Harvard University: Hello Laptop, Hello World

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1. Project Title & Shipment Detail

  Name of Project: Hello Laptop, Hello World
  Shipping Address You've Verified:

MacKenzie Sigalos 360 Dunster House Mail Center Cambridge, MA 02138


  Number of Laptops (or other hardware) You Request to Borrow: 10
  Loan Length—How Many Months: 9 months


2. Team Participants

  Name(s) & Contact Info: (include all email addresses & phone numbers)
      Teams of more than 1 person are not required, but favored!

MacKenzie Sigalos, msigalos@fas.harvard.edu, Katelyn Foley, kfoley@fas.harvard.edu, 859.582.8873 Donnarae Wade, dwade@fas.harvard.edu, 704.576.5761 Antonio Fazio, afazio@fas.harvard.edu, 504.723.1890 Melissa Oppenheim, melissaoppenheim@gmail.com, 954.260.0563 Giselle Cheung, gcheung@fas.harvard.edu Spencer Chan, spenco@gmail.com

  Employer and/or School: Harvard College
  Past Experience/Qualifications: Hello Laptop Hello World is a Harvard student organization that was started over a year ago. We are in the process of filing for 501(c)(3) status and will become an official non-profit corporation later this fall. Additionally, over the past year, we have maintained a loaner pool of 12 XOs for interested volunteers and students in the Boston area.

3. Objectives

  Project Objectives:
      Concrete proposals with defined, measurable outcomes are much more likely to result in a laptop than "it would be cool to play with these and demo them".

This past spring, Hello Laptop Hello World (HLHW) launched a pilot program at the Cambridge Friends School, which was one of the first XO pilot programs in the Boston area. We worked with all of the 6th grade classes and implemented a full 1:1 pilot, in which each student had their own XO laptop. This fall, we will be working with all of the 4th graders to implement a comparable project. The goal of this pilot will be to integrate the XO into the current curriculum in a seamless way that allows teachers and students to have ownership of the XO and its role in the classroom. An integral component of this pilot will also be a pre- and post-assessment survey that will be given to all participating students, as well as a separate survey to be completed by the instructors, who will be facilitating this pilot. We are interested both in the impact of the laptops on student attitude toward school and their classwork, as well as changes in academic performance. In addition, we will be piloting two new activities, SocialCalc and Newspaper, and giving student feedback to software developers.

4. Plan of Action

  Plan and Procedure for Achieving the Stated Objectives:

The pilot will include teacher training workshops, classroom activities, after-school sessions, and pre- and post-assessment interviews and surveys to gauge the effect on student achievement and attitude toward learning. The teacher training period will last for 4 weeks (October 2009). The pilot will begin in November and run until the end of the school year in June. Before laptops are distributed, all pre-pilot assessments will be administered, and in May, the post-pilot assessments will be given. Throughout the course of the pilot, 2-3 site visits per week by HLHW board members will ensure that we have in-classroom tech support. Additionally, our Education Committee will be designing curriculum which will incorporate the XO laptop into the already established classwork.


5. Needs

  Why is this project needed?
  Locally?
  In the greater OLPC/Sugar community?
  Outside the community?
  Why can't this project be done in emulation using non-XO machines?
  Why are you requesting the number of machines you are asking for?

Hosting domestic pilots is central to the mission of XO expansion being spearheaded in the Boston grassroots community. Through this pilot, we hope to further develop an official handbook for grassroots organizations, which will detail how best to launch pilots in local schools. This handbook will include a bundle of all lesson plans we have designed both in the spring and which we are in the process of writing for the 4th grade classes this fall. Additionally, the pre- and post-assessment study of the effects of the XO on students is central to the expansion of the OLPC community. It is essential that we use the XO laptop because the one-to-one aspect of the pilot is what distinguishes this technological integration from other comparable programs. The student's ownership over the technology engages the adolescent on a higher level.

We have requested 10 laptops so that each 4th grade student can have their own machine. We already have 19 laptops for this project, meaning that we are only lacking 10 for the 27 4th graders and their 2 teachers.

