Olin university chapter/Projects/Curriculum/Lesson 1

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Computer Creations

Lesson 1 - Introduction Feb 24, 2010

An overview

  • Brought XOs
  • Had kids write up basic (non-legally binding contracts!) of things not to do
    • "No destruction"
    • "No dropping"
    • "No Rain"
    • "I will treat this as well as I treat my DS!"
  • Parents received pdf form two weeks ago. (Copy where?)
  • Basic what is XO/OLPC intro
  • Gave them XOs
    • Ran through powering on
    • Changing colors, names
    • Curious about mesh network -- asked about chat. We eventually let them get there.
    • Made "friends" with each other
    • Moon /sounds/ exciting to them. Can we work anything in?
    • Latched on to Maze really quickly
      • played with Maze for a while
    • Crashed at about kid 5 on the mesh for chat?
    • very quick
      • didn't ask for instruction
      • when kid A learns something, spreads veryveryvery quickly.
    • Some things we wanted to teach them:
      • Journal was tricky for them to pick up
      • Getting back to home
    • When we just let them go, they generally weren't having trouble
      • Still need to be gently prodded to remember to close activities.
    • Give essential knowledge!


Initial thoughts

  • No gender balance -- class of 7 boys
  • One set of brothers, though. Could be interesting.
    • Will the brothers figure out how to use Distance?
  • kids surprisingly enthusiastic about seeing pictures of other kids (nepal, vietnam) using XOs.
    • "Are there ones in China?"
  • latched on to concept of internet immediately, chat in particular was something they kept wanting to come back to.
  • Prepare and learn what the different parts are of an XO.
  • "I'm really good at this!" or "Oh, I don't really no how to use this" -- without any sort of sense of reference at this point. Interesting.
  • Potentially circumventing parental control on computer-y things. Probably a non-issue, as it is difficult to get online without parental help
  • surprisingly obedient
  • Seemingly enthusiastic! (we were a little apprehensive about children being forced into them.)


Next week

  • We may want to introduce where we're from.
  • idea: include "OLPC Fact of the Week"
  • Maze + Turtle Art
    • Open the class with a working example of what we'd like them to accomplish
    • can we get the grid set-up faster?
      • Who can turtle their turtle through the most complex maze?
  • 10-15 minutes of free play time
    • Make it clear that this time is free -- such that they can rein it in
  • Checkpoint 1: Understand concept of moving turtle x, y, whatever.
  • Then allow kids to import new more complex mazes.
  • Whenever we have to talk to all of them, make sure they put the screens down.
  • Want to squeeze in the concept of saving things.
  • Enthusiasm is contagious.
  • One table set up
    • Convenient for talking to everyone at once
    • Really easy for a group activity to separate them.
  • DEFINITELY BRING EXTENSION CORD AND POWER STRIP
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