A month into our olpcstories contest with Nickelodeon Latin America, we have received some friendly media coverage in Latin America (in La Crónica in Mexico, and CanalAr in Argentina) and have gotten many contest submissions.
The contest rules are out for the OLPC/Nickelodeon storytelling contest. OLPC and Nick will be judging the submissions together. All XO users in Latin America are eligible to compete by submitting a story, anination, or other multimedia clip of up to 3 minutes. Contest ends August 29.
Hat tip to Claudia, Christoph, and Giulia.
The Government of Peru and LEGO’s Education group have been testing the WeDo toolkit in classrooms with XOs since it was released in 2008. This year they have launched a national program to distribute WeDo kits to roughly 20,000 schools.
LEGO’s Lars Nyengaard writes:
“I am happy to announce that the first major deployment of WeDo for XO will happen in Peru, starting this year. An amazing 20.000 schools will be populated with WeDo. 80.000 teachers will be taught in WeDo and the constructionist approach. More than 1,5 million children will experience WeDo across Peru.
We visited Brazil and Peru to understand the challenges for education in some of the underserved areas. Personally, I will never forget my visits to Brazil, the people I met and the children trying out our WeDo prototypes… we have pursued the original idea of bringing robotics constructonism and WeDo to countries, where the OLPC XO is deployed. I am happy, joyful and invigorated by the decision of the Peruvian government to deploy 92.000 WeDo sets with programming software, activities and teacher training.”
OLPC has been testing many different types of sensors and electronics kits, since the earliest work on Turtle Art with Sensors. The XO has also become a fine dedicated Scratch machine, and WeDo kits are easily enabled from within Scratch (with some handy video tutorials). If you can get your hands on an XO and a WeDo kit, try this with your friends, children, and students.
The PaleXO volunteer team, whose Arabic language blog we recently added to our sidebar, has been working with the OLPC children in the West Bank for the past year. They’ve run some local installation events and software workshops, and are planning a Scratch Day to encourage kids to make Scratch activities. They often host events at Birzeit University.
They also have the best group OLPC shirts I’ve seen since the rise of the velociraptors… it’s a snapshot of the Sugar desktop with the most common activity icons on it, so they can simply point to the right icon on their shirt when working with students during a workshop. Brilliant. Barbara brought back some lovely photographs from there as well as the ones we posted earlier from Gaza.
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.