The XO on a Rwandan Bill

A picture is worth a thousand words….

The XO Laptop is now shown on Rwandan bills.

The National Bank of Rwanda will launch the new 500 Rwanda Francs.  An image of children “learning” with an XO from OLPC is on one of the faces of the bill ( see images attached). Rwanda is really creating a new generation of citizens.

“ Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela.

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XO Tablet nominated for the 2013 She Knows Parenting Awards

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We are very excited to announce that the XO Tablet has been nominated for the 2013 She Knows Parenting Awards!

The XO Tablet has made it as a finalist in the ‘tablets for kids’ category. Here is a link to the page where you can vote.

Voting is live between today, September 24th and October 7th – and ANYONE can vote - so as they say, ‘vote early and vote often!’ and pass along to friends and colleagues!

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Island of teachers

Translation from the original by Jennifer Castillo Bermudez

One year ago, the Ometepe Island started a digital revolution, as the Zamora Terán Foundation delivered five thousand XO computers to all students and teachers in the 32 primary schools at the Ometepe Island. With this generous donation, Ometepe Island became the first digital island in the region.  Following this digital revolution, Ometepe now boasts a 90% student retention rate and has shown great increase in school performance.

John Martinez , 9 , is “glowing” the most. In a class of 24 students, he was the quietest of the classroom. However, when he received his XO computer, he became the ” technical advisor ” of Professor Martha Rodriguez’s classroom, in the Rigoberto Cabezas School of Ometepe Island. “Now when I am giving classes on topics, he tells me which educational app I can use to teach that kind of Spanish, Math or Science. He is outstanding,” says Rodriguez. This once quiet child was the first one in his class to learn how to use the XO.” Within a week of receiving the computer, he told me he was able to use it and he offered to help me,” says Rodriguez. According to Martinez, “She [his teacher] did not want to use the computer because she didn’t know how, and I wanted us to start using it, so after a week of having it, I learned to do it and was able to teach her how to use it.”

Since February 2012, all primary students on the Ometepe Island became teachers in the classroom. In addition, the students began to excel in competitions organized by the Ministry of Education ( MINED ) at the state and national level. “Retention rates and school performance improved. Now they all are teachers on the island because children learn quickly,” says Byron Countryman, MINED delegate on the Ometepe Island. The island has 4,512 elementary students in the two municipalities: Altagracia and Moyogalpa, according to Paisano. In just over a year, “Our students have become more active students. The boys have developed more skills and knowledge for their own learning,” says Countryman. Last year, Gabriel Alberto Muñoz was elected as the best student of Rivas and Maria Roberta Flores won one of the first places in the Reading aloud competition organized by the MINED.

The arrival of the XO computers also alleviated the need for classroom textbooks, says Jorge Luis Espinoza , director of the College Ruben Dario. Prior to the arrival of the XO computers, said Paisano, “We had an 80% shortage of books in subjects such as language arts and math. The computers have helped us to resolve this deficit.”

Professor Mirna Sevilla Romero says the incorporation of new technologies in primary education ” woke students up,” and also “demanded a  greater commitment from our teachers”. She continued, “If we, as teachers, are not familiar with technology and its use in education, our students will be far ahead of us.” “Our methods of evaluating student performance also changed because now we not only do written tests, but teachers also organize tournaments and competitions in the classroom that incorporate the computers,” says Leyla Road Barrios, director of the Rural Education Core schools Koos Koster , where 520 students study.

The children also get to use the computers outside of the classroom. “In the evenings, when I’m studying with my computer and helping my mom, I teach her, because she cannot read or write,” says John Martinez.

The Zamora Terán Foundation has invested more than $7.5 million since 2009, when it began distributing XO computers in Nicaragua. To date, over 30,000 computers have been delivered in 104 schools in the country, according to reports from the Foundation. In addition, more than 6.500 hours of teacher training has been provided . The teacher training program also provides ongoing monitoring and pedagogical support to schools.

