OLPCorps Bucknell Nigeria
The Bucknell OLPC is committed to bringing 100 XO laptops to children ages 6-12 in the rural village of Umuariam, Nigeria. Communication is a key component of our deployment. We are not engaging in this project to simply teach children. Rather, we intend to empower these students such that the world may learn from them. By providing them with the tools to enhance the way they learn basic subjects, we believe the XO laptops will be invaluable. Moreover, through a school-pairing program, we plan to pair the school in Umuariam with a school in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. This will allow the children in these very different parts of the world to interact and engage with each other in a way that enhances cultural understanding.
They learn. We learn. The World Learns.
|Kyle Olivo||B.S. in Computer Science '09|
|Ahmed Kodouda||B.A. in International Relations '10|
|William Harris||B.A. in Political Science and History '12|
Kyle Olivo is a senior at Bucknell University. He will be receiving his B.S. in Computer Science in the spring of 2009. He has extensive knowledge of Linux based systems and is excited to put this knowledge to use on the XO platform. He has been involved in community service trips to New Mexico and Nicaragua. In New Mexico, he helped construct housing as part of Habitat for Humanity. In Nicaragua he spent time in the rural village of Nueva Vida, a village that suffered devastating infrastructural damage after Hurricane Mitch. The experience was eye-opening, and is one of the primary reasons he has chosen to participate in this program. He remembers how the community members of a small rural village in the mountains were hoping to raise enough money to buy a single computer for their children to use at school. The OLPCorps gives him the opportunity to fulfill this mission, albeit with another segment of the world's children.
William Harris is a freshmen at Bucknell University, completing his B.A. in Political Science and History. William's experience includes working with young children around the Washington, DC area. He has worked as a camp councilor for the past four years, where he mentored children aged 8-12. He also has travelled to Brazil during the spring of 2009, where he helped build a community center in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. William's father is a professor at Howard University and he will serve as an advisory contact for our project.
The Samflora Academy is located in Umuariam, Nigeria.
Learning Through Exploration, Communication, and Innovation.
We Learn Socially
We do not learn alone. We are social beings. As such, we have made communication a central part of our project through a proposed collaboration between a US primary school and the deployment school. The students will be provided with blogs and a student partner from the collaborating institution. In this way, the students can broaden their understanding of the world and different cultures by sharing their personal experiences.
Who We Are
The Bucknell OLPC team consists of three primary members:
- Kyle Olivo – B.S. in Computer Science '09
- Ahmed Kodouda – B.A. in International Relations '10
- William Harris - B.A. in Political Science and History '12
Where We Are Deploying
We have an established family contact at the Samflora Academy in Umuariam, Nigeria, a rural village in the state of Imo. We plan to deploy between June 18th and August 18th. Our contact, and the school's founder, is Barrister O. Samuel Anyanwu. Mr. Anyanwu has a vested interest in the Umuariam community. He has been involved in building community resources in Umuariam for approximately fifteen years, and is responsible for the construction of the school, an Internet cafe, as well as the village's telecommunications and utilities infrastructure.
The school itself consists of around 100 students between the ages of 6 and 12 years. The children speak English, so no language barrier exists. Each child in the given age range will receive a laptop and we will also host student led teach-ins to give the children an opportunity to teach their fellow schoolmates about technology.
The school presently has a stable power and Internet infrastructure that will be able to support the demands of the laptops. Mr. Anyanwu has stated his intention to cover the additional power and Internet costs associated with the use of the laptops. In the event that we should experience power or Internet related problems, Mr. Anyanwu has connections with local technicians who will assist in handling larger infrastructural issues.
The school will only be out of session during the month of July, and we can use this time to teach the instructors about the laptops to help facilitate their use in the classroom. We will also hold voluntary school sessions during this month; the community is excited and willing to facilitate these sessions in any way they can.
We realize that our goal is not to solely instruct the students through traditional Western educational means, but to show them how they can best use the technology we are providing to better their own lives. We believe that it is communication with other individuals that ultimately leads to increased knowledge. With this in mind we are in the process of creating a partnership between a Lewisburg, Pennsylvania school and Samflora Academy in Nigeria.
Blogs will be given to all of the students from both of the partnering schools. They will either be provided individually or as a group in the form of a classroom blog. With the blogs, the students will be able to hold a personal correspondence with a designated “blogmate” and the world. By providing both groups of students with blogs, we believe we will foster life-long connections.
