St Jude Primary School is located in Bura Tana, a ten hour drive from the Nairobi airport in Kenya. TheÂ leaders of this school are dedicated to providing the best education in the area. Children here are ableÂ to participate in various activities throughout the school day. This motivates them to learn and to workÂ hard. These children are very excited about receiving the XO laptops in their school, thanks to LesleyÂ Hayman Sager and friends, who have provided this wonderful opportunity to these children.
OLPCA, through its office in KIGALI, supported the school by providing a one day training on the use ofÂ XO laptops. The children enjoyed the different activities on the XO laptop, especially the Chat activityÂ and the Maze activity. The Chat and Maze are activities that were developed by Sugar Labs. SuchÂ activities are preloaded on the XO laptop. Ten children and three teachers attended the training. TheseÂ students and teachers are now responsible to share what they learned with the rest of the school.
In addition to the basic introduction on the use of XO laptop, the children also came to understand thatÂ the XO laptop serves as a tool to use to further the learning process. The children came to see that theÂ laptop offers a new way to express their ideas, share these ideas with their community and the rest ofÂ the world. When asked about their experience with the XO laptop, the students were full of joy andÂ expressed their gratitude to people who brought the XO laptops to their school.
To assure sustainability and to motivate the children to continue using the XO laptops, the schoolÂ created two clubs that will be monitored and supported from Kigali, the St Jude News Line Club and theÂ Creative Arts Club. Participants registered for these two clubs and teachers will monitor the progress ofÂ the clubs.
This project symbolizes the ideal and hope that these young children will continue to support theirÂ community in its development through education and access to information and technology.
Sandra Thaxter, who has been working with some of the grassroots programs in Kenya, recently joined with others in the OLPC Kenya volunteer community, for a meeting with the the Kenyan Institute for Education on their digital learning initiatives.
Assistant Minister of Education Calist Mwatela set up a meeting between these groups, and they are planning a series of Skype meetings over the next few weeks. Sandra wrote more about this and her dream of an OLPC Kenya Alliance, as a guest post on the Eshibinga blog.
In April Mr. Juma came to Eshibinga to teach us on how to use an xo laptop. His teaching is helping us now. We got two new computers today. Then our teacher Mr. Peter told us to remember some of the things we were taught.
I just remembered one word. Sugar. We were told that sugar is the operating system for the XO. It organizes the systems that run the clock, activates the Activities, and store the Journal entries. The Terminal Activity runs text-based commands for your XO instead of the Sugar graphical commands.
What nobody has told us is , why did they name it sugar? Why not give it a name like coffee, or milk or water?
Tamin-Lee Connolly plans to travel from South-to-North across Africa, ending in the middle-east, visiting schools and helping to deploy laptops along the way. She may even bring some of her own. Today she begins her travel by flying back to her native South Africa from Dubai, where she has been working, launching a year-long journey by land rover to visit 39 countries. She plans to volunteer for OLPC and perhaps other educational groups along the way, and has been talking to grassroots XO deployments to find those that would benefit from a visit – starting with the amazing team in Kliptown!
If you’re working in Africa, drop her a line on her travel blog, everything except the horn – perhaps you can meet up during her trek.