Most recently in One Laptop Per Child we have been getting our old school computers ready to send to children in Africa to use, which I think is super cool that we can have an impact in a place so far and foreign to us. Our past class we started working on Scratch games to teach to the younger kids. I found this extremely interesting because I did not realize the critical thinking it takes in order to really develop something young kids can process and understand. We prepared questions that we could/would ask the kids, and it was really cool to know you are helping make an important impact in all these foreign countries, and I think that’s what makes this class so special is that we’re doing something bigger than all of us.
So far in One laptop per child we have downloaded Ubuntu onto cleared laptops so we can send them to a school in a different country. We were changing the language to Amharic which was very interesting because I have never seen that language before. So far, my favorite thing has been clearing the laptops and making them almost new because it was awesome to see them not go to waste. My overall impression so far is very good. I like that while we are learning something new, we are also getting to help others learn it as well which makes it more fulfilling. Its definately proven to be difficult but we have had success thus far.
Right now in One Laptop per Child, we are planning to teach the Fourth graders coding through Scratch. We are setting up our lesson plan and I am very excited to teach them because they are most of our little sisters. I think it is great that we are teaching coding at a young age, because coding is the language of the future, and many schools do not teach this, despite it being important. This gives girls at CSG the extra edge in technology, and starting this early can help promote a job in technology, which Is a growing industry, and will only continue to get bigger.
Our current Project in One Laptop Per Child is wiping and reprograming old computers to send them to schools and orphanages in third world countries. When first presented with this task, we didn’t know where to start. The first thing that we did was download Ubuntu, a free operating program for computers onto flash drives.
We then put a flashdrive into each laptop and used the program to install Ubuntu. At first this was very confusing for us, but as we have continued to work on it, it has gotten much easier.
My personal “project” within this larger project is trying to set up the laptops so that they are in Amharic, the language spoken in Ethiopia. I was able to figure out how to enable Amharic to use it in Ubuntu’s version of word and other programs where you type. I also figured out loosely how to make the entire computers operating system in Amharic, but it types in English. I will continue to try to combine both of these things.
It was been very challenging to work on this project. My class meets before the other class, so we have to figure a lot of things out on our own. It is a lot of trial and error, which can be very frustrating, but it will be worth it when we are able to send computers to people who do not have them.
Recently in One Laptop per Child, we’ve been wiping old high school laptops and installing Ubuntu on them so the people receiving them will have access to programs similar to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The other day in class Ms. Murakami showed us how to switch the hard drives of two computers. This was so that, since there were some computers that were working but would not read the flash drive with the Ubuntu download on it, we could insert a fully functioning hard drive that would read the flash drive and allow us to download the program onto all the computers. This was my favorite part of the class so far, because I got to see the inner workings of laptops similar to those we use every day.
This is my second year being in the One Laptop Per Child class and I am very excited to be back! Last year I took the class all year, but ended up not going on the trip. I really regret not being able to go on the trip and I’m hoping this year I will be able to. The class last year was so much fun and rewarding. We created lessons and worked with Scratch to give students in Kenya a better way to learn about their own health and basic health facts.
I am looking forward to being able to create more ways to teach others whether it be our own 4th graders or people across the ocean. I enjoyed working with Scratch and learned interesting ways to take on a problem and how to solve it. When creating the lesson we had to think in a way someone younger than us does in order to create a good lesson. Working with the younger kids was a lot of fun and it made you rethink on how you approach different topics that they haven’t learned yet. I can’t wait for the rest of the year!
As the new year is still just beginning, the One Laptop per Child class has only met a few times. We discussed Scratch and did a few of the scratch review and debug puzzles on the online version.
The lower school got new laptops this year, so we got the old ones. We are now in the process of cleaning the exterior and making sure they turn on and are not broken. The next step will be to remove windows from the computers and install Ubunto and LibreOffice.
Here's a picture of us working on the computers.
It is August, 2016. I'm just about to begin the 9th year of this course and 8th year with a trip in May project. I am very excited about starting the school year and working with new students.
Please check back soon after I have a chance to get the school year under sail.
On this blog, I will have students write weekly entries about their work and how they are feeling about their work. We avoid school breaks and other crunch times like near exams, but please check back often to see what the students are doing.