The Superintendent of the Lewisburg Area School District is aware of our program and is excited about the possibility of linking the two schools. Bandwidth and technology permitting, we also intend to bring the schools face-to-face with video chat.
Additional educational ideas can be found on our wiki (link below).
Technical and Financial Commitment
We want this project to be sustainable, and Mr. Anyanwu has assured us that infrastructural costs will not be an issue. We are relying on Mr. Anyanwu's school and his technical contacts to provide the bulk of the continued support for this project. We believe his long history of investment in the community shows that he and his organization are fully capable of sustaining the project after we leave.
That being said, we realize that even the best of plans sometimes run astray. With this in mind, we have partnered with the Bucknell African Student's Association (BASA) and they will provide any financial support that Samflora Academy may require. They will also support the blog partnership by providing technical support to the Lewisburg area school that is involved with the project.
Further information about the project can be found on our wiki:
Letters of Support
We have been in contact with Barrister O. Samuel Anyanwu, the founder of Samflora Academy. He has been a big proponent of the XO laptops and is very excited about our project. He has provided us with a letter of support, which you can find attached here:
Samflora Academy: Barrister O. Samuel Anyanwu - File:Anyanwu - Samflora Academy.pdf
|Airfare Items||Cost||Quantity||Item Total||Dates||Airline|
|Airfare (IAD – LOS) Roundtrip||1700||2||3400||June 6th – Aug 17th||Delta|
|Airfare (IAD – LOS) Roundtrip||1700||1||1700||June 18th – Aug 17th||Delta|
|Airfare (LOS - KGL) Roundtrip||1000||2||2000||June 6th – June 18th||Ethiopian Airlines|
|Airfare (LOS – QOW) Roundtrip||150||3||450||June 18th – Aug 17th||Aero Contractors|
|Other Items||Cost||Quantity||Item Total|
|Misc (Mosquito nets/insect repellent/etc)||200||3||600|
Note: Lodging and local transportation will be provided by Samflora Academy.
We have been looking for additional funding in the form of personal grants to cover expenses beyond the amount of the stipend. At this time, we are waiting to hear back regarding approximately $4,000 in outside grants and funding. Additionally, we hope that we will be able to reduce these estimates (particularly the airfare) when we make our final purchases.
Download budget as PDF: File:Bucknell OLPC Budget.pdf
It will ultimately be up to the local teachers to help us decide the best means of using the XOs to teach the children. That being said, we have created a few activities that we think will be exciting and inspiring to the children of Samflora Academy. Since the children already speak English we will be able to start teaching the students and teachers about the laptops through these learning activities right away.
The idea behind this activity is to allow the students of a US based school to communicate with the newly XO equipped Samflora Academy in Nigeria. Classroom or individually based blogs will be created so that the students will be able to post about their experiences, wishes, and ideas. In this way, both schools gain an understanding of another culture and its values.
This is a long running activity that will enable the students to share their culture with the world while simultaneously learning about another. Sample questions to ask the students:
- Who are you? - Present a brief autobiography describing significant events in your life with a self-portrait created with the XO's paint application.
- Where do you live? - Collect images using the XO camera, describe the landscape in the writing application, and share student created music using the recorder.
- What would you like to know? - Think about the ways your culture differs from the other. What aspects do you find interesting, exciting, or strange? Find creative ways to ask your questions beyond text.
We have contacted the Superintendent of the Lewisburg Area School District and he is very supportive of this idea. He suggested extending this idea to include video chat between the partnering classrooms. Bandwidth permitting, we intend to pursue this idea.
The 100 recipients of the XO laptops will inevitably be learning about technology at an amazing pace. Student lead teach-ins will give the students the opportunity to show their community what they have learned and how technology can better their lives. Topics will include basic computer literacy skills at the beginning, but it will quickly be up to the students to decide what the most important aspects of the XO are and how they wish to share this with their peers. The decision to include student teach-ins was heavily influenced by the experiences of Indiana University's OLPC team (see 1:42 min into the video).
When I Grow Up
Classes will be split into groups based on their ideal profession. From here we will ask the students to create a documentary that describes what the profession is about, why they are interested in the profession, and what they must do to become part of that profession. This activity will help the students focus on what steps they need to take to reach their goals. It is also a fun way for students to enlighten their peers about professions that they may find exciting.