PicsArt and OLPC Help Kids Around the World Find Their Inner Artist

New partnership will deliver robust photo editing capabilities for one laptop per child’s XO tablet users.

Mountain View, CA (PRWEB) August 20, 2013

PicsArt, Inc., the world’s premier, full-featured mobile photo editor, will be working with One Laptop per Child (OLPC) to bring mobile art to children around the world through OLPC’s newly released XO Learning System. OLPC will pre-install the photo-editing app on its XO Tablet developed through a strategic partnership with Vivitar under exclusive license from OLPC. The XO Tablet offers children across the globe access to easy-to-use PicsArt tools such as drawing, color-splash, smart blur and layering for photography capturing, and editing.

PicsArt’s selection as one of the only photo-editing tools for OLPC’s XO Tablet represents a milestone in the app’s growth as one of the world’s most innovative photo editing applications. These tools will not only teach children about the different forms of art through photography, they will also provide them with the opportunity to unleash their creativity by turning their photos into works of art.

“One of PicsArt’s primary goals is to educate people that everyone has the ability to become an artist. This is why we couldn’t be more pleased to team up with an organization like OLPC, which is always making huge strides in educating children through technology on a global scale,” said Artavazd Mehrabyan, PicsArt’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “PicsArt’s easy-to-use photo-editing features combined with OLPC’s XO Tablet will give children the fun tools they need to express their creativity.”

In addition to providing children with a number of photography options, PicsArt’s one-of-a-kind drawing tool will give OLPC kids the ability to express their creativity through their own illustrations. PicsArt’s advanced, yet easy-to-use drawing features will allow children with an appetite to sketch to practice their hobby without ever needing art supplies or leaving their XO Tablet.

“Our XO Learning System was created to direct a child’s passion, creativity and energy to help them work toward their dreams. OLPC is dedicated to offering a variety of top apps that promote inspired education on our XO Tablet, making PicsArt a perfect fit for our mission,” said Rodrigo Arboleda, Chairman and CEO of One Laptop Per Child.

The family-friendly XO Tablet from OLPC is the first and only tablet designed to help kids explore their dreams and spark their imaginations. The only multilingual (English/Spanish) and Google-Certified tablet for kids, the XO Tablet is available now at Walmart stores,http://www.walmart.com and other U.S. retailers through OLPC’s strategic partner Vivitar, a Sakar company. For more information, visit http://www.xotablet.com.

PicsArt features a full art studio in a mobile photo app, making professional-caliber tools easily accessible to the average consumer, allowing them to tap their inner artist and have fun creating their own masterpieces. PicsArt’s clean, simple and user-friendly design empowers consumers to create unique images in real-time, save them wherever they like or share them on nearly every social media platform.

To learn more, please visit picsart.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PicsArtPhotoStudio or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PicsArtStudio.

About XO Tablet, XO Learning and One Laptop per Child Association
The XO Tablet has been fully designed and developed by OLPCA to harness the power of a connected touchscreen device to create new ways for children to learn. Its launch also marks the global debut of the XO Learning System, designed as a child-centric interface to empower kids to build, learn and dream as part of OLPCA’s mission. OLPCA was launched in 2005 at the MIT Media Lab as a project to provide a modern education to every child around the world through access to laptops and connected devices. The organization has since distributed 2.5 million of its specially designed XO laptops to children in 60 countries, and the XO Tablet extends that experience into a modern tablet form factor.

About PicsArt
A division of SocialIn based in Mountain View, CA, PicsArt is a team of passionate developers who shared a sheer frustration that no free photo app seemed to have a robust feature set. When PicsArt launched in November 2011, there were many great one- or two-tool apps, but there wasn’t a single free app putting everything a photographer could ever want in one place. PicsArt remedied this problem. A bootstrapped startup driven to profitability by its fiercely loyal community, today, PicsArt dominates the Android market for photography. PicsArt consistently ranks in the top 50 free apps from Google’s Play store, and with more than 68 million installs and growing at more than 4.5 million installs per month; PicsArt’s development has only just begun.

