President Paul Kagame visits MIT Media Lab

President Paul Kagame visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab in Cambridge, Boston last week.

The President who was on a working visit to the US to attend several functions, including Rwanda Day and UN General Assembly, was given a tour of the MIT Media Lab, where designers, engineers, artists and scientists are conducting more than 350 projects, ranging from neuroengineering, to early education, to developing the city car of the future.

The Chairman and CEO of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), Rodrigo Arboleda, hosted President Kagame during his visit.

Rodrigo Arboleda and President Paul Kagame at the Media Lab

A project that was born in the MIT Media Lab, OLPC has committed to deploying 100,000 laptops across Rwanda. It has created a major learning centre which aims to meet the educational and learning needs of students in Rwanda and other countries in Africa.

President Kagame meets OLPC team

The tour also included a visit to the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten Group, led by Mitch Resnick, which is developing new technologies that engage people; especially children and teens, in creative learning experiences.

President Kagame at the Lifelong Learning Kindergarten – Mitch Resnik – Rodrigo Arboleda

The President also met several Rwandan students at MIT.

Photo credit: Paula Aguilera – MIT Media Lab (More photos from this visit by Paula Aguilera)

Original post: The New Times

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’s 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’s new global mentoring network (“starting soon right here in town”)

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’t seen Waveplace’s experiences in Haiti, read about them online! )

As you target middle school level students or above, they’re interested in the internet and media. Some are interested in technical details – ask any programmer you know when they started. You can make a high school kid an expert in eToys, but they won’t 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’s Hackasaurus program is designed for learning HTML at this level. Two amazing workshops in the past month:

They have information about setting up your own workshop at Also, check out

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.

Open Education at LinuxCon

Sebastial Dziallas organized a day-long session on Open Education at LinuxCon last week. They spent half the day discussing the needs of teachers and Sugar development. Caroline Meeks, Karlie Robinson, Colin Zweibel and others presented.

Mairin Duffy wrote up the event well, and the OpenSource Education channel offers lovely newsmag-style overviews as well.