Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kigali Training Workshop

Our team has just returned to our deployment site in South Africa after an intense training workshop in Kigali, Rwanda provided by OLPC. The workshop covered a large range of topics and definitely strengthened our deployment. OLPC tech expert, Reuben Caron, taught corps members how to reflash large numbers of XOs at a time and how to set up servers and access points. We were also given in-depth training in several advanced programs on the XO, such as Scratch and E Toys. We engaged in a lot of small group discussions about learning projects and sustainability. It was really useful to exchange information and ideas with the other corps teams because it shed new light on the potential of our own project. I felt that the most useful days at the Kigali workshop were spent working in schools in Rwanda where XOs have already been distributed. Most of us spent one day working with teachers and one day working with both teachers and students. As someone who did not participate in the IU South Africa deployment last summer, I found the classroom time in Rwanda gave me a better idea of how to deal with language barriers, how to communicate basic technical skills that may seem second nature to me, and how to recognize when to move through the lessons faster or slower. Other than a few problems with logistics/communication (bound to happen in Africa), the workshop was great and I’m really glad that I got to be a part of it. Now we are ready to get to work in ZA!

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