About Vivitar
Vivitar is a leading provider of photographic, audio and optic devices and related accessories with a rich 75-year heritage of technology innovation and affordability dating back to 1938. Building off the success of its legendary Series-1 lenses and flashes, the company has steadily expanded its product portfolio to include cameras, camcorders, accessories and now tablets tailored to the needs of today’s families. Vivitar is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey, with additional offices across the United Kingdom, Latin America, Canada and Hong Kong, and global retail distribution spanning more than 100,000 locations in both mass market and specialty channels. For more information, visit http://www.vivitar.com.

Media Contacts

Susan Frechette
PAN Communications for PicsArt
617-502-4300
picsart(at)pancomm(dot)com
Twitter: @picsartstudio

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/8/prweb11039914.htm

 

Nicaragua: Free computers for 30,000 students

Program offers computers with educational applications to children at 104 schools in low-income neighborhoods.

By Letzira Sevilla Bolaños for Infosurhoy.com – 30/07/2013

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – At least 30,000 students from low-income neighborhoods in Nicaragua now attend school with more than just pencils, notebooks and dreams in their backpacks.

They also have computers.

Since its creation in 2009, the One Laptop per Child program, which is being carried out by theZamora Terán Foundation, has provided XO laptops to students and 900 teachers at 104 schools in low-income neighborhoods in Nicaragua.

The XO is a laptop designed specifically for learning, featuring all of the benefits of a conventional computer. It offers 52 educational activities, Internet connectivity and an internal camera, according to Félix Garrido, the director of education and operations at the Zamora Terán Foundation.

The goal is to transform education in Nicaragua, where only 56% of students finish grade school, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Another goal is to expand public access to the Internet, given only 15% of the population of six million are connected, according to Garrido.

Nicaragua is ranked 125th among 144 countries in the capacity to utilize information technology and communications to improve the economy and the population’s well-being, according to the Global Information Technology Report 2013.

The project has helped keep children in the classroom. In 2012, the retention rate was 97.32%, according to a Zamora Terán Foundation study that was supported by the Ministry of Education. Prior to the program’s implementation, the rate was about 85%.

Julio José Ramos Mendieta, 8, calls himself a computer genius. The third-grade student at San Francisco de Asís School in Diriamba, 45 kilometers south of Managua, received an XO three years ago. It was his family’s first computer.

“I type using all of my fingers. It was hard at first, but not anymore. I practice every day,” he said. “With this computer, I can play games, read stories and do my homework. I’m also teaching my cousin, who is 5 years old. When we grow up, I want us to be able to work in an office and have computers.”

The laptop has changed the lives of all of his family members. Mendieta’s mother Bertha, 38, who has three other children, began studying and found that information in the computer’s hard drive helped her with her work.

Increasing enrollment

The San Francisco de Asís School has participated in the Zamora Terán Foundation’s program since 2010. Today, 85% of the school’s 550 students have a computer, said Martha Patricia Hernández, the school’s director.

“Enrollment is up 15% since we started providing the computers because the children get excited about receiving a device like this,” Hernández said.”[Getting a computer would be almost impossible outside the program because of how much the equipment costs in Nicaragua. The cheapest units are about US$400, which is unaffordable for most of the population.”

In Nicaragua, the minimum monthly wage in the agricultural sector is $2,421 Nicaraguan córdobas (US$95), while in construction, which offers higher salaries, it is $5,470 córdobas (US$216).

The One Laptop per Child program has been implemented in 25 countries. In Nicaragua, it has been introduced in the cities of Managua, León and Masaya. The program’s growth has been made possible through donations of more than US$6 million by 60 companies, NGOs and individuals, Garrido said.

