archive - January 2008

Final agenda for 1/31/08 meeting

 I have things finalized for what should be a great meeting this week of the OLPC Learning Club. I think we might even beat our last meeting’s attendance of 42. Our email list now has over 95 names, and the introductions thread on the forum is full of interesting posts. Once again, the time and location:

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008, 6:30-9pm at

Greater DC Cares 1725 I (Eye) Street, NW, Street Level Entrance, SunTrust Conference Room, Washington, DC 20006

The DC Cares web site lists their address as 1727, but we’re actually going in an alternate entrance (links to photos are above). As mentioned before, DC Cares is 1/2 block from Farragut West Metro and 2 blocks from Farragut North. I’m sure there’s parking nearby in the typical downtown garages. Our host is Curtis Cannon if for some reason you don’t see me right away.

I’ll be there an hour early to help get things set up. I’ll bring some extra power strips and a WiFi router as there is no open access point. Mesh should work fine. As kindly suggested by other user groups, it would be a good idea to bring personal contact info cards of some sort for networking, a charged up XO, your green power adapter with an identifying mark or sticker on it and perhaps a fresh USB flash drive 1gb or larger if you want to seek help doing a system upgrade or software install.

Here’s the agenda:

6:30 – Mike’s welcome and logistics for the night

6:40 – Curtis Cannon, Greater DC Cares and Peter Corbett, iStrategy Labs on OLPC laptops for social change

6:50 – Justin Thorp on developing content for the OLPC XO

7:05 – Mike will demonstrate power options and accessories for the XO

7:20 – Raffle

7:30 – 9:00 Mingle and mesh

As always, feel free to bring a still or video camera to document the goings-on. We won’t have much more than pitchers of water, so you should try to grab a snack on your way. Kids are welcome. There’s even an adjoining room if they want their own playspace. I’m going to try to push out one more post before Thursday here, so check back if you can.

written by Mike Lee on 30 January 2008 10 commenti

XOs arrive in Ulaanbaatar

 Carla Gomez-Monroy's photo of happy XO laptop recipients in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

I was touched by Carla Gomez Monroy‘s beautiful photograph of children using the XO laptop in Mongolia. Carla is part of the team that is still on the ground there beginning the deployment of 10,000 laptops that are first out to a developing country from the Give One Get One campaign. There are many more photos on the OLPC wiki.

Walter Bender also had this to say in this week’s OLPC community update:

3. Ulaan Baatar: Enkhmunkh Zurgaanjin, Carla Gomez Monroy, Jan Jungclaus, and RedHat’s David Woodhouse are working hard to set up a structure that can provide sustainability to the project in Mongolia such that it can spread it throughout the country. On Wednesday, the Minister of Education visited the school for the “laptop hand out” event. On Friday, an optical-fiber cable was set up, in spite of the extreme low temperatures; on Saturday, the schools were connected to the Internet. David has been working with a group of local technical people on the servers and Internet set up infrastructure as well as on configuration. John Watlington has been providing support remotely from OLPC.

We have been meeting almost every evening with the strategic team of the Ministry of Education to provide feedback and sort out challenges. We met yesterday with the Ministry of Education team, teachers, principals, ICTA, content team and pilot research team to provide detailed feedback of how the project is going so far and to bring up things to be considered for the short and long terms.

Teachers are putting their hearts into the program. They had their first sessions with the children. Parents, too, have shown support. And the children, of course, love it. The Constructionist model of learning has found wide-spread support within the MoE.

20. Mongolia: Dave Woodhouse is in Mongolia setting up servers in two schools, which as been an educational experience. Firstly, the wireless penetration through the walls they have here to cope with temperatures of –40°C is fairly dismal—Dave reports that we are having to use a lot of active antennae to get the coverage we need. We’re laying them out as if they were “normal” access points, to try to get coverage of all the rooms they’ll be teaching the 2nd–5th grades in. Hopefully, the nature of the mesh will improve coverage.

To start with, each school will have five antennae, with two servers. That setup will be re-evaluated when it’s fully deployed and tested in the classrooms. It is physically installed in one school so far, and fully cabled (including CAT5 to the other rooms where they have computers). The other school should be similarly set up by the end of Monday.

We’re looking forward to a detailed report on the OLPC wiki in a few weeks.

written by Mike Lee on 19 January 2008 Comments Off

Next meeting date and location set


So hold the date…

On Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 from 6:30 – 9pm, we’ll be meeting at

Greater DC Cares 1725 I (Eye) Street, NW, Ground Floor SunTrust Conference Room, Washington, DC 20006

The location is a half block from Farragut West Metro and about two blocks from Farragut North. I’ll do an in-person visit there in the next week to get a sense of the layout of the room as well as test out mesh and wifi access (I have to bring a router) with three or four XOs.

I really liked Wayan’s format of 10-minute podcast-friendly talks. Since I haven’t actually presented, I’d like to do a 10-minute photo tour of the MIT Media Lab and/or OLPC Headquarters. I may be visiting the Media Lab and OLPC before the meeting, so hopefully, I’ll have some fresh photos or even some video.

Then I’m sure Wayan can do a 5 or 10 minute update on the “State of OLPC.” Wayan will not be at the meeting because he’ll be honeymooning!

Lastly, I’d like to ask for a good presenter from our membership to do a quick lesson on something mesh-friendly like exchanging objects in Etoys, or perhaps orchestrating a TamTam band between a group of XOs.

Parents who want to bring kids are welcome to do so! The presentations should end by 7:10 and we’ll have from then until 9pm to mesh around. I’m thinking about kid-centered XO field trips on weekends for when it gets warmer, and I’d love to get input on that.

Please post in the comments or contact me directly at the email address at the top of the right side bar. Don’t forget the Introductions area of the forum.

written by Mike Lee on 8 January 2008 5 commenti

The OLPC Learning Club DC and Sugar Labs DC are independent grassroots organizations supporting the missions of One Laptop per Child and Sugar Labs.

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