      Will you consider (1) salvaged/rebuilt or (2) damaged XO Laptops? We would be open to using rebuilt laptops.

6. Sharing Deliverables

   Project URL—where you'll report specific ongoing progress:
              http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Harvard_University:_Hello_Laptop%2C_Hello_World
       Please web-publish this entire completed proposal, removing any sections affecting your personal privacy. Ask if you want help! 
   How will you convey tentative ideas & results back to the OLPC/Sugar community, prior to completion? 
   How will the final fruits of your labor be distributed to children or community members worldwide? 
   Will your work have any possible application or use outside our community?
       If yes, how will these people be reached? 
   Have you investigated working with nearby XO Lending Libraries or Project Groups? 

Tentative ideas and results will be posted on our website at http://www.hellolaptop.org. We have already posted tutorials, lesson plans, and a research paper from the spring on our Resources page (under "U.S. Pilots"). We will also send updates and request volunteer support over the OLPC Boston list, just as we did in the spring. The SocialCalc/Newpaper pilot will be documented at http://seeta.in/wiki/index.php?title=Hello_Laptop,_Hello_World.

The final fruits of our labor (written research paper, lesson plans, and handbook for organization who wish to initiate pilots) will be sent to OLPC Boston and posted on our website.

Our work applies to other student groups who wish to lead small-scale deployments, since we will be providing an online handbook outlining the challenges and successes of the pilot. In addition, our SocialCalc/Newspaper pilot results will be sent to software developers at SEETA, who will use the materials to inform future releases of these activities.

We are also an active lending library for students and educators in Boston! You can check out our XO Check-out form at http://www.hellolaptop.org/volunteer.html.


7. Quality/Mentoring

   Would your Project benefit from Support, Documentation and/or Testing people? 
   Teachers' input into Usability? 
   How will you promote your work? 
   Can we help you with an experienced mentor from the OLPC/Sugar community? (WEB-PUBLISHED)
       If YES: specify the kind of Ongoing Mentoring that will benefit you most. 
       If NO: specify who will help you share your progress, creations & results. 

Adam Holt, SJ Klein, Claudia Urrea, and Nia Lewis are already helping our organization. With Adam's help, we participated in the Booksprint in early September. SJ has been advising our work and aiding us in contacting groups at other schools for a year now. Claudia and Nia are organzing workshops for our team in order to prepare students in the area for international deployments. We have greatly benefited from the support network at OLPC!

Teachers will have substantial impact on the project through teacher training workshops, surveys, and interviews. We have a very positive relationship with the CFS 4th grade teachers, as well as the Head of School.

We will promote our work by hosting information sessions and workshops on Harvard's campus. This year, we've already organized 3 events on campus, encouraging students to join our project.


8. Timeline (Start to Finish)

   Please include a Proposed timeline for your Project life-cycle: (this can be in the form of Month 1, Month 2, etc rather than specific dates)
       Include a couple milestones, even if tentative. 
   Specify how you prefer to communicate your ongoing progress and obstacles!
       [X] I agree to pass on the laptop(s) to a local OLPC group or other interested contributors in case I do not have need for the laptop(s) anymore or in case my project progress stalls. 

Timeline:

October 2009: 4 teacher training workshops, Pre-assessment surveys and interviews for teachers and students November: XOs introduced into the classroom, HLHW volunteers make 2-3 site visits per week December 2009 - May 2010: HLHW volunteers make 2-3 site visits per week and work with teachers to develop lesson plans that integrate the XO into the classroom May 2010: Post-assessment surveys and interviews given June 2010: Final report released, pilot ends in early June

Communication Channels:

We will post tutorials, lesson plans, and research papers on our website (http://www.hellolaptop.org). We will also email OLPC Boston with regular project updates and requests for community volunteers to participate in the pilot. Information about our collaboration with SEETA and SocialCalc/Newspaper pilot will be posted at http://seeta.in/wiki/index.php?title=Hello_Laptop,_Hello_World.

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