Red Hat is sponsoring summer POSSE bootcamps (Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience), a brainchild of Mel’s, to introduce students to open source development and projects. Most POSSE projects have supported Fedora, Mozilla, or Sugar Labs in some fashion. At RIT, bootcamps this summer continue to build on the FOSS@RIT group’s efforts to develop tools that will support better hacking on tools for children in Sugar.
In particular, the group at RIT has been working for the past two years on tools to improve communication for deaf and hard of hearing children with XO laptops. Alumni of 2009 and 2010 workshops, bootcamps, and other events, worked with RIT’s Lab for Technological Literacy (LTL) and took a couple field trips to our Cambridge office, to develop a videochat activity with sufficient quality to support readable sign language over videochat.
It’s great to see this program thrive, and that OLPC and Sugar continue to be part of the motivation for some of the good work being planned.
Children in remote communities in Western Australia and the Northern Territory are being introduced to the digital world with their own XOs as part of an international program aimed at boosting attendance. They have been localized to include the local language of Yolgnu Matha. From an announcement last month as the project was being rolled out:
Mr Lacey was hopeful the laptops would increase the current attendance rate of about 360 students regularly attending out of 500.
“We want to use it as an incentive, come to school….” At Rawa Community School, near the Great Sandy Desert 600km southeast of Port Hedland in Western Australia, the laptops will mean learning can be better adapted to each student.
It will be interesting to see how this fits into the plans of Geoff Anson and the crew at OLPC Australia. Meanwhile, Pia Waugh of OLPC Friends has joined the Government 2.0 movement in the Australian government and can offer a perspective from both sides of that fence.