Learning how to learn – Rodrigo Arboleda at TEDxCMU

Rodrigo Arboleda is Chairman and CEO of One Laptop Per Child Association (OLPCA), a not-for-profit entity seeking to provide equal opportunity of access to knowledge to small children in Developing Nations and in some communities within the USA. OLPCA’s mission focuses on socio-economic and cultural change via education, with primary interest in children of 3 years and up. Arboleda is in charge of worldwide operational issues related to the project. More than 2,700,000 laptops have been distributed so far to children in 41 countries and in 21 languages including many indigenous languages. Arboleda has been also a Visiting Scholar at the Media Lab of MIT, where he worked on the Digital Nations Consortium project and on the Education for Peace initiative, E4P. He has served also as a Board Member of the 2B1 Foundation, which made possible some of the projects developed at the Media Lab. He was born in Medellin, Colombia and completed his Bachelor Degree in Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in 1965.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Rodrigo Arboleda at TEDxCMU

Some of the brightest minds at Carnegie Mellon University and beyond gathered together on campus recently, ready to take their turn on stage. More than 450 attendees appreciatively took it all in, at the fourth annualTEDxCMU event.

This year’s theme was ‘Spark.’

“Our goal is to inspire each and every one of our 450-plus attendees — to create a spark of ideas that will spread, and ignite people’s minds with brilliance,” said Ketaki Desai, master of public management student at CMU’s Heinz College, and president of this year’s event. The team built their list of speakers based on several factors, including subject matter and passion. They assembled both men and women from diverse fields that would best represent the CMU population.

Rodrigo Arboleda: chairman and CEO of One Laptop Per Child Association, a not-for-profit that has distributed more than 2.7 million laptops to children in 41 countries, was one of the featured speakers. At the end of his presentation he received a standing ovation.

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CMU’s iSTEP program makes English literacy apps for the XO

Carnegie Mellon University’s iSTEP internship program is working with Plan Ceibal in Uruguay to develop and deploy English literacy activities and web apps that work well on XOs, for children of all ages. They are also creating tools to help teachers customize these apps. The interns have been living and working in Montevideo while doing this work.

This is just the latest in a series of projects by CMU students to support OLPC initiatives around the world.

Stories from Rwanda schools

Julia has posted a half-dozen recent updates to her excellent Rwanda blog, about her work, thoughts on access to knowledge, and efforts with the Kigali Institute of Education. She includes some interesting photos of students showing off their Etoys storybooks and drawings.

She also reminded me of the CMU student group that visited Nonko School last month to run classroom workshops – an interesting model of community service.