(from Jessica Curtis)
OLPC Summit 2010 Oct 23, 2010
SpeedGeek Saturday 1:45 p.m.
Fourteen tables with presenters, and groups of attenders rotated to each table, heard the presentation (pity the presenters: they had to do it 14 times!) and asked questions. Quickly lost its meticulous organization but everyone seemed to have a chance to ask the questions they wanted.
1. Jamaica. Arlene and Nadine described two pilots, one of 40 and one of 75 laptops, in Jamaica and the involvement of UWI. An interesting idea: a bank of lesson plans to go with the XO activities, so teachers don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
2. ?? Star King. No one was at the table.
3. Madagascar. Little of the OLPC content is in the local language, Malagasi. Jonathan who is involved in a 160-laptop deployment in a northern island and Isabella who almost single-handedly created a pilot of 15 laptops hadn’t known about each other until shortly before the Summit. Now they’ll be collaborating.
4. MTSA: Afghanistan. Carol Ruth Silver. Started by attempting to give some education to girls especially outside of Kabul. When OLPC came in, partnering with them to use the XO as the vehicle. In the cities, there are schools and teachers, however inadequate. Outside, there will be some kind of education, at least for boys. However, in remote areas there is nothing. “Community based schools” can be developed using the XO with pre-loaded educational software, carried into the remote areas on donkeys if necessary, and with any willing adult as the convenor/teacher. Mike Dawson and his IT company in Afghanistan are key.
5. eKindling in the Philippines, Cherry. The vernacular is important. DKindli8ng requires that the primary contact with the learners be native-speakers who can communicate in the local languages as well as Tagalog and English. Engagement and buy-in are dramatically quicker when teachers don’t perceive the OLPC representative as an authority figure.
7. India. Goa has a roll-out of 105 XOs. Marasthra has 80 schools. What works for India: dual boots on laptops so teachers can become familiar with Sugar without losing their Microsoft PC capabilities that they are attached to. Teachers receive a bigger keyboard to use with the XO. School servers with daily backup are prevalent, each XO mapped to a child or teacher so use can be followed through the journals. The limiting factor in India is the arrival of the XOs; teacher buy-in is good and teachers are prepared by practicing with sugar on their PCs.
8. Charging station frames made of PVC pipes, easy to build, a bit rickety. Shaneil Passad
9. Toaster: Developed a utility to burn USB sticks using the XO. Made a Python activity, a bootable USB stick.
10. ARM School Server: Robert. Uses only 2.5 watts, not 300.
12. Kenya: Adam Gordon. Router that takes a cellphone signal and enables up to 50 kids to surf the internet at once, independently. Signal is better in Kenya than in the US. A cradle-point router 3G wife router.
13. Fedora: Mark Terranova. Linnux. Fedora vs Ubuntu. Ubuntu is “failsafe” but has higher markup. Fedora is sponsored by Red Hat, enjoys freedom due to lack of oversight.
14. FOSS@RIT: Facilitates development o open-source programmers. Internships, college-credit courses, one-day events like hackathons, Crisis Commons, blogging, story-telling, biographies. NIT center, collaboration, apprenticeship programs.