OLPCorps Africa Rochester Institute Of Technology Uganda
The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) team will be running an OLPC workshop at Kiira Primary School in Jinja, a rural district in Eastern Uganda. The nine week workshop from June 22 to August 21, 2009 (during the school’s second term), will be targeted towards the entire 6th grade stream (129 students, ages 10-12). The all speak English. RIT Team Members (all RIT students):
Deana Brown: M.S. in Information Technology graduate student, currently abroad completing her thesis at the University of Cape Town, in the area of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). She holds a Bachelor in Computer Science – Mathematics and Spanish and will serve at the team lead.
Ihudiya Ogburu: B.S. in Information Technology senior undergraduate student specializing in web design and application development programming. Past technology instructor at Internal Drive Camps. She will serve as the programming coordinator.
Renee Baltimore: M.S. in Computer Science graduate student specializing in Artificial Intelligence. She has worked three years as a software developer and lead software engineer at Networking Systems Solutions. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science with Electronics and will serve as the technical lead.
SHOUT!(Students Helping Others Use Technology)
The program will be incorporated into the school’s curriculum, ensuring the sustainability of the project. We will conduct 2 hour lessons, four days a week with each class in the school’s main hall. Team meetings and training for teachers taking over the project will be on Fridays. The children will have temporary ‘ownership’ of the laptop while at school and for certain projects will be allowed to leave school with them.
SHOUT – Students Helping Others Use Technology
Our SHOUT program is designed to promote ‘viral learning’ and collaboration utilizing technology (XO laptops).
SHOUT I.T.! This is a program to promote viral learning of IT concepts. Each 6th grade student will be partnered with a child from a lower grade level to teach them technical skills they were taught. This will empower the 7th grader as he or she now becomes the ‘agent of change’.
The free CS Unplugged curriculum found at www.csunplugged.org will provide a basis to teach initial computer science concepts which will be enhanced by the use of XO applications such as Psuedo logo.
Following models like CNN’s iReport, kids will be taught the art of journalism, reporting and blogging utilizing Record and Scratch. They will pick issues to report on (education, health etc.), interview other students or community members and help people to capture their own responses using the webcams or voice recorder on the XOs. They will put together a video, presentation and ‘blog’ about their findings. This will promote viral learning, the passing on of learned knowledge to others as well as allow the voice of the community to be heard.
Utilizing Chat and other applications, students will collaborate with ‘remote’ team members to work on numerous projects. The idea is to expose them to the world of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL).
Children will be allotted time at the end of each session to explore games or other activities on their own and talk about it.
A local committee of four people will work along with our team to implement this program:
• Pamela Bayenda, a community member, will serve as chair of this local committee overseeing the project. She will facilitate communication between the school, the NGO and our team and will provide arrangements for our stay.
• Two teachers from Kiira Primary, Rose Kisakye and Grace Achieng will co-serve as the local technical and pedagogical leads and will head the project after our departure. They will work and train with us and ensure the laptops and equipment are collected and stored in their library prior to our arrival.
• The president of the Inner Wheel Club of Jinja, a local-based NGO along with her organization will ensure the sustainability and continued success of the project by checking in frequently with the school. They will sensitize the children’s parents and the community to the benefits of the OLPCorps project.
We are currently exploring and applying for scholarships that will help to provide funding for this program in the future. We are looking to get financial support from RIT, corporate sponsors with whom we have existing relationships and the Rochester community.