Luis Galindo’s workshops with OLPC and game development continue at the Creative Center in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. They recently finished a Scratch game about recycling, available to play with at scratch.mit.edu.
Mentors from the Santa Cruz have started an ‘education alternative’ project and creativity center at a Children’s Home aiming to combine younger students with university students studying programming. They started working with 9-year olds on XOs and with Sugar, and after a few months have moved to working with 6-year olds and older students.
They offer some early feedback on using Sugar and Etoys in afterschool projects, and are working on engaging teachers and starting some programming projects. I look forward to seeing their reflections at the end of this season.
This week, Argentina’s president Cristina Kirchner oversaw the launch of the La Rioja deployment and the handout of XOs to roughly 2,000 students. This was the public start to the 60,000-student deployment announced this spring, named the Joaquín V. González program after the distinguished politician and educator. The program will provide an XO to every primary school student and teacher in the province by next year.
Sabrina Díaz Rato reported on the event, with shout-outs to Claudia Urrea and Martin Langhoff, who are currently in Argentina helping the learning and technical teams of the project get off to a good start. But the most interesting part of the article comes at the end, where she summarizes related efforts by Walter Flores, Argentina’s Education, Science and Technology minister.
Flores sees La Rioja’s program becoming a model for an implementation that is interesting to other regions, and mentions some specific neighboring provinces looking for advice – the Argentine provinces of Catamarca, Corrientes, and Mendoza, Chile‘s Atacama region, and the Bolivian municipality of Yacuiba.