Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Takungu community meets their XOs!

Today, the XOs were introduced to the Standard 4 and 5 classes and their parents! The meeting was a huge success and everyone is very excited about the program. There have been 5 teacher trainings so far and 2 teacher meetings about the laptops. The teachers have learned the following programs: chat, speak, write, Tam-tam mini, scratch, distance, etoys, memorize, and record.

Bryan is going to spend the day setting up the server and the computers at the school. He is going to train Omar (the Standard 5 teacher) in the tech side of things, so that if problems arise in the future, Omar should be able to work out the kinks. The deployment to the students is happening Monday (standard 4) and Tuesday (standard 5). Unfortunately, we will be using the generator to charge the computers initially as the electricity is still not connected.

The remaining computers will be given to the current Standard 3 class next year (thereby covering 4-6). Priyanka is going to make a spreadsheet to record which computer is given to each student. Even though the laptops won't go home with the kids, ownership is still important. We met with some visitors from OLPC last week. They feel very strongly about sending the computers home with the students, but Priyanka, Bryan, and I think that cannot happen until next year at the earliest. We feel that it is pretty much a fact that the computers will last for a shorter amount of time if they go home with the kids, but we are willing to pilot it next year.

Priyanka has been working hard with the teachers to develop lesson plans for Term 3 using the XOs in Science, English, Math, and Social Studies. Breona and Jen, back in the States, will add to the lesson plans and help support them by caching websites to help support the lessons.
For the rest of Term 2, the students will be learning the laptops during one PE class per week and two Creative Arts classes per week. There will also be optional after school hours four days a week (two for Standar 4 and two for Standard 5). During the school break, the students will have the first week off, and will resume studies with the computers the second week of break.

Because of Madrasa everyday during break but Thursday and Friday, students will come in August 13 and 14, August 20 and 21, and starting on August 24th, Madrasa takes a break and they can come every day until school opens on the 7th of September if that schedule suits everyone involved. This gives the students and teachers a lot of time during break with the computers.

The teachers involved will be Anita, the computer teacher, and Saade, who has been on leave and agreed to work in August to make up for time lost. She will train on the computers and will be able to assist Anita. Other teachers are welcome to come in during the break but are not required to.

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