Grade 3 Teacher Nathan Langis inspired by the way technology has enhanced his students’ passion for mathematics. Last year, students of Otetiskiwin Kiskinwamahtowekamik School in Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (Nelson House, Manitoba) received personal laptop through the OLPC Canada program.
In collaboration with ParticipACTION and Ophea, OLPC Canada offers custom content on the XO laptop to encourage physical activity among elementary school students. In Saskatchewan, students and teachers from Ochapowace First Nation had fun exercising to their own rhythm using this custom activity.
Maaqtusiis School in Ahousat yesterday distributed XOs to every student and teacher, and hired a community “champion” to assist with any technical difficulties throughout the school year. This is a model I hope to see other schools follow – and hopefully we will hear more directly from those champions as the year goes by.
Ahousat is one of the 12 communities selected for the First Nations pilot project in Canada. It aims to distribute 5,000 XOs to aboriginal children and teachers in Canada this year.
Thanks are due to BMO Financial and the Ontario government, and the other partners who helped bring the TBSF plans to fruition – most recently with a $750,000 grant. They have published a map of the schools involved in their first-round pilot (some 2800 students and teachers in all), and are planning to expand it to 5000 participants before it ends.
It’s great to see all of these developments in North America at last. Mexico is also seeing an expansion of their program into Nayarit on the western coast, with their initial workshops beginning soon.