Teachers become more tech savvy

The teachers and directors also receive an XO, allowing for more modern educational practices in the classroom because teachers can conduct research, stay updated and become more innovative, Hernández said. One of the programs is a virtual library with content related to each school subject.

“The teachers have to document their lesson plans with the XO,” Hernández said. “It’s a major challenge because some of us, due to our age and experience, struggle to use the technology.”

The XO facilitates comprehension and language skills among first-grade students using a program called Hablar con Sara (Talk to Sara). The application alerts students if the word they’ve written is wrong, simplifying the reading process, Hernández said.

Project scope and goals

Each school has a Wi-Fi connection that allows students to complete their tasks. The system is installed at no cost to the school, through agreements with Internet providers.

Teachers also work with students to bolster computer knowledge.

While Garrido said officials are pleased with the results, he acknowledged that the job has just started, as officials want to give all of the country’s 600,000 grade school students an XO.

 

Government of Uruguay to Distribute One Laptop Per Child Designed XO Tablets to Pre-School Children

First Country to Adopt OLPC Laptops at Full 1:1 Saturation Will Be First Country to Receive XO Tablets

XO Tablets Will Feature Local Books and Be Customized for Uruguayan School System

MIAMI— One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) will provide the government of Uruguay with 8,000 of its newly released XO Tablets for distribution to pre-school and first grade children in the country. The OLPC/Uruguay pilot program (Plan Ceibal) is the world’s first government program designed to get educational technology into the hands of children ages six and under.

“Plan Ceibal has been one of the early adopters of the OLPC laptop, and Uruguay is the first country to have deployed and reached one-to-one laptop student and teacher saturation. We are very aware of the importance of integrating pedagogy and technology to enrich the educational experience of our children,” said Uruguayan government official, Miguel Brechner. “The engaging and intuitive nature of touch-screen technology, as well as the way OLPC has presented the contents of the tablet, will enable us to connect students and broaden their cognitive opportunities at an even younger age.”

The XO Tablet, designed and developed by OLPC, features OLPC’s XO Learning System and provides children with access to state-of-the-art educational content that has been curated and selected for age-appropriateness and learning value by OLPC. In addition to the XO Learning System content available on every XO Tablet, the 8000 XO Tablets distributed to children in Uruguay will be customized for the region and will be preloaded with local content to meet the requirement of the Uruguayan school system.

“There is early evidence, both empirical and anecdotal, to support the efficacy of tablets and touchscreen technology as learning devices for children as young as ages two to five,” said Rodrigo Arboleda, OLPC Chairman and CEO. “As such, adding a fully functional and educationally focused tablet is a natural extension of the OLPC mission and an excellent complement to our existing and continuing laptop program.”

The XO Tablet, and its XO Learning interface, run on the Android’s latest OS. To ensure compatibility and interoperability with the nearly 2.5 million laptops OLPC has distributed since 2005, OLPC is converting the Sugar software currently used in XO laptops to the Android system. Once the conversion is complete, Sugar will be made available via download free of charge. The porting of Sugar into Android will give XO Tablet users access to OLPC’s previously developed educational content.

The XO Tablet, which is manufactured and distributed by OLPC strategic partner, Vivitar, is currently available for purchase in the U.S. at Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com and Walmart stores. These strategic retail partners have in common a commitment and history of empowering children to learn, and in 2008, Amazon was instrumental in the execution of OLPC’s “Give 1 Get 1” program to sponsor laptops for children in developing countries. OLPC’s proceeds from sales of the XO Tablet will further the organization’s global mission by enabling further development of the XO Learning System, updating existing apps and software to facilitate interoperability between XO Tablets and Laptop and by subsidizing distribution of the tablets to children throughout the world.

