New Beginnings

Sometimes things don’t quite work out the way they are planned. Two years ago the FAMLI/OLPC project at Audubon Middle School got it’s start with 10 contributors  Program XO-1s from OLPC.  The plan was to start a lending library and repair center, but a variety of obstacles  got in the way.

The logistics of sending the laptops home with children in a community where they might be stolen on the way could not be figured out.  There were no broken machines to repair. The volunteer who started the project moved away.

But the students quickly adapted to the XOs and dreamed of exchanging letters with other children using XOs all over the world. They even named the computers after different countries. They became experts at using the mesh to share Activities and explored many of the Activities and special features of the XOs. They never lost their hope of doing more.

A few weeks ago a call for volunteers went out on the OLPC-SoCal Mailing list. The response was excellent and a week ago three new volunteers, Raj Baberwal, Abe Kazemzadeh, and Steven Pease met with me (OLPC Support Volunteer, Caryl Bigenho) and FAMLI director, Torré Reese, to plan the future of the project.

Off to a new start! New volunteers Abe, Raj and Steven with Caryl Bigenho from OLPC and Torré Reese from FAMLI

The volunteers will be meeting with the students once a week for starters, with other times as things come up. Each of the volunteers took home an XO to explore its possibilities and have been discovering some very interesting and valuable things about the machines and the Sugar software. They will be blogging here to tell about their experiences with the XOs, Sugar, and the students.

We have recently made contact with a project in another country and hope to find others soon. Instead of exchanging individual letters, the students will be collaborating to produce an e Newsletter to exchange with students in other countries.

Now the studetns will finally be able to get a start on their repair center with 3 machines I have from the old M-Stock from the G1G1 program and will be applying for other damaged machines to practice on. Finally, we plan to have the students share their experiences as guest bloggers on this blogspace.

So, things haven’t worked out as planned, but, with the help of our enthusiastic new volunteers we have great hopes that it will be better than we ever could imagine.

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