John Watlington, CTO of OLPC shares the secret behind the technology that allows thousands of people in the developing world that have access to computers.
See how Wikipedia reaches a small village in Peru. This is a clip from the upcoming film “Web”, by Michael Kleiman; featuring Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales.
It shows kids with XOs in the Peruvian Amazon creating on Wikipedia.
The Step by Step Project, developed by both the Las Golodrian Foundation and the
Marina Orth Foundation, has had a truly positive impact in various communities, especially the “Comuna Ocho” in Medellin. The Comuna Ocho is one of the most difficult areas of the city, where violence and the infamous “invisible frontiers” have caused many hardships on the community; nevertheless this has not been an obstacle in our mission to continue educating the 650 boys, girls and adolescents who have the opportunity to interact with the technological advantages of this program. It has been extremely gratifying to witness the development and positive impact the kids have had in interacting with others using the internet. They have had the opportunity to learn from various sites and programs, such as Wikipedia, Scratch, Tux Pain, Memorize, Tux Math, Gcompris, Falabracman, among other, all thanks to our classroom projects and their teachers.
The students arrive everyday full of energy, anxious to share with their teachers and
classmates the new games, techniques, and solutions they have discovered using
their computers. The joy of learning transcends the classroom; even their parents
have expressed their happiness in seeing their young ones use these programs. It has
encouraged them to enroll in the different workshops offered by the Foundation so that they too can benefit from learning to use these computers, thus the learning experience can now continue at home.
The most adventurous, creative, and resourceful students have not only gained the
personal satisfaction of their teachers’ recognition, they have consolidated a monitor group in the Step by Step project, a status which places them in a privileged position inside the learning community. It enables them to assist their teachers, work with the younger students and help repair certain computer problems. They also have the opportunity to attend specific workshops such as robotics, English lessons, informatics, and repair and maintenance of both conventional and XO computers: they are our biggest helpers inside the project as well as a source of inspiration to the younger ones.
Our students generally range in age from 5-13, a range which by no means has been
an obstacle to the younger generations’ hunger for learning. These small technological geniuses have benefited from the new learning techniques offered by these computers.
They regard these computers as their most prized possession; for they know it represents the opportunity to pursue their education using more advanced methods. They take very good care of their equipment, carefully storing them inside their own bags, cleaning them on a regular basis, and even imprinting their own personality and individuality on it. The whole process has been a reflection on the values that we try to implement on the community (solidarity, respect, responsibility, compromise, tolerance, team work…) and is the result of a day to day interaction with them, not only inside the classroom but also during their breaks and walks home. Up to date, NOT A SINGLE COMPUTER HAS BEEN UNACOUNTED FOR, this shows how well the community has responded to our informational campaigns where we have outlined the importance of social and educational changes.
In this link you can download an e-book written by Professor Valente’s group at UNICAMP about the usage of the XO in one school.
The book registers the research done by his group with 520 XO’s donated by OLPC in 2009/10, around a participatory methodology to deploy laptops at schools.
The book is in portuguese only.
This book chronicles some search results ” XO in school and beyond: a proposal for semiochemical participatory technology, education and society“developed in EMEF Fr Emilio Miotti, Campinas (SP), between 2009 and 2012.Considering that digital technology has transformed the way we interact, communicate and live in contemporary society, the school as an institution and social organization, can not remain oblivious to these changes. In this space, building knowledge and skills sets technology serves as a catalyst for change. The book summarizes the studies and proposed solutions to problems raised by members of the school community – teachers, administrators, students, parents and researchers – from the use of a participatory methodology based guided the deployment of laptops through educational settings where technological resources are used in a significant way to school and bringing benefits to society.
Via: Juliano Bittencourt
The OLPC team conducted a training program with the Educatrachos teachers team from November 12 to 15, 2012 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The training focused on integrating the Sugar Activities into the existing curriculum with an emphasis on Spanish and Mathematics. Teachers were instructed on the various teaching resources contained within the XO laptops.
The OLPC program in Honduras will benefit 54,000 students in grades 3 to 6 in 545 schools throughout the country. These students will all have access to XO laptops and digital educational programs.
This program is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank in coordination with the Government of Honduras.
The main goal of the Elementary Education and Technology Integration Program is to improve the learning of students in the poorest elementary schools in Honduras. The program will involve training activities and will provide ongoing support to the teachers. In addition, the program is working to provide textbooks and other educational materials to these schools. The project has a special focus on the incorporation of new technologies in education.
Kids from a school in Ometepe, Nicaragua sing a song composed to thank Fundación Zamora Teran to provide them with new opportunities with their XO.
