficult until they had reinstalled it. 聽As a result, some teachers asked to return to a Sugar-only system.)

This work is now formally supported by Plan Ceibal, which has started to use Dextrose in their schools. It is good to see this much attention being given to activity development and Spanish-language documentation, and to close feedback loops with teachers who use the latest tools every week with their students.

So don’t wait — download a copy of Dextrose2 and try it out!

NB: If you’re looking for the latest Dextrose with the Gnome desktop option added back in, you can request this on the sugar-devel mailing list. It’s on the list of versions to make, but not a high priority at the moment.

OLPC NYC meeting this weekend

This Saturday, Bergen Community 聽College is hosting a free and open-source education event, HFOSS@BCC, with discussions and presentations about OLPC and Engineers Without Borders.

This event will bring together students, members of OLPC groups in聽NYC and Princeton, and聽Computer Science teachers in the CSTA across the US and NJ. 聽The OLPC project at Princeton will discuss their recent OLPC library in Ghana, and math teacher John Sincak will talk about his work with XOs. 聽Lunch is included.

For those taking the train: a few people are travelling together from Secaucus Station (just W of Penn Station) and meeting promptly at 7:30 AM on Saturday, most taking the 7:14 Northeast Corridor train (#7821) from Penn Station.

For those driving: the event is at聽400 Paramus Road, Paramus NJ 07652, in the聽Technology Education Center – Room 128

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鈥檚 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鈥檚 new global mentoring network (鈥渟tarting soon聽right here in town鈥)

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鈥檛 seen Waveplace鈥檚 experiences in Haiti, read about them online! )

As you target middle school level students or above, they鈥檙e interested in the internet and media. Some are interested in technical details 鈥 ask any programmer you know when they started. You can make a high school kid an expert in eToys, but they won鈥檛 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鈥檚 Hackasaurus program is designed for learning HTML at this level. Two amazing workshops in the past month:
http://spotlight.macfound.org/featured-stories/entry/at-hackasaurus-jam-mozilla-encourages-young-programmers-to-change-the-web/and http://brettgaylor.tumblr.com/post/3526122151/web-made-movies-at-bavc

They have information about setting up your own workshop at hackasaurus.org. Also, check out http://palpable-video.appspot.com/sample

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.