OLPC / XO Laptop DC Learning Club Meeting Hummed With Excitement

On Thursday, January 31st 2008, I attended the OLPC DC Learning Club meeting at Greater DC Cares downtown. Over 50 people came, many with their XO laptops. A few parents, myself included, brought their children. Seeing so many people so excited about the potential of this technology made me happy.

Another attendee, Jesse Thomas and his friend Leslie Bradshaw took some photos that include a few of Patrick and me. The last one in the set shows Patrick using Mike Lee’s Lego-based optical viewfinder for the XO laptop.

I’m still figuring out how to use the XO laptop, as are Patrick and Audrey. My plan is to explore the applications that come with it, figure out how to use them, and to observe my kids using the applications, to see what they are doing with it. The built-in Journal logs what kids do with the laptop, and lets you resume activities that they started to see exactly what they were doing. I’m particularly interested to see how my 6-year-old son experiments with constructivist learning activities Etoys, Pippy, and Turtle Art, since he is already familiar with some programming and design concepts due to our many experiments with Scratch. I am very interested in the port in progress of Scratch to the XO, though I haven’t seen it myself yet.

Patrick really enjoys the calculator, the camera, the music applications, and Micropolis, a GPL port of the original SimCity code, the first program we added to the base set of activities.

I announced the Obscure Organization’s new Scratch class, and several people, including an Arlington high school teacher, contacted me afterwards inquiring about the program.

Clearly I need to get out more, and talk to more people about stuff I’m doing.


3 thoughts on “OLPC / XO Laptop DC Learning Club Meeting Hummed With Excitement”

  1. How would one get a hold of a OLPC? I know they did a give one / get one run before Xmas. Is it done with? Is there another way?


  2. The give one / get one program has finished, and I don’t know of any other way for a member of the general public to get your hands on one straight from the source. You’d have to contact the OLPC foundation and beg, or find an organization that has one and doesn’t want it anymore. Apparently some people are selling them on eBay.

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