OLPCorps CSUSM South Africa

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Our Aim

Our student team wants to work in conjunction with eduweavers.org to implement 100 XO laptops to eSibonisweni Primary School in South Africa. Through the use of educational technology, we will be able to further the school-to-school partnership program, and ultimately be the teaching interface, promoting diversity, between the children at eSibonisweni, and children in California.

Our Team

  • Melanie Slocum- A sophomore at California State University, San Marcos majoring in Political Science and Global Studies. Melanie is currently a tutor for elementary school children, and works as a consultant in the writing center on campus where she is internationally certified. She is Vice President and founder of the Pre-Law Society at CSUSM.
  • Lindsay Anderson- A sophomore at California State University, San Marcos majoring in Kinesiology and Computer Science. Lindsay tested out of the computer competency requirement for CSUSM and has been involved in various projects on campus.
  • Brittney Orona- A sophomore at California State University, San Marcos majoring in Nursing with an emphasis on child development. Brittney has experience volunteering in children's hospitals and has 5 years of computer and internet service training.

Draft Proposal

As lifelong members of the “computer generation” we take a special interest in this project. Our team is comprised of three undergraduate students from California State University, San Marcos: Melanie Slocum is a Political Science and Global Studies major, Brittney Orona is a Nursing major with an emphasis on Child Development, and Lindsay Anderson is a Kinesiology and Computer Science major. Our project will work in conjunction with eduweavers.org to implement 100 XO laptops to eSibonisweni Primary School and Ikhwezi Primary School in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Our project will involve an individual, Dave Hall and EduWeavers.org. Both have established strong relationships with faculty members at surrounding primary schools. Dave Hall also lives near the area and has agreed to serve as our liaison and provide technical support with his extensive program managing background. Dave Hall and EduWeavers have developed a protocol with an initial 80 XOs donated to eSibonisweni Primary School, which has near 700 students. The additional XOs will set up a network between eSibonisweni and nearby Ikhwezi Primary School, as well as schools in other parts of the world. The 230kg package will be able to be stored at both eSibonisweni and Ikhwezi Primary Schools. With the training completed during our visit, the faculty and staff at the primary schools will be able to maintain the project after our departure.

The students are going to be in school for the most of the visit. Time that students are given off will be used for preparation, additional training and community workshops. Depending on the opinion of the headmasters, the laptop integration will take place either during regular school hours, or as an after-school program. Our student team will be in charge of introducing XO laptops to the students, providing training for usage, and generating enthusiasm for technology. Once children are familiarized with the concepts, the school-to-school partnership program will commence. eduWeavers partners schools in California with schools in rural environments in South Africa. Schools in these partnerships actively engage in joint academic projects, share common intellectual pursuits, and exchange and celebrate their cultures across grade level and curriculum. We are also going to hold a meeting with all of the faculty at the primary schools to assess which subjects students are struggling, and use the applications on the XOs to improve these areas. Students will be broken up into groups based on academic need and will be able to help each other work through the curriculum in creative ways using the XOs. Learning from each other is an important tool for intellectual and social development.

The rural area is lacking of recreational facilities and the XOs will serve not only as a learning tool, but to develop skills and facilitate fun. Roughly 40% of the area’s population lives in traditional huts where access to technology is scarce. The incorporation of the XO laptops allows these students to go beyond the financial hardships facing South Africa, and expand their knowledge of the outside world. Use of computer technology is shaping modern society and it is important that children virtually isolated from this idea are brought up to par.

Contact: slocu001@csusm.edu


Total Running Total

LAX-Kigali-Durbon Durbon-LAX

$2300 x 3 $6900
Lodging $1000 $7900
Food $500 $8400
Transportation $1000 $9400

Hepatitis A&B, Typhoid, Rabies, antimalarial drugs

$50 x 3 $9550
socket converters To be calculated

Fundraising through our university is also being done. Our goal is to set up a self-sustaining environment, if the children are unable to plug laptops in at home, they can do so at their schools. Once our team leaves KwaZulu-Natal, our liaison, Dave Hall, and the people at eduWeavers will remain involved with the project and its expansion to local primary schools.