archive - May 2009

Meet OLPCorps Team “Ampitso” in DC on Wednesday

Are you excited about the OLPCorps idea – teams of college students headed to Africa with a stack of XO’s and determination to make a change? Want to meet a winning group that’s headed to Madagascar from right here in DC? The OLPC Ampitso team is leaving in early June, but before they go, they need your help.

They need the collective wisdom of OLPC Learning Club-DC, our excitement, and our years of exploration with the XO laptop. They can also use our support – deployment in Madagascar is going to be tough, and we can supply research and expertise that would be priceless to OLPC Ampitso and their beneficiaries, the children of Ambatoharanana.

So come out and meet OLPC Ampitso, learn what they’re planning, and share what you know:

OLPC Ampitso Meetup
Wednesday, May 27, 6:30pm
Looking Glass Lounge
Back beer garden
3634 Georgia Ave NW

[ Map ]

written by Mike Lee on 25 May 2009 3 commenti

Slides on Cloud Computing on the OLPC XO-1

Here is Kim Toufectis’ slide presentation from the April meeting on cloud computing on the XO. Naturally, he authored the presentation in an online service as well. In an email following the meeting, Kim gave us his current picks for cloud computing services:

  • For design, Cloudo wins hands down; if its applications mature this is a highly attractive option overall.
  • For range of available applications and integration with Google services (Chat, Maps, GMail, Contacts, etc.), OODesk and MyBooo are each excellent.
  • For usable spreadsheets, Peepel seems to work the most responsively.
  • For FLOSS, cmyos and eyeOS seem to lead the field.

Kim observed that during the meeting, many members were scribbling intently when the topic of streaming music services was touched upon. I agree with Kim that that will be a great topic to cover in a future meeting.

I’ve also posted a set of photos from the meeting.

written by Mike Lee on 25 May 2009 3 commenti

Show and tell … and perform!

This hyper-happy video by Jay Silver of the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten Group kicks off World Scratch Day today! Scratchers in Asia have already started meeting and sharing as I prepare to head out to the Arlington Career Center for the Learning Club’s own Scratch Day event.The Scratch Team at MIT has posted a welcome video for the organizers to show anywhere as well as their participant packet (PDF). Someone has also created a nice video tour of the beta of Scratch 1.4. Materials for our Learning Club event today, including our two-page program sheet and my presentation slides, are online.

We’re also watching all the energy radiating from Paris, where OLPC France, Sugar Labs and many others have started Sugar Camp #1.

Let the planet show, tell and perform!

written by Mike Lee on 16 May 2009 Comments Off

MIT Scratch Day 2009 at the Arlington Career Center

MIT Scratch Day 2009

What: Special Event: Scratch Day 2009 – OLPC XO laptops still welcome!
When: Saturday, May 16th, 2009, 10 am to 1 pm

816 South Walter Reed Drive,
Arlington, VA 22204
Contact Page, Map, Aerial Photo, Bus Info)

Our May meeting will celebrate Scratch, the MIT Media Lab’s programming software for children and teens, which we have presented at previous meetings. Scratch Day started last year in Cambridge, MA as the first international Scratch@MIT conference. This year, the Scratch team decided to invite any interested groups around the world to run their own Scratch Days at the same time as this year’s conference in Cambridge. So far, over 100 70 events are planned in 41 20 countries.

The Scratch visual programming environment empowers children ages 8 and up to design and program their own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. The free software runs on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems and comes pre-installed on the OLPC XO laptop’s Sugar Learning Platform. Later this year, it will should also be available on compatible with Sugar LabsSugar on a Stick (SoaS).

Scratch is taught in several DC area schools. In Virginia, two elementary schools use GNU Free and Creative Commons licensed lesson plans developed by Learning Club member Richard Bullington-McGuire.

Saturday’s festivities will begin with a brief presentation on the features and benefits of Scratch and its online community web site. Then local students and parents from Taylor Elementary School and elsewhere will demonstrate their Scratch projects. MIT’s sensor input circuit board for Scratch, the Picoboard will be demonstrated, as well as LEGO’s new WeDo robotics system, which will be controllable by the next release of Scratch. Naturally, we’ll also have Scratch running on the OLPC XO-1, as well as netbooks such as the Intel Classmate 2 and Classmate 3 convertible.

At around noon, we’ll do our free raffle again, for which you must be present and have a numbered ticket to win. Prizes include a copy of the book Scratch Programming for Teens, an OLPC XO green Mr. Brightside USB LED laptop light and several sets of laminated Scratch activity reference cards.

While we’ll conclude at 1pm, you can still catch another Scratch Day event at Takoma Park Middle School, which runs from 10 am to 3pm. Phil Shapiro has written an excellent article about Scratch for PC World that has also appeared in Macworld and the Washington Post.

If you’re a user of online social networking sites, you should know that the Scratch team is on Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube. I’ll be posting to Twitter with the hash tag #scratchday as well as photos and video to Flickr.

Our next regularly scheduled meeting should be on June 20th at Gallaudet University. We send email updates once a month as well as update this blog.

written by Mike Lee on 9 May 2009 2 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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