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Boston OLPC Meeting March 12, 2011

From Adam, Mike and Andreas:

What a great meeting of 14 minds on Friday, March 11 at 6PM at OLPC office, One Cambridge Center (right above the Kendall/MIT Red-Line Stop), facing OLPC’s most serious challenges. Meeting’s Agenda:

1. eBooks on Sugar Realities (New Read 89)
2. Map jams: http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/iaep/2011-February/012568.html and each OLPC/Sugar CITY that will follow in March (Paris, then French Africa) )
3. West Somerville eToys training by Solution Grove
4. Uruguay Summit May 5-7
5. Intel/Computer Clubhouse’s new global mentoring network (“starting soon
right here in town”)

One of the topics was about using eToys or Scratch to engage older kids and/or adults with programming. Nick Doiron summarized some ideas on this topic for the group:
“There are a lot of ideas out there about how to do intro-to-programming and I like what people have done with eToys at the primary school level (if you haven’t seen Waveplace’s experiences in Haiti, read http://waveplace.org/news/blog/ )

As you target middle school level students or above, they’re interested in the internet and media.  Some are interested in technical details – ask any programmer you know when they started.  You can make a high school kid an expert in eToys, but they won’t be any closer to making their own website or Space Invaders game.  If you would give someone a power tool in shop class, you should give them a real programming language on the computer.

Mozilla’s Hackasaurus program is designed for learning HTML at this level. Two amazing workshops in the past month:
http://spotlight.macfound.org/featured-stories/entry/at-hackasaurus-jam-mozilla-encourages-young-programmers-to-change-the-web/and http://brettgaylor.tumblr.com/post/3526122151/web-made-movies-at-bavc

They have information about setting up your own workshop at hackasaurus.org. Also, check out http://palpable-video.appspot.com/sample ”

This meeting had tremendous value for all participants as it presented an opportunity to connect to people who are interested in similar edu-tech ideas. Photo Courtesy of Mike Lee.

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