Back in May, we held an international Scratch Day event in our office called “Rwandese Kids Scratching their Communities.” This event had local students familiar with Scratch, an interactive programming activity on the XO laptop, planning and holding their own workshop. They taught teachers, family members and anyone else who came how to create Scratch projects.
This day was open to all and many new children found their way into our offices to learn more about Scratch and the XO laptop. Two such boys were Joseph (grade 3, 10 yrs old) and Erize (grade 2, 11 yrs old).
In the months that followed, Joseph and Erize kept coming to our offices (near
their houses) to use the laptops. During this time, they not only mastered use of the laptop, they spread word to their friends, and now help and guide other children who have begun coming to the office. Their homes have become popular places with family and friends coming each night to learn more and use the laptops.
The boys had been reserved and quiet, but are now outgoing and confident. Their English has expanded from a few sentences to conversational in just a few weeks. It is clear their work with the laptop has empowered them. They are so happy to be involved with OLPC, that they have each created their own business card and tell everyone in the neighborhood that they work for OLPC!
Joseph and Erize, on their own, chronicled through pictures an afternoon of themselves and their families at home with their laptops:
For those who haven’t noticed Scratch taking over the world, OLPC France published a lovely essay about the contest and the value of Scratch and Etoys for young students.
La promesse selon laquelle le projet CEIBAL donnerait aux élèves du pays des perspectives de réduction du fossé numérique et d’inclusion numérique n’est pas vaine, puisqu’ils sont désormais en mesure d’échanger d’égal à égal avec les jeunes créateurs Scratch appartenant à une communauté internationale à laquelle on doit déjà près d’un million de projets (projets Scratch) de par le monde.
The promise that CEIBAL would address the digital divide and digital inclusion for the nationls’ students is not in vain, since they are now on an equal footing with the young Scratch artists in an international community which has produced nearly a million Scratch projects.
In Uruguay, Efecto Cine and Plan CEIBAL are running an “ANIMATE” contest through June 15 for the best Scratch submissions by students across Uruguay. Ten winners will be announced, with the top four receiving mini-DV cameras for their schools. (Rules)
Meanwhile, an updated Scratch activity is being developed with full Journal and camera integration, and a new activity release is expected within the week. Kudos to everyone working on the project.
Update: thanks for all of the feedback on the design! There has been some discussion about materials, and a few interesting pieces have passed around the office, but no new eye-candy is forthcoming for a while — we’re busy getting the 1.5 out the door.
The XO-3: it’s designed to be thin, sleek, and touch, while continuing to lower power, cost, and material waste. We’ve been anticipating the new designs for a while, and now they’ve arrived! As announced in Tuesday’s press release, after our upcoming releases of our 1.5 and 1.75 models next year, we are looking at the XO-3, a thin touchscreen tablet, for 2012. Here are the latest images from the Fuse design team: