Saturday, April 18, 2009

Another Rockin' OLPC Learning Club Meeting!

The OLPC Learning Club DC ( continues to be the most exciting user's group in which I have ever had the good fortune to participate. It brings together an eclectic mix of scientists, educators, children with parents in tow, hackers, and small computer techies that has made for a dynamic intercultural exchange.

I was first exposed to Scratch and eToys at these meetings. Scratch has since become a regular teaching tool I use in the classroom. I met biologist Dr. Frank Linton at these meetings, which led to the bee project and set the groundwork for aquiring the skills we will need to start SugarLabs, DC.

Today's meeting featured a presentation on cloud computing by Kim Toufectis. The timing could not have been better, since I was planning on giving a presentation to one of my classes on cloud computing on Monday. Now I can just give Kim's presentation, saving me the prep time I would have needed to prepare one on my own. Ten years ago, when I started the Open Book Project, I had hope that the Internet would one day provide a platform for educators to share in the development of high quality educational materials for the benefit of all. That day now seems to be approaching.

9 Out of 10 Aint' Bad

Of the 10 XOs we received, 9 of them worked perfectly and updated without problem. One of them reported a write error when I attempted to update Sugar on it. I've given that one to Matt to see if the can confirm the problem.

Documenting the Laptops

Paco and I met at his house the meeting to prepare for our meeting on irc tonight with the folks from Chalate. The first thing we did was to create a google doc spreadsheet listing each of the XOs we will be using locally with the project. This will help us keep track of our resources and record how we are using them.

¿Habla EspaƱol? - Part II

The Wikipedia activities were indeed language specific (that makes perfect sense). In the four XOs we are naming "azucar1" through "azucar4" and setting up to use in Spanish, we needed to remove these activites. The Activies page on the OLPC wiki says to do the following :
  • cd Activities
  • rm -f WikipediaEN.activity
That worked without a hitch, and after rebooting the laptop the Wikipedia activites no longer appear in the favorites ring.

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