Training focused on the holistic development for students in Rwanda

By Desire Rwagaju, OLPC-Learning Development Officer

One Laptop Per Child Association in collaboration with Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) proposed, planned and is implementing a training that focused on the holistic development (cognitive & social) for its students in senior six and five. This Training aimed to strengthen the ASYV student’s knowledge on the use of OLPC laptop for deep learning, lesson planning and implementation of project based learning activities.

Brief history of ASYV:

After 1994 genocide in Rwanda, one of the biggest problems Rwanda faced was the vast number of orphans with no systemic solution to support their well-being and development. Anne Heyman and her husband Seth Merin (living in New-York City) were inspired by the similar challenge that Israel faced after the Second World War, when there was a large influx of orphans from the Holocaust. As solution to the problem Israel built residential living communities called youth villages. This is the model residential living communities brought to Rwanda by Anne Heyman, Agahozo-Shalom Founder. Called “The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV)” is a residential community in rural area in Rwanda. It is a home to youth who were orphaned during and after the genocide in 1994. Its mission is to enable orphaned and vulnerable youth to realize their maximum potential by providing them with a safe and secure living environment, healthcare, education and necessary life skills.

Education in ASYV and OLPC involvement:

ASYV aims on developing students both cognitively and socially. Village education focuses on both Formal Education (schooling) and Informal Education to expand each student’s talents, skills, and capacity to become not only functioning members of society, but leaders of their communities. This is where ASYV’s education aligns with OLPC’s learning philosophy and approach–using mobile technology to empower each student’s individual learning process in some of the most remote and difficult conditions. With connected laptops, learners are liberated to actively engage with others with similar interests in cultures of learning by doing without being limited by time or space. Children can learn by teaching, actively assisting other learners and freeing the teacher to focus her experience and expertise where most needed. It was seen as an opportunity for this village to benefit from this learning approach, which will enhance all the great initiatives already in place.

Trainees explore sugar learning environment, diagnosed and solved different hardware and software problems, as well as disassembling and assembling the XO.


At the end of the first phase of the training (August 10th) all trainees were going to vacation, they have been assigned to different schools received olpc laptop in previous deployment done by the government of Rwanda in 30 districts of the country. They will be helping the project with the upgrade of the anti-theft key, as they will be introducing kids and teachers at schools nearby their homes on the use of xo laptops. The Training will continue after they come back from vacation to reinforce trainee’s capacity of planning and conducting trainings for teachers.


OLPC Heads to Charlotte, North Carolina

Thanks to Knight Foundation, OLPC will be providing laptops and training to over 2,500 teachers and students in Charlotte’s Project L.I.F.T. Zone.

Initial Teacher Training: August 14 and 15, 2012

On the morning of August 14, OLPC staff members and support personnel embarked upon three school sites to provide training and development to nearly 150 teachers from seven school sites. OLPC was greeted warmly and the positive energy was contagious; teachers were eager to get their laptops and to begin exploring right away.  It was a thrill to see teachers dive right in opening laptops, exploring new Activities and “friending” one another. The first day, trainers focused on OLPC’s learning principles and project goals. Teachers learned about our work around the world, the theory of Constructionism and the benefits of the SugarLearning Platform. It was a meaningful session of exploration and collaborative learning. By day’s end, teachers were able to present their Portfolios and talk about the various projects they created in Sugar. 

Day two of training was dedicated to curriculum alignment and ways to incorporate XO laptops into daily classroom routines. Teachers were given strategies for implementation and some spent time sharing ways that these machines could transform their classroom cultures. In the afternoon, teachers worked in grade level groups to create aligned lesson plans using Sugar Activities and Common Core State Standards. North Carolina is one of 45 states that has adopted Common Core, a comprehensive K-12 curriculum thatemphasizes 21st century learningskills and real world application of content.  Community leaders, administrators and teachers all believe that these laptops are one tool that will position their students for success in the global economy.

As we closed day two, teachers were given an opportunity to share their lesson plans and discuss the many new options that the XO laptops provide. Student engagement and collaboration will take on a new meaning in the 2012-2013 academic year.

Check back frequently for how OLPC is doing their part to L.I.F.T. up Charlotte’s West Corridor!

Rwanda: capacity-building for teachers in 150 schools

OLPC Rwanda organized a capacity-building workshop for 300 teachers this week. The school-head and one lead teacher from each of 150 schools attended. The GC4LL blog has a detailed writeup. I like this quote in particular, since passing on the ideas behind our core principles takes time:

They also are going to learn about the two main points of the OLPC implementation: one laptop per each child and children take laptops home. Those two points are always controversial and it is very important that school’s principals understand the underlining logic behind them. It the school management buy the concept, the success chances of the project in the school increase significantly.

There is also a photoset from the event and a copy of their “training booklet“(PDF) online.