Talk:Safe XO use

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FGrose 20:46, 17 February 2008 (EST)

Content developers, teachers, & users have the ability to culture an appreciation for preventive health, safety, & security by the way they plan and present their work.

It may be difficult to evoke a helpful or responsible thought about safety when attention is focused on another, more interesting or productive, activity. (How often do we breeze over the safety precautions included in owner's manuals—or even look at the manuals?) While some may believe that such precautions are only included to satisfy liability lawyers, safety and health educators look for single-point lessons that can be delivered at appropriately teachable moments. Below are some ideas for XO content and activity development, XO deployment, and OLPC project activities.

Safety Icons & Lessons

For example, safety message icons are included as an insert page with the XO packaging, but these will be quickly lost or forgotten without some planned refreshing. The XO shutdown screen is one such reminder, as it displays the icons, but they appear only briefly, too quickly to do anything other than, perhaps, trigger the memory of an earlier lesson. Better would be the procession of the icons while the XO is starting up, next to or in place of the dots that circle the symbolic child. Such a splash display would only be really effective if there were short, memorable, perhaps play-oriented cartoon lessons for each of the safety icon topics.

One or two of the safety lessons should be on the list of recommended, early activities for teachers and administrators during distribution and deployment of the XO. And one or two more lessons should be planned for subsequent days or weeks, so as to begin to develop a habit of briefly including safety, health, or security thoughts at the top of the agenda for any formal gathering of a community. This is an honest, safety first policy that gives permission and support for members of the community to discuss and resolve safety or security concerns.

Single-Point Lessons & Reminders

The idea of single-point lessons and reminders may be well suited for the promotion of healthy behavior or habits during computer use. Listen to mothers reminding their children of safe or ethical behavior through aphorisms or just their comfortable and authoritative voice or body language. Imagine that there were a library of 1 to 5-second recordings, images, or words that could be accessed in planned, or even random, manner during computing activities. They could even be used, with appropriate discretion, as a teaching auxiliary for long progress bars and hourglasses.

With the appropriate constructive software, they could even be built and customized by parents, teachers, and other community-accepted authority figures. Finding optimal timings and applications for the messages would be important to prevent overuse. Imagine a mother using such a tool as an alarm clock to remind her child to stop by the market or visit their grandmother on their way home from school.

Correspondingly, there may be a need or desire for some security software to scan content for unwitting or unwanted subliminal messages.

Development Checklists

In a similar manner, we should look for opportunities to help content and activity developers and deployers to integrate short, thoughtful, and effective reminders for themselves and users to avoid potential hazards in their play or work. For example, checklists provided to reviewers and testers should include items for code and user or community safety.

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