Change The World
This activity is about brainstorming the solutions to local and global problems. We'll ask the students to think of a local and a global issue that they wish to see changed. They will then have to gather evidence that supports their observation that a problem does exist, and then present solutions to those problems. We will emphasize the importance of using various media sources (sound, video, and text) to present their case. The class will be responsible for decided whether they believe the issue is a real global or local problem once the evidence has been presented.
Hacker camp will present the students with a basic understanding of computer science concepts. Utilizing the Computer Science Unplugged activities, this activity will provide on offline introduction to computer science that will culminate in the exploration and creation of real programs written on the XO platform. The goal is to provide all students with an entertaining and engaging taste of computer science fundamentals that will hopefully encourage some students to pursue this career path.
Travel expenses became quite complicated for the two passengers travelling between Kigali and Owerri (near Umuariam). We have determined that by using only roundtrip tickets in our budget, we can save approximately $2,000 in operating costs. Our budget includes the following items:
- Traveller 1 (no orientation): 1 round trip ticket from Washington-Dulles to Lagos; 1 round trip ticket from Lagos to Owerri.
- Traveller 2 (orientation): 1 round trip ticket from Washington-Dulles to Lagos; 1 round trip ticket from Lagos to Kigali; 1 round trip ticket from Lagos to Owerri
- Traveller 3 (orientation): 1 round trip ticket from Washington-Dulles to Lagos; 1 round trip ticket from Lagos to Kigali; 1 round trip ticket from Lagos to Owerri
The prices listed in the budget are good estimates, but we hope to reduce the cost when we make the final ticket purchases.
The following vaccinations are recommended by the CDC for all travelers to Nigeria:
|Rabies||$600 (For 3 Shots)|
* Costs are specific to vaccinations administered at Bucknell University.
** Vaccinations required for Bucknell admission -- cost irrelevant.
Note: The rabies vaccination is not included in our budget. It is recommended by the CDC for travellers that will be working with, or in close proximity to, wild animals. A medical facility exists close to Umuariam that can administer shots should the unfortunate event of an animal bite occur.
The Malaria in Nigeria is resistant to Chloroquine, the standard anti-malaria drug. The alternatives (Malarone, Doxycycline, and Mefloquine) vary highly in cost and form of side effects. We will likely use Doxycycline due to its low cost and mild side effects. If anyone has suggestions, please comment.
Samflora Academy possesses a stable power and Internet infrastructure presently. In addition, many households have been equipped with electrical power. The school itself also has a backup generator. What this community possesses in electrical infrastructure, it lacks in computational power. The XO laptops will server as an invaluable asset in the education of this communities youth. Samflora Academy is also able to provide a secure location within the school to house the laptops prior to deployment.
Technical support for Internet infrastructure issues and general laptop maintenance will be provided by technicians employed by Mr. Anyanwu. We will take the time to train these local technicians on the laptops before we the end of our time there. Additionally, we believe that some students will want to learn how to repair their own laptops, and we will certainly teach them basic repair and maintenance if they so desire. This ensures that after we leave, the laptops and supporting infrastructure will serviceable by local individuals.
While Mr. Anyanwu's organization is fully capable of supporting the project once we leave, we have established a plan that will ensure that the connection between Bucknell University and the Samflora academy is sustained.
The Bucknell African Student's Association (BASA) has agreed to help maintain the relationship between Samflora Academy and the local school here in Lewisburg, PA. BASA has agreed to absorb this project under their initiatives by undertaking regular visits to the Lewisburg area school to ensure the successful implementation of the blog program. Individuals from BASA will be trained by the Bucknell OLPC on how to maintain the blogs and any other technology infrastructure is implemented for the school partnership.
BASA will work to raise funds that will be sent to Samflora Academy in the event that the school should require additional funding. BASA has been very successful in the past in raising funds for their other initiatives. They have, on an annual basis, raised over $2,000 for the African Medical and Research Foundation during their World Aids Day fundraiser.
Spreading the Word
The Bucknell OLPC team, in coordination with BASA, will work to publicize and generate interest in the One Laptop Per Child program and our project in Umuariam. We hope that through informational sessions, fundraising events, and distribution of literature, we will generate a continued interest in the success of the project throughout the Bucknell community.
We are very interested in hearing your thoughts! You are an integral part of making this proposal stronger! Please let us know of any recommendations you may have. We are particularly interested in hearing from those of you who have valuable firsthand experiences to share from previous OLPC deployments.
Please send all correspondence to: 'kyleolivo through google mail