OLPCorps UIUC Kenya Anderson

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Individual Biographies and Photos

Eric Anderson (UIUC) – Project Lead

Ben Dobbins (UIUC) – Pedagogical Lead

Leslie Cornell (UIUC) – Technical Lead

Meghan Higginbotham (San Diego) Cultural, Financial, and Logistics Lead

Matthew O'Rourke (Wisconsin) – Fundraising and Sustainability Lead

MODEL-ITU Youth Organization

By equipping youths with ICT skills, we hope to enable "children and youths to exploit their potentials, learn from one another, and promote positive cultural diversity and global understanding" (http://projects.tigweb.org/model-itu) or (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=76879525602). All quoted material referenced from these sources.

Through Model-ITU Youth Organization-Kenya, we will work to upstart an interactive free-time school called the ICT School of Cyber Peace and Internet Safety (ISCPIS). It will be located at KU Primary School on the outskirts of Nairobi. The school mainly enrolls orphans and children from poor families and slums. Our main local contact is Michael Owino (alex.owino@gmail.com). In addition to bolstering Model-ITUs current goals, we will deploy 100 XOs to introduce the XOlympics to the ICT School.

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The school has 600 pupils aged 6-12 with reliable electricity and good security. We will store the laptops in the school. It has the space, security, and power supply to support the laptop delivery and project.

The children will be in school from May until August. They speak English. Students partaking in ISCPIS will gather in the school hall for three hours after class on weekdays and six hours on weekends. Our large team size will ensure maximize individual interaction with the students during our project: the XOlympics.

The XOlympics

Life is richest when we follow our childhood dreams.

With the XOlympics, we will provide children with the necessary tools to discover and pursue their dreams. Children will develop ICT and New Media skills to become "active problem solvers in their communities and country at large."

Although there may be more children than laptops, we plan to engage all ISCPIS children with the XOlympics. The XOlympics will initiate daily and weekly activities that award creativity, teamwork, and innovation. It will be a fun way to ensure wide learning. It will spark dialogue about the XO that children will bring back to their social groups.

XOlympics events will allow the children to become citizen-journalists, scientists, mathematicians, musicians, film makers, programmers, gamers, writers, and dramatists. Students will need to use critical-thinking, teamwork, creativity, and all aspects of their XOs to succeed.

For example, "Wildlife Explorer" will involve using Record to create photo slideshows of various wildlife and its biology. "Good Deed News" will involve publishing a multimedia magazine on Scratch on how the team helps the community (bonus points for helping with the XO).

Children will contribute to award selection through digital voting on the XO.

We will oversee small teams of students as they work on the XOlympics challenges. Students will develop team names, crests, mottos, and theme songs. They will maintain team and individual blogs. They will use writing and video journals to reflect on the experience.

Additionally, students will work in teams on a longer project which they will present at the bi-annual Peace Camp. February 2009 Peace Camp

Our project will conclude in an XOlympics awards ceremony where we will recognize students for exemplary work using the XO. At the ceremony, students will present projects in front of peers and the community, showing that they can achieve their dreams.


We are partnering with US middle schools to act as virtual pen pals. The program will be mutually beneficial, linking the Kenyan and American children in cross-cultural friendship.

The MODEL-ITU Youth Organization and the school management will maintain the project, monitoring, and evaluation activities. The children will share their experiences with their peers to generate curiosity for future participants. Children using the skills will become agents of change by translating the project's outcomes into action.

A similar project has been successful at Kenyatta University. There, student volunteers train colleagues who join the university from rural areas in basic ICT skills (http://projects.tigweb.org/model-itu/discuss/thread/35601).


US Technical Support: Troy Campbell Long (troycampbelllong@gmail.com)


OLPCorps UIUC Summer 2009 Kenya Budget

The downside of our large team is our large budget. We are currently pursuing multiple scholarships and grants to defray expenses. Meghan is also seeking less costly housing.

Letter of Support

Letter of support