By: Torie Leslie, OLPC facilitator at Allenbrook Elementary School
On October 26th, 2012 the nine CMS Project L.I.F.T. zone schools and community
partners joined forces to host the L.I.F.T annual community meeting. This event
included breakout sessions centered around L.I.F.T’s commitment to appropriate
technology for all students. The “OLPC Lounge” stood out as a shining star during
this time as students, their families and community members enjoyed quality time
with XO laptops and OLPC support staff members. All visitors to the session had the
opportunity to ask questions and explore Activities on the Sugar Learning Platform.
One of my favorite memories from this event was when a 4th grade student was
sitting with his sister who is in Kindergarten and he explained how to open the
Speak Activity so she could type in her name and hear the robot speak her name. He
said to her, “You can use my XO for now but you’ll be getting your own soon!”
Check out this video from the evening created by my colleague, Monique Pollock,
facilitator at Ashley Park Pre-K-8.
In his speech, the Minister of Culture and Sport said that “ One Laptop Per Child program is key project with a radical impact to eradicate the lack of a reading culture and writing in Rwanda”. Arriving at the library entrance, the first thing you notice is a very nice premise with a larger picture of Rwandan kids using OLPC laptops. That is the outside view of OLPC’s part of the library, branded by OLPC Association and opened in collaboration with the Ministry of education of Rwanda and Rotary Club Virunga.
The Rwanda Library Services Project was started by Rotary Club of Kigali – Virunga with the aim of creating the first ever public library in Rwanda. The members in recognition of ignorance as one major contributor to the horrific genocide against Tutsi in 1994, decided to come up with a project that would contribute immensely to the reconstruction of the country.
This is the place where kids will be learning basic computing skills but also enjoy a constructionist approach to learning. It will also offer Scratch and turtle art lessons, logo materials, robotics for the kids to acquire an analytic approach to problem solving. OLPC sees this as a great opportunity to share the OLPC program with the rest of the country.
Given the school servers are being installed in schools countrywide, OLPC program in Rwanda will echo the library in all OLPC schools through the eBooks they have acquired.
As this OLPC corner in Kigali library will be open for all user of Sugar learning environment, free wireless internet connection will give an opportunity for private schools students who are not privileged by the government’s deployment of OLPC laptops countrywide which targets mostly the public schools.
OLPC being a part of the first public library in Rwanda is not surprising because President Paul Kagame has been among the first believers in OLPC technology in education. Since 2009 Government of Rwanda is fully engaged in getting OLPC technology to each Rwandan child in primary education. Before the end of year 2012 they will be closing the deployment of 200 000 Laptops.
By Rwagaju Desire & Intwali Jimmy
OLPC Rwanda learning team
Thank you for your interest in the XO upgrade kits.
At this time, there is a minimum order quantity of 100 kits. If you are interested in ordering 100 upgrade kits or more, please contact Leah@laptop.org at OLPC for further details. Make sure you indicate the SKU of the units you want to upgrade.
Order quantities of 1000 kits and larger can be processed faster and at lower cost.
If you have an early XO laptop and would like to see it run better and faster, our latest Operating System release can give it a new life, see http://wiki.laptop.org/go/
We thank you for your interest in the OLPC project.
By: Emily Swartz, Druid Hills facilitator
Druid Hills Academy is a Pre-K through 8th grade school in the Project L.I.F.T. Zone of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina. This year, all first through fourth grade students will be receiving an XO laptop. The teachers have already received an XO from their summer training, and are working hard to plan for the arrival of the XO’s. There have already been several events held at Druid Hills to drum up the excitement with students and parents about the opportunities that the laptops will bring to these learners!
On Thursday, August 23, students and parents from Druid Hills Academy came to kick off the new school year at the Open House Carnival. Students were able to meet their new teachers, play in bounce houses, eat pizza, and of course get their first look at the XO! OLPC was there with ten XO’s to let students see and explore their new tool. Parents and students were both excited to hear that all first through fourth grade students would be getting a laptop this year. There were a lot of questions that were fielded by our project manager, David Jessup, and the site facilitator, Emily Swartz.
Another exciting event at Druid Hills was the opportunity to give a second grade class a sneak peak at the XO’s. Due to overcrowding, a small class of 11 advanced students was created to challenge these students and enrich the academic services they receive. Since this class is so small, we were able to provide each of these students with a loaner laptop. After weeks of anticipation, the students were cheering when they got to put their hands on their very own XO for the first time. The students have been so excited to explore and get to know their XO’s. Currently students are working on exploring an activity on their own and then explaining the functions of the activity to their classmates. It is amazing to see the students learning so much on their own and the excitement to share their knowledge with others.
