XOs arrive in Ulaanbaatar
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.