Just another weblog

Class Thirteen: Scratch and More March 14, 2010

Filed under: Vietnam — polyachka @ 12:25 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Today both Minh and I were not feeling well, but we still came to teach Scratch. There were few bugs in the old version, that we had, like “change size to” didn’t work.

Scratch functions were easy for the girls as they are similar to the Turtle’s. Girls made the cat dance and  say meow, then  changed “sprites” to horses, elephants and other animals. I also showed them sample activities and cartoons.

At last, they learned how to upload files from the USB drive, as I brought another digital Vietnamese book for them, so they all copied it to their XOs. Girls are very much into reading!

I didn’t go to the Rex hotel for drinks with other volunteers as I didn’t have any energy. I didn’t sleep three nights in a row due to work and the heat…

I spent hours looking for the websites to get free eBooks in Vietnamese. Then more hours to register at various sites to start downloading books only to find out that not all formats could be useful. Some books were not real, as their links didn’t work. Not many books were actually in Vietnamese even though they were on the Vietnamese eBook sites. Then it was hard to get some of them to the XOs.I found 11 websites to download ebooks from, but it took me long time to go through them all… Some websites charge fees. Some have only educational books, but no fiction. Here are the most helpful: – only first couple of books are free, others are for a fee – about 100 books for free

Mathieu spent had his fair share of hard work, trying to install flash media player so that the girls can go to YouTube, download and play mp3 files.  He tried many different files, but they didn’t work. We still want to show them audacity and recording of singing over music… We also have to learn how to change IP addresses so that they can use real Facebook…


4 Responses to “Class Thirteen: Scratch and More”

  1. Kevin Mark Says:
    kevix from the support-gang. The above page might not be useful for your purposes but I thought I’d mention it. The section under ‘ Precompiled binary’ is what I have used. After you install mplayer, it can play various media formats from the ‘terminal activity’ like MP3, FLV (from youtube), and a few others. So you would have to explain to the kids how to start the ‘terminal activity’ and the required commands to play a media file. Like:
    mplayer my_tune.mp3
    mplayer my_video.flv
    I think anyone can learn these given good instruction but this is introducing ‘advanced technical knowledge’ that could result in increased support costs (like re-flashing the XO if things go really bad). There is also a program called ‘youtube-dl’ that can be used to download youtube videos and then you can use mplayer to play the videos from the ‘terminal activity’ which will play much better than from the ‘browse activity’.

    • verhovzeva Says:

      Thank you, Kevin. I’ll test it as soon as I can. It will be great if it works, I’m sure the girl will be able to use Terminal activity.

  2. Nick Doiron Says:

    When you use Facebook, see if will work faster. It is designed for slow connections.

    You also mentioned maps earlier; I developed the Map Activity – – it requires internet access but works faster than Google Maps on the XO.

  3. Nancie Severs Says:

    Re: getting flash to work. Look at the site. Under resources they have instructions on how to do it. I haven’t tried it. Nancie

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