North Carolina made a transition this year from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study to The Common Core Standards. The Common Core Standards are national standards that provide a clear and consistent understanding of what students are expected to learn. They are rigorous and relevant to the twenty first century. The Common Core Standards reflect the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. Druid Hills designated a whole night to informing parents about The Common Core Standards and how their student’s education will be different this year. This provided a perfect opportunity to inform parents about the XO and how it fits in perfectly with the goals of The Common Core Curriculum. We got to speak to parents in every first through fourth grade class to inform them that their child would be getting a laptop and the benefits that the laptop would bring to their child’s education. After the information sessions, our OLPC facilitator was able to attend the pasta dinner that was served and talk with students and families in a more personal way to discuss questions and opportunities that came along with the XO. This was another great step forward as we seek to inform our school and the community about our exceptional educational tool.
Day to Day
Teachers at Druid Hills continue to surpass our expectations each day. Although at this point there are only a limited amount of laptops at the school, Druid Hills teachers are using creativity and teamwork to ensure that students are getting exposed to the XO laptops. First grade teachers have combined all of the teacher laptops to create learning centers with the XO’s. Second grade students have a 15 minute block everyday that they get to explore Activities on the XO. In third grade, teachers are flex grouping their students and giving opportunities to work with the XO and the local newspaper. And in fourth grade, pairs of students can be found rotating through a computer station where they are playing and creating memorization games. It is exhilarating to see the XO’s everyday as we travel through classrooms! Check back for more updates on Druid Hills Academy and other schools in the Project L.I.F.T Zone.
OLPC OS 12.1.0 is a new software release focusing on improving the XO-1.75 user experience, and undertaking a much-needed technological shift for Sugar’s internals to GTK+ 3.x. Additionally, XO-1.5 and XO-1 continue to be supported in this release, and we include a variety of new features and fixes.
During this development cycle, we have spearheaded efforts within the Sugar Labs community to make Sugar GTK3-ready. The changes you will see as a user are few. This work was limited to the back-end platform only. As we continue the transition in future, you’ll receive efficiency improvements, and activities will improve in quality from having more direct access to a wider range of system libraries.
Write to the journal anytime
Recent Sugar versions have shown a “naming screen” upon stopping a new instance of a Sugar activity. The idea was to encourage the learner to provide a good name for their work, and perform some self-reflection in the details field. However, some found this confusing (stopping an activity should be as simple as possible).
Sugar-0.96 changes this – the naming screen is no longer displayed. However, all activities now have a button in the toolbar that allows a description to be set. We hope that this will continue to encourage self-reflection while not being as intrusive as before.
Text to speech
A new icon in the Sugar frame allows for any currently-selected text to be dictated by the internal speech engine.
For more details on all the improvements visit the wiki here.
MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide every child in the world access to new channels of learning, sharing and self-expression, announced today that it has signed an agreement with Common Sense Media to offer Digital Passport™, the interactive web-based platform on OLPC’s XO laptops and tablets in the U.S. and internationally. The agreement with Common Sense Media follows a recent announcement between Sesame Street and OLPC and demonstrates OLPC’s continuing use of third party content to supplement its Sugar educational software platform of 300 applications.
Common Sense Media’s Digital Passport™ is an interactive learning environment designed for students in grades 3-5 who are just beginning to use media and technology independently. Through a series of engaging videos and games that address topics such as online privacy, appropriate sharing, respectful cell phone use and content selection, children learn to safely navigate in a technology-enhanced world. This student-centric approach to learning fosters increased confidence in children to further explore technology, while teaching critical skills around being safe, respectful, and responsible digital citizens.
“As OLPC and others expand the use of connected laptops by children for learning, it becomes increasingly important for children to better understand the digital environment and Common Sense Media offers the most comprehensive and well accepted curriculum on this subject,” said Rodrigo Arboleda, President and CEO of OLPC.
“Providing laptops to children opens up their worlds and prepares them for success in the 21st century,” said Amy Guggenheim Shenkan, President and Chief Operating Officer, Common Sense Media. “By making digital literacy and citizenship education a priority and outfitting OLPC XO laptops with Digital Passport™, OLPC is demonstrating an admirable commitment to helping kids to safely and constructively engage in their own education.”
One Laptop per Child (OLPC at http://www.laptop.org) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide every child in the world access to new channels of learning, sharing and self-expression. In partnership with the public and private sectors and non-governmental organizations and supported by comprehensive implementation and pedagogical services, OLPC seeks to provide each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power connected laptop that empowers individual learning and growth.
