Martin Langhoff — our School Server Architect, and long time core Moodle developer reports:
The Moodle UK community just had one of the best MoodleMoots ever. I had the good chance to keynote there, to tell the community about my almost-year away working on XS plumbing, and how it’s now the time to turn the XS into a learning tool.
Social constructivism runs strong in the Moodle community, so when we talk of opening doors to our users’ curiosity, they know first hand about it. And it is a good thing to be able to pierce through the media doom and gloom stories and tell them about the good things that are actually happening on the ground.
The feedback was fantastic, and I am hoping to form a “Moodle-on-XS” test team, and to draw together many very active teachers from the K-12 space to help map out how to make Moodle better for primary schoolers.
A couple of weeks ago, OLPC XS 0.5.1 was released with little fanfare. Everyone was busy — understandably so — and the announcement went unnoticed.
So perhaps it is time to go back and look at it in detail. The School Server is a Fedora-based distro that auto-installs and (mostly) auto configures itself into a server that complements with the XO laptop. Even if it is not obvious, the XO behaves much better when it is working on a network managed by a School Server. And in locations with limited or no Internet access, a School Server with a bounty of educational content makes a huge difference.
XS 0.5.x is a big leap forward from the earlier series. It upgrades the base OS from Fedora 7 to Fedora 9, streamlines instalation and configuration, and is a better platform to build upon. Ah, yes! It also has some cool new features.
The first round of international Give One, Get One orders have been shipped out — every order placed before December 16 should have arrived by now, in time for Christmas. Some were sent from Miami, and the European orders went out from Brussels with EU adapters and a special G1G1 Europe thank-you note.
Orders between now and December 31 should ship out by mid-January. We are able to ship to all of the 45 countries mentioned in the original announcement, and are investigating and adding more countries as there is specific interest. If you want to send laptops to a country not currently on our list, leave a comment here, and I will see what we can do.
Barring an extension, International G1G1 will end on December 31st. Be sure to place your orders now if you are interested.
It currently still appears that one is preordering on Amazon, and that the XO is “available January 15” — that means that orders made now will be shipped by Jan 15 or else refunded. This is the way information is sent to us for fulfillment – a compromise we have made to cover countries everywhere, since AMZN was only able to handle shipping within the US. Donors in a few specific countries (Australia, Hong Kong, France) can choose to take part in G1G1 directly through a local site, as a tax-deductable donation.