Repair workshop this Saturday at OLPC HQ

This Saturday we’re holding a repair workshop and presentation — if you haven’t torn down your XO and rebuilt it from the motherboard up, now’s your chance to try on someone else’s machine — and to learn how to break down and rebuild one in under half an hour, with nothing but a Phillips screwdriver!

We’re holding a workshop Saturday through the early afternoon. RSVP if you’re planning to come. The machines worked on will primarily be XO-1′s, since those are still the machines most likely encountered in the field. The major differences on the 1.5 make these sorts of repair much easier, not more complex — there’s little reason to take apart the bottom on a 1.5, for instance, since the keyboards just pop out.

Peru plans OLPC expansion for next year

Peru is planning to expand their OLPC program to reach every primary school in the country next year.  Last week, during a meeting with regional leaders from the country’s 24 departments, Oscar Becerra commented on plans for the program to reach over 16,000 primary schools across the country – though not every child in each of those schools will have an XO at first.

Peru is working with the department leaders to help them organize regional programs to complete the saturation of their schools.  They are also expanding their awareness and training programs for teachers, with an event last Friday for over 500 teachers. Walter and Rodrigo were both present for some of last week’s events (Walter has been visiting many of the South American OLPC deployments, as anyone following the Sugar digests will know), and the general vibe and feedback from both administrators and teachers was quite positive.

eKindling makes strides in Lubang, Philippines

The eKindling project, a classroom XO project on the island of Lubang in the Philippines, is making good progress. They are supported by roughly 100 donors and organizers from across the Philippines. After a consultation visit this past winter, they recently purchased XOs for their school. They wrote up a project checklist, a 5-day teacher workshop schedule, and formed contacts with OLPC Friends, OLPC New Zealand, and Squeakland.

Recently they published a debrief of their weeklong teacher workshop. You can follow this and other progress through updates to their project page (thanks to Mafe and others).

Kasiisi Project: Notes from a technical lead

“I like to use the computers for English and to know about them” says Daphine of Kasiisi Primary School in rural western Uganda.

The Kasiisi Project helps to promote conservation through education around Kibale National Park, Uganda by building classrooms, hiring extra teachers, supporting healthy environments, providing support for 90 students to attend Secondary School, and working with other school support organizations.  Over the past 15 years, Kasiisi has grown from a small, one-building school to a massive compound with a kitchen, library, teacher housing, and now computer classes. Much of the early success of Kasiisi can be associated with a strong Head Mistress and support from the Kasiisi Project.

My name is Jeff Bittner, and I have been working for the Kasiisi Project since October 2008 helping to support Kasiisi and the 4 other schools in the Project.
I have been involved with a variety of activities since my arrival, including the introduction and implementation of roughly 150 XOs (see our Kasiisi blog for more background). As a person working in the schools before, during, and after the introduction of the XO Laptops, I have seen the way that these computers can excite and engage the students, as well as the complications that come with them.

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