Sameer's blog

OLPC and the UWI Township Project

Dr. Olivene Burke talks about the OLPC project in August town, Jamaica. The project has OLPC XO laptops at the August town Primary School. Dr. Burke is a lecturer in the area of Behavioral Sciences and General Management at the Mona School of Business and Management at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. Dr.

Peering into Journal data

Our pilot sites in Jamaica run on the OLPC XS School Server. The XS provides backup services for all the different XO laptops registered to itself. The backup stores the Journal of each laptop. For those who are unfamiliar with the Journal, it is an application that acts as a filing system, except that it does not use the metaphor of files and folders.

Mission House Basic School joins the OLPC world

The Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) launched its third "One Laptop Per Child" (OLPC) project on May 16, 2013. Since its inception in 2011, the project has provided over 100 laptops to select schools. This year 20 XO laptops were distributed to the Mission House Basic School in Gordon Town, to be complemented by on-going teacher, parent and student training. This initiative is sponsored by the Western Union Foundation, and implemented by MSBM and People's Action for Community Transformation (PACT), with Internet support provided by LIME.

We be July

If you work on campus at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica, then you would know this - July is OLPC month at UWI!


Pathagar for pilot schools

Pathagar is a digital library server that follows the Open Publication and Distribution System (OPDS) specification. We are working to incorporate such a library at each of the pilot schools. The idea is to provide a library locally over Wi-Fi, so that the school and its surrounding neighborhood can get access to books as and when needed, without Internet access. If Internet access is available, then we can federate multiple Pathagar libraries across the pilot schools.

Resources, curation and dissemination

Some interesting challenges. Where do we get digital information resources? How do we pick from an ocean of wealth? How do we get it to people who need it the most? A big "Thank you" to Craig Perue for inviting me to the Ministry of Education, Government of Jamaica. I presented information around exploring new possibilities around Open Education Resources for Jamaica. We hope we can further access to information to places that need it the most.

Little explorers

What do teachers, parents and children have to say about their experiences so far? I can write all day, but nothing compares to their own words. This is a collection of short interviews with the teachers, parents and children from both Providence Basic School and August Town Primary School.

Sit back and watch the joy unfold.

Lesson learned

Let this be a lesson to all deployments out there who crimp their own CAT5 cables. We had a setup that was tested and working with our school server, its connection to the outside, and all, when one slight move knocked it all out. From there on, no matter how hard we tried, we couldn't crimp the cable properly. It wasn't until master crimper Mahesh Boodraj went down to the school that we got our a reliable connection.

Lesson: Be sure to have a master crimper!!!

When data tell stories

We finally got past a major hurdle of pulling metadata from the journals of the XOs at the two schools. The XS School Server collects journals of all the XO laptops and keeps the aggregate stored, in case we need to recover lost work, or push a child's work back into a newly-reflashed laptop.

Representing OLPC Jamaica

Craig Perue was at the OLPC San Francisco Community Summit 2011 representing OLPC Jamaica and its efforts in Providence Basic School, August Town Primary School and in Moneague Teacher Training College. I am pleased to share with you that Craig did an excellent job in not only representing Jamaica efforts but in also garnering support and ideas for moving further with our work. Here's his interview as conducted by Nicholas Charbonnier.

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