The XOs are here!
The PEPY staff is carrying boxes upstairs right now containing the first shipment of XO laptops for Cambodia! The “One Hundred Dollar Laptop” or “One Laptop for Every Child” project has chosen the PEPY Ride School as one of the first test schools. PEPY is also helping to distribute the 500 laptops to other test locations this week, so our plans are to sit around and eat pizza tonight while typing the serial numbers of the 500 laptops! fun fun! 🙂
Some of our staff – Tolors, Sokhoeung (new computer teacher), Aline, Maryann and Daniela – attended a training session about the kind of learning made possible by XOs this weekend where we got to use a GoGoBoard and program sensors to solve real life problems. Maryann’s group made a sensor that detected when the PEPY safe was open and announced “The PEPY safe is open” and then reminded you to “Write it down in the accounting book” when you close the door. Daniela’s team used water sensors which detected different voltages when placed in water so we used them in a glass to simulate our house water tank. The sensor the team programmed sounded an alarm when the tank was near empty so families would turn on the refill tap and then sounded another alarm to remind families to turn off the tap when the tank was full. We did this all on our laptops and learned to write all the basic logo code in just a few hours.
If we can use these laptops to enhance learning in ways where the students are able to problem solve or use technology to enhance their daily lives, I think this will be a very worthwhile project! The facilitator this weekend spoke of a girl in rural Thailand who, after attending his class at Chang Mai University, used the program to write code which would turn on the light at their fish farm (which is used to attract bugs at dusk) and then delay and turn it off three hours later, once all the bugs had gone to bed. This saved her taking a 1km walk FOUR times each night, to turn on the light, go home, go back to turn it off, and head home again.
We’ll keep you posted as we get these XOs into the hands of Cambodian students and see if and how it effects their lives! We hope to have positive feedback for you, and we believe that these learning tools really will be a way to extend the learning window from the 2-3 hours of class most primary school students are getting into a self-guided learning opportunity which can go on even after kids leave the classroom.
Stay tuned! Off to write down serial numbers!