OLPC India/Auroville


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Pilot Project at Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India

Auroville http://www.auroville.org/ is a unique international city in Tamil Nadu (India), 10km north of Pondicherry, founded in 1968 in accordance with the Charter of Auroville. The city aspires to be an international center for collective life in pursuit of Human Unity and related Education and Research. The city now has a population of 2,000 residents from 41 countries. The goals, plans and the direction of Auroville were endorsed by UNESCO on several occasions. The Charter of Auroville envisions Auroville as a place of never ending education that would boldly spring towards future realizations. Sri Aurobindo Ashram School, Puducherry was the first school in India to teach computer science. In tune with this heritage, Auroville aspires to deploy olpc to expand education in Auroville and the surrounding regions.

OlpAc Vision Every child in Auroville has an olpc machine by 2012 and scale up the deployment to 25,000 to create an empowered generation of youth in the Auroville bioregion by 2015

Olpc India Day Team OlpAc was the largest team in the nationwide video conference on the occasion of the olpc India Day on 6 August 08. This event generated the momentum for the Pilot Deployment.

OlpAc Pilot Deployment Udavi Gentillesse Matriculation School [1]is chosen for the Pilot Deployment. The school uses English medium to teach class one to class ten with a current strength of 130 children. Udavi School location in the Auroville Green Belt makes it highly suitable for the pilot deployment as the learning from the pilot would be very beneficial to spread the deployment to Auroville as well as the bio-region. Class VI with 11 children is chosen for the first step. At the beginning, the goal is to expose the children to the interactive learning paradigm of olpc and allow the children to discover new ways of learning and making learning more fun, autonomous and mutual. In this stage, we will be using olpc for co-curricular and extracurricular activities rather than curricular activities. While this is being done, we would be exploring the possibilities of courseware and content for curricular activities.

Project Progress

Jan/Feb09 Thanks to the generosity of various donors, 12 machines were procured through Digital Bridge Foundation. A school server has been set up along with Wi-Fi Access Point and Schools Wikipedia has been installed. The children were given the machines in early February. The children were quite excited and very enthusiastic. They quickly learned how to use the machines

Pushpa Mala (Garland of flowers) Project This is an open-ended project to encourage the children to connect various aspects of knowledge in an interactive, collaborative and playful way. The children would be encouraged to discover flowers in Auroville. For each flower, they would be encouraged to take a picture, find out the name given by Mother and its significance, link up the botanical data on the flower and understand any industrial or commercial uses of the flower. Finally, they can plant it in their school and tend to it, if they choose to. The project will be allotted one afternoon every week and the results of the research will be published. The target is to publish the first report by May 09 The project is open ended in that any one in Auroville or interested in Auroville can add to the knowledge base to usher in wider collaborative knowledge building practices without age /geographical boundaries. The scope can be extended to other aspects of Auroville, once the concept takes root.

Next Steps • Work with OLPC India to port Tamil Fonts to XO-1 • Work with RTBI of IIT, Chennai to use the interactive learning courseware for academic as well as vocational training. • Work with Azim Premji Foundation to use the interactive learning software on olpc

Volunteers are invited to participate and contribute in olpAc

Last Update: 28 Feb 09 JV Avadhanulu Contact [2]

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