Fall Highlights

In September I spent time in Haiti with my son and other volunteers – setting up a self contained server environment (Internet-in-a-Box) and updating software on One Laptop per Child XO’s. Both the Mission and the Orphanage where we worked were very grateful to Adam, George and their expert team for their donated time and money to this important program. For me this was a wonderful but rugged experience. I’m not getting any younger!

This weekend these volunteers will be gathering in San Francisco at a yearly event that brings together those involved in the OLPC movement.

OLPCsummitThese are two of the workshops that intrigue me:

 1.     A lot is new with the OLPC community in Haiti, especially in the past year, including several new off-the-grid deployments and Internet-in-a-Box. Sora and James, two teenagers who worked with OLPC programs this summer in Haiti, will give a brief background of what’s going on in Haiti, share what they’ve learned, and then lead a problem solving conversation where we look to the experience and creative ideas of the participants. A few of the problems we’re trying to solve are: 1) What are the best ways to continue long-term communication and support for programs after deployment? 2) What are the advantages to after school vs. in school vs. community center type deployments and when should each be used? 3) How can we foster kids teaching other kids in an educational system that prioritizes kids who are already ahead?

 2.      “Paying” people for their work can be about more than just money. How do you go about supporting the community locals who are essential to setting up and sustaining a deployment? It’s important to note that often the kids using the laptops can be the most useful resource, if they are given the encouragement and opportunity to serve. I will talk briefly about my ideas and experience creating social structures at the school, local, regional, national, and even international levels. I still have a lot to learn about how best to do this, so the second part of the workshop will be a discussion among participants over their experiences and recommendations.

Then, next month more excitement! This time more laptop educational sharing and planning, but centered in Malaysia.  Such creative people to follow!
I left my heart in Haiti… They tell me I’ll never get it back! Do visit updates here as well! http://haitidreams.wordpress.com/

About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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