About XO Tablet, XO Learning and One Laptop per Child

The XO Tablet has been fully designed and developed by OLPC to harness the power of a connected touchscreen device to create new ways for children to learn-how-to-learn. Its launch also marks the global debut of the XO Learning System, designed as a child-centric interface to empower kids to build, learn and dream as part of OLPC’s mission. OLPC was launched in 2005 at the MIT Media Lab as a project to provide a modern education to every child around the world through access to laptops and connected devices. The organization has since distributed 2.5 million of its specially designed XO laptops to children in 60 countries, and the XO Tablet extends that experience into a modern tablet form factor. All within the philosophy of Learning-by-doing advocated by the Media Lab throughout the years.

About Vivitar

Vivitar is a leading provider of photographic, audio and optic devices and related accessories with a rich 75-year heritage of technology innovation and affordability dating back to 1938. Building off the success of its legendary Series-1 lenses and flashes, the company has steadily expanded its product portfolio to include cameras, camcorders, accessories and now tablets tailored to the needs of today’s families. Vivitar is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey, with additional offices across the United Kingdom, Latin America, Canada and Hong Kong, and global retail distribution spanning more than 100,000 locations in both mass market and specialty channels. For more information, visit www.vivitar.com.

Visit OLPC at www.one.laptop.org

For FAQ’s, where to buy and more information on the XO Tablet, visit www.xotablet.com.

Rwanda’s ‘One Laptop Per Child’ Project Extends To 400 Schools

Original Post by Jeddy Genrwot on July 22, 2013

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has so far covered 407 schools across the country. At least  207,026 laptops have been distributed, according to Nkubito Bakuramutsa, the OLPC Coordinator in Rwanda Education Board.

Bakuramutsa told The New Times yesterday that Rwanda has been ranked third globally after Peru and Uruguay in terms of rolling out laptops in primary schools.

He added that at least all 30 districts have five OLPC-enabled schools.

“The project now focuses on seeing each school in all 416 sectors equipped with laptops.”

The project that was launched in 2008 aims at boosting Rwanda’s goal of becoming a knowledge-based society.

Bakuramutsa said that 2,200 schools have also been equipped with servers, wireless access points and digital content including, e-books, math, science and English courses.

“The server is also equipped with a school management and information system and security features to track laptops in case of theft or loss.”

According to Sergio Romero, OLPC Vice President Africa, Peru tops the list in the world when it comes to OLPC rollout in schools with about 750,000, Uruguay (approximately 475,000) and Rwanda in third position with more than 200,000.

The project has also trained 10,000 teachers with basic ICT skills to enable them to prepare and teach their lessons in digital format.

Bakuramutsa further said that with such a massive deployment, the OLPC programme is looking at establishing a modern call centre that would provide online maintenance support to schools.

Credit: NewTimes

 

Web: The Film

What happens when children, isolated in the Peruvian Amazon, experience the Internet for the first time? Web explores the possibilities that emerge when the disconnected get online, and what it means for our future.

Director, Michael Kleiman, is on his way back to Peru to visit the villages featured in the film and share the finished product with them. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for pictures and videos from his journey. You can check out the film’s trailer below and/or here.

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Recent News from Cambodia P.R.I.D.E.

I am awe’ed with the results of Elaine Negroponte’s dedication to the children and communities served by Cambodia P.R.I.D.E. Cambodia PRIDE, “Providing Rural Innovative Digital Education” maintains a low profile in a country which has many NGOs and many obstacles to success. I was so personally inspired by my visit to this project in 2011, that I have become more involved. This year, I joined Cambodia PRIDE’s Board of Directors as a “special advisor.”  I am passionate about OLPC and its XO laptop project because it impacts so many children. The children that Cambodia Pride reach, even those children that don’t complete their school exams, are learning how to think, to learn, to work together with others, and to solve problems. …

Continue reading the original post here.

 

OLPC OS 13.2.0 New Software Release

OLPC OS 13.2.0 is a new software release focusing on cleaning up a few edges from our previous release, and finishing off support for the new XO-4 laptop. As usual, we maintain support and consistency for older laptops models, with XO-1.75, XO-1.5 and XO-1 also included in the release.

