Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The night is darkest just before the dawn

We began the day with a meeting about our goals for the day. We had a discussion the previous night about how we can improve in terms of teaching, because the previous Monday was border line failure. At the first meeting after the Monday we discussed having more meetings. we had previously just went in with a general plan and tried to execute. That worked for the first two days, but when we actually tried teaching use of the XO in the classroom we crashed and burned. The teachers were bored and they didn't understand the overall objective of what we were attempting to teach them.

SO...this morning we met to discuss our goals and objectives. Before our meeting; Chika, Mike, and I we sitting around and I raised the question of measuring progress in the classroom with the XO's. Its one thing to have a new toy to play around with but if you can't measure the benefits how can we expect to sustain this project and the further use of the XO's in this country for that matter. With that being said we laid out some goals for the day and they went exceedingly well.

Mike taught scratch, which in my mind, is one of the most difficult programs on the XO. They seemed to grasp the idea of the program and the functionality pretty fast. We also taught distance today, this program sends out sound frequencies and measures the distance between the two XO's in meters.

I have always expressed some displeasure with the XO's not being effective for the amount they cost (about $180). As I often tell people you can get an Acer or some other netbook for about $200-$250 that performs 10 times better, but OLPC's vision and drive to make the laptops affordable and a useful tool for children drives this program to be much more effective than a store purchased computer.

Tonight is another meeting about tomorrows plan (the server, index, scratch, and moodle).

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