Monday, June 29, 2009

200 Laptops, 6 Boxes, 3 People, 1 Car (Winter Camp Day 1)

Winter Camp Day 1:


On our first day of the winter camp we went to Mmaweshi in the morning and Driehoek in the afternoon. We had to transport all 200 laptops to the schools using one compact car. We filled the boxes that the XOs were shipped in and stacked them in the car. We fit 200 laptops in 6 boxes. All 6 boxes and Savanah, Gordon, and I also squeezed in. We arrived at Mmaweshi to find the students already waiting there for us. Sara, the principal, showed up a few minutes later to let us into the school. The students helped us set up a classroom and 45 children and parents filed in and took their seats.

The turnout at Mmaweshi was great: much more than we had imagined would come to the smallest of our three schools. Almost all of the 6th and 7th graders from last year were there along with students from the other grades. We started off by giving a short speech thanking everyone for taking their winter break to come to the XO camp and thanking the schools for allowing us to use their facilities (without them we would have had nowhere to hold the camp). From there we got right to work.

We needed to judge the level of the students so after turning on the laptop we had them open the Record activity. It was easy to see which students had used the laptop before because they were already taking pictures as I gave the directions. The newer students were having trouble with the mouse pad and clicking on programs, but luckily, the students from last year were eager to help in any way possible. It was definitely a peer-to-peer learning environment. Every time a student or parent had a question the older students were there to help.

Everyone went outside to take pictures with their XOs and then we showed them how to name the photos and upload them into the Write activity. We had a few complications because students closed out their Record activity before we could give the next instructions so they had to start over. After we circled the class a few times answering questions the students had all copied their photo and were writing about it. After this we decided to give them a chance to explore the laptops and open programs they wanted to know more about. Many of them opened Scratch, just like in Rwanda, and then called one of us over to show them what it could do. Now we know to make time to spend learning scratch later in the camp.

Next we had everyone draw a picture in Paint of their school. No one really listened, but it wasn’t a problem. The students took the initiative to make their own drawings. We even had one student, Mack, who drew a 3D truck just using the mouse pad. The students were really enjoying this, but because the laptops had not been fully charged they started to die. Pretty soon there were so many laptops dead that we had to end the camp a half hour early so that we would have enough laptops for Driehoek. We said our goodbyes and all of the students said they would be back tomorrow for the 2nd day of winter camp.

1 comment:

  1. Great start to the XO camp! Thanks for the update - hope all is well.