One Laptop per Child
Giulia D’Amico, +1 305-371-3755
Seema Singh recaps some of the history of the Aakash and related efforts for Forbes India. The Aakash got its start with a tender for 10K units from IIT Jodhpur, which was expanded to an order for 100K from the Indian government. DataWind, the company that secured the initial tender, ran a pilot which received much fanfare, but distributed only 572 tablets to 19 colleges.
There was some debate as to whether these met the initial spec; and work was refocused on an updated design, the Aakash 2. It’s unclear whether the rest of the inital 10K tablets were distributed to the government; 30K of that model were sold online marketed as the UbiSlate. The Aakash 2 is currently being tested by DataWind and two institutions in India, with hopes for a [new] school pilot of 100K students this fall. The first of those machines are being deployed this month.
DataWind has had trouble meeting deadlines and demand. They were beset by many external pressures: heavy pressure to keep the price down, the scrutiny of a very public launch, and requirements that much of their supply chain and manufacturing be based in India (which limited the number of possible partners and added a few single points of failure).
They have accumulated many non-binding statements of interest in v.2 of the tablet; but it’s not clear how many will convert now to sales. And after a half-year of heady press they have suffered a half-year of negative backlash. They now aim to offer the commercial version of the Aakash 2 for just under $65; and the Indian government still plans to subsidize half the cost of a model for students – at least for the 100K in this year’s pilot. While this is still an impressive undertaking, as it was when announced last year, the delay has hurt the national story. Now people like Singh are calling the project a disaster rather than a landmark success, and worrying that China will launch a similar program first.
Singh highlights a few related projects from around the country:
- The “$10 laptop” effort started in 2009 by Technical Education secretary NK Sinha (which did not produce a laptop nor contribute IP to the current project)
- The Ministry of Rural Development’s socioeconomic census, which commissioned 640K tablets in 2011 and 2012 for its door-to-door surveys (at $72, from Bharat Electronics, with no drama but their admitted inability to meet the ministry’s request of a $35 price point)
- The Tamil Nadu government’s “one laptop per student” program to deliver 1.4M laptops to college students each year for the next 5 years. (They have 6 different vendors sharing the task)
She notes that some of the Tamil Nadu vendors are finding it difficult to complete their deliveries under budget. But neglects to note that the program was successful enough for Uttar Pradesh to copy it, recently putting out a tender for roughly 250K tablets (for students passing their 10th grade exams) and 200K laptops (for those passing their 12th grade exams), as year 1 of a multi-year program.
We will see whether DataWind manages to make good on their goal of millions of sales this year. Kapil Sibal continues to push for all 220M students in India to have their own laptop or tablet. And he continues to say compelling things of his vision, such as “It will be a device that creates content.” One way or another, I hope that vision is realized.
Professors Doug Kranch (of North Central State College) and Terri Bucci (of Ohio State University) are launching an XO Educational Software Project this year. This will be a collaboration between them and their students, and partners in Haiti, to develop math and science modules for the XO. They are also developing a simple router/server setup that Haitian teachers can use to support such software — NCSC’s fall course on client/server development will focus on this work.
The project aims to meet Haitian curricular standards, with ongoing feedback from schools around Croix des Bouquets, in collaboration with teachers, students, and university faculty and students from University Episcopal in Port-au-Prince. These contacts are supported by Ohio State’s ongoing Haiti Empowerment Project.
It sounds as though they should all be subscribed to the IA Education Project mailing list to share their thoughts!
Sameer Verma of OLPC-SF, as he mentiond at last week’s amazing community summit, is putting together a book server for use in rural India, with 20,000 books and audio files on it for students and teachers to use locally. He is going to deploy it at a school pilot near his familial hometown.
This is a Pathagar server implementing the OPDS bookserver standard, running on a tiny Sheeva Plug device, accessible over a local network to XOs in the neighborhood. The Sheeva Plug is low power and has USB and SD ports that make it easy to expand such an offline library. Here it is plugged in and in use, drawing a total of 4 Watts:
Sayamindu Dasgupta, who contributed to the design of the OPDS specification, developed the Pathagar server to implement the spec; Manuel Quiñones created the version of the server used here. Book and audio suggestions are welcome for this particular build, and a web-based form for linking to OPDS archives suitable for inclusion in the image will be up shortly. If you have your own Sheeva Plug, you can torrent the original disk image of this installation.
The setup was load-tested last night, using a simple build: a stock Sheeva Plug and 16GB USB key (total cost: $100). Quick statistics:
- Power draw: 4W
- Simultaneous downolads: 500
- Library size: 10,000 – 50,000 books
For details, images, and a mailing list for discussion, see the bookserver project page.
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.