Features

XO-4 power management

This is our core power saving technique where we suspend the processor after a few seconds of system inactivity (“idle suspend”), but we leave the screen and wireless interfaces running to provide the illusion that the system is still running as usual.

XO-4 bluetooth support

The new XO-4 laptop comes with bluetooth support as a purchase option. While such Bluetooth support is not immediately available in the user interface, we have enabled this functionality in the underlying system, ready for developers and deployers to use in their custom applications.

Enhanced touch support

In the Clock activity, you can now use the touchscreen to drag the clock hands to another time, a useful exercise for learning about time. Drop-down lists are sub-optimal for touch, they have been replaced by more intuitive and touch-friendly UI elements in Record. The pinch-to-zoom touch gestures in Image Viewer behave much better than before. FotoToon has been improved to interact with the touchscreen on-screen keyboard.

Music Keyboard activity

A new activity has been added, presenting a piano-style musical keyboard to the user. The piano can then be played using the XO’s physical keyboard, or with the XO-4 touchscreen by directly placing your fingertips on the notes you wish to play. You can even play multiple notes at the same time by using more than one finger, thanks to the XO-4′s multitouch capabilities.

Journal Share activity

We are exploring methods to improve common classroom situations of teachers handing out assignments, and teachers collecting in the students work. While this functionality should ideally be part of the core Sugar desktop, for now we are prototyping a solution in the form of an activity called Journal Share, which is new to 13.2.0. To hand out an assignment to the students, the teacher starts the Journal Share activity, shares it, and adds the assignment to the session. Students join the shared activity, and with a single click, the assignment appears in their Journal. When the teacher wants to collect in the student’s work, the teacher starts the Journal Share activity and shares it. Students join the shared activity, and add their completed work from their Journal. The submitted work is automatically transferred into the teacher’s journal for later assessment and evaluation.

Sugar updates

Several activities (such as Read, Write and Paint) are now usable when the screen is rotated. Scratch has been updated to a new version, bringing in the latest functionality and extending the library content. The Help activity content has been updated.

How to install? (Installation is distinct from update. If you have user data on the laptop that you wish to preserve, you may want to follow the Update instructions.)

Games to transform the lives of children

 

Thanks to  Superchef, CuidarMe and ParticipAcción video games available in the SugarLab activities platform to download, children belonging to the Red Unidos are becoming agents of change. Through these interactive games that have had great success in the network, this strategy has helped to foster social innovation, learning healthy habits related to nutrition, and good practices in the field of family dynamics.

The three games are part of the transforming project implemented under the agreement signed between the National Agency for Overcoming Extreme Poverty – ANSPE, the organization One Laptop Per Child – OLPC and the city of Chia, a program that primarily benefits 240 children and girls from 7-12 years of the municipality of Chia, belonging to Red Unidos.

Children who are part of this program will receive laptops under the training model implemented by the OLPC community worldwide, including training workshops also involving their parents. The results of these workshops and initiatives for children will be published on the website www.anspeolpc.com designed especially for the program.

The success of the games has been evident after being available for two weeks in SugarLabs activity platform. Those were classified within the top ranking downloads. This expands the possibility that more children know and can start the process of transforming their lives and their environment.

It is hoped that this experience can be replicated and scaled up in other  zones of Extreme Poverty, to contribute to improve the quality of life for children and families “Unidas”.

Original post.

New Book: “Plan Ceibal and Social Inclusion”

This book contains the results of three investigations into the
impact Ceibal has had on social inclusion. “A first assessment of the effects of Plan Ceibal based on panel data”, “Plan Ceibal: community impact and social inclusion” and “Impact of Plan Ceibal in cognitive and language development of school children.”

They were conducted by UDELAR multidisciplinary teams and supported by the  Oriented Research Program on Social Inclusion CSIC and Plan Ceibal. The book can be downloaded from Portal Ceibal.