olpcMAP and Map-12.xo

The latest version of the Map activity was released this month, and works smoothly with the XO-1.5 and with openstreetmap or google map data.

And olpcMAP has been updated to work with new features of the Google App Engine.   Check them both out!    HT to SaigonOLPC for publishing these monthly status summaries.

Nick Doiron returns from heav^B^B^BUruguay, learns from great philosophers

Nick’s last post from Uruguay waxes poetic about the always-active Ceibal headquarters, recalls his first day in the country, and quotes from some of the great thinkers of our age.  Worth a read.   He may have less time for OLPC in the coming 18 months, but olpcmap is only getting better.


April olpcMAP updates

We’re hosting an olpcMAP discussion session at our Cambridge HQ on Wednesday night, with students (and future collaborators!) from Tufts. If you can’t be there, catch up on recent additions and developments to the project with this month’s olpcMAP update.

Meanwhile, mapping maven Nick Doiron shares the view from his seat in Montevideo, where he is a resident hacker this month with Plan Ceibal.

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:
http://spotlight.macfound.org/featured-stories/entry/at-hackasaurus-jam-mozilla-encourages-young-programmers-to-change-the-web/and http://brettgaylor.tumblr.com/post/3526122151/web-made-movies-at-bavc

They have information about setting up your own workshop at hackasaurus.org. Also, check out http://palpable-video.appspot.com/sample

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.

MapSprint update!

On Tuesday, Nick Doiron, Mark Battley, Adam Holt, Benaja (visiting from Haiti) worked on building our grassroot map. Nick, now a Carnegie Mellon Senior, is the genius energy who created the new interactive OLPC Map.

Thank you Mark for your organizational skills and creativity. And thank you Nick for patiently listening to our ideas and feedback. I am impressed that you are so freely able to integrate the many ideas of others into your growing project.

Q: What does this Map Represent?
Q: Who should use this map?
Q: How can I use this map if I am new to OLPC, if I interested in starting  a project, interested in donating,if I have a project or am a child in a project, and if I am an OLPC volunteer?
Tuesday evening we watched a wonderful film Premier “On the Line” and had a lively discussion with the filmmaker, Audubon Dougherty. The portrait of computer and Internet throughout rural Peru was heart-rendering and very thought provoking. The needs and obstacles are so great. So where are the XOs that have been sent to Peru.

Adam presented gifts to the winners of the fun and instructive OLPC Map/Sugar Trivia Contest

Read more about the event on Nancie Severs’ blog.

Designing a new look for laptop.org

Our new site design, first mentioned earlier this year, is close to fruition. You can now see our alpha site online.

We are working on ways to better link the site, wiki, and blog together, and to aggregate and point to every site in the OLPC community. For now, you can add information about your own projects and websites, and links to them. We will be working on other visualizations of this data, and connecting our map of major deployments with the growing olpcmap network, over the coming month. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

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