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Exploring XO: Tab 5

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Tab 5: About

Educational Philosophy and Design Principles

MaMaMedia activities are based on child-tested, “hard-fun” puzzles, digital toys, and creativity tools from, an award-winning children’s website. The original activities been customized to leverage the unique operating system and technological features of the XO Laptop, including the laptop's built-in camera, paint and writing tools, and the mesh network.

Each activity is built to highlight our well-established educational-design principles, which we call the “3X's” – for children to learn to eXplore ideas, eXpress themselves, and eXchange projects with digital media and tools.

"If the world's children will grow up using activities of the 3Xs kind, they will become less passive and not just media consumers, and become active and creative learners, more of a media creators."
- Dr. Idit Harel Caperton, President and Founder of MaMaMedia and the World Wide Workshop Foundation.

Based on her MIT Media Lab work with OLPC inventors Nicholas Negroponte and Walter Bender, and her research with Seymour Papert and his team at the Lab in the 1980's and 1990's, Dr. Idit Harel Caperton, author of the book Children Designers, believes:

“If young children see their laptop technology as a paper-and-pencil, right from the start, and if they play to experience the Internet as paint, beads, sand, blocks, or clay, they will learn the 3X's skills -- how to eXplore the world around them, eXpress themselves clearly and participate actively in the Internet world, and eXchange their ideas using digital media on their laptops. Equipped with the 3X's skills, children also gain the self-confidence to build their own worlds using digital media technology, and lead others in their communities.”

The World Wide Workshop Foundation is dedicated to narrowing the digital divide by empowering children with the life skills and technical knowledge to create media, explore the web to cull information, and contribute to the informational communities around the world, using web-based and wiki media and tools:

“We know these skills will not be honed in a day, it takes time to become an effective blogger, wiki-writer, and games programmer; but with commitment, support and access to opportunities and suitable learning environments -- we believe this can be a reality for all children and youth in the near future. It's not that they're not going to be media consumers anymore, but we want children to start young and to grow to expect to go one level above and beyond media consumption, and become media technology leaders for educational and social causes that are relevant to them and to people in their communities" says Idit Harel Caperton.

All MaMaMedia/OLPC applications are programmed in Python and designed to run optimally on the XO laptops in the Sugar interface system. Developers use software languages, libraries, and tools that are supported and recommended for the XO and Sugar. Applications' size are light to ensure efficient loading and satisfactory technical performance and user experience on the XO laptops used throughout the OLPC deployment locations (rural communities in developing countries).

Finally, this is an open source project, in spirit and practice. As such, all development work will be regularly documented on a wiki. Documentation will include version status reports and a complete, cleanly organized and well commented set of source code files for each version (so that future educators and developers may review, use or even expand).

We are a small team. If you are interested in helping our small team and contributing to this project, please email us at: