OLPC –NAIROBI CENTRE XO LAPTOP PROJECT
CENTRE ST.BENEDICT SCHOOL PROJECT
TEACHERS Martin Erisa and Joel Sawa,
INITIAL NUMBER OF CHILDREN 32
RE; REPORT 1 SINCE COMENCEMENT OF PROJECT NAIROBI SITE
The project started and has been running for two months teaching three lessons per week as scheduled by the school authorities.
The class curriculum addresses questions about AIDS—that is, concepts such as causes and effects. First we planned how to effectively use the laptops, because that the children had never seen the OLPC XO. We knew also that the childrent had a lot of mis-guided information about AIDS (right and wrong).
Our plan was to introduce basic information about a computer and the XO laptop. We guided them through the various commands and operations, then navigated through the many activities in the XO. We saw it a wise move for the students to be comfortable with the XO before we addressed the AIDS material stipulated in the curriculum.
We then sought to understand the nature of their knowledge about AIDS statements they could make, attitudes, and judgments. This gained the children’s attention and provided a lot of information we entered into the XO for their later reference.
We then in the next couple of lessons taught the children how to use the XO laptop (WRITE ACTIVITY) to write down all the (now guided) information about AIDS.
Put in groups of six, children took turns to write the information, some were too slow that it could take them long just to find and write a single letter. This went on as their speed slowed us down because we desired that each and everyone of them does something and indeed they did.
All this was before we as teachers gave them any information from us about AIDS because we wanted to start from where they knew, then it could be easier for us to teach.
We later introduced them to the WIKIPEDIA activity of the XO. The role of this was to let them navigate through it and gather more information about AIDS and possibly correct information. Because there was only one XO laptop with that Wikipedia activity, we centralized it to one table. Inhere one child at a time could search for some thing and then read it to the others to hear and comment.
As the activity of searching for AIDS information from Wikipedia activity went on, we allowed chance for them to keep asking us questions some of which answers were in the Wikipedia itself whereby becoming interesting for them.
Then we went ahead to let them take group and individual photos as they discuss about AIDS, effects and symptoms.
In a particular case the child told the class that AIDS can be got when you look some one with AIDS for long in the face. While another said that at their upcountry home there is a stream whose water is known to spread AIDS when drunk or even bath using it.
All this information can then be claimed as essentially myths with judgments minus knowledge about matters of fact.
One can be right to say that XO helped bring light into the children’s life about AIDS. Such a position as these children had before may be called anti-realistic or leaving facts aside. The program explains what kind of disease AIDS is and how to remedy it in a normative way.
The parents responded in a trio manner;
(a) Some never wanted their children to know the facts about AIDS saying it could just make them more immoral if they did.
(b) A big number of parents wanted their children to understand all the facts about AIDS as much as they could with the help of the XO laptop.
(c) Most parents liked their children’s exposure to XO regardless of whether they learnt about AIDS or not.
The school too has had a duo response so far;
(a) Teachers themselves wanting to join and actually sometimes joining the XO AIDS classes as the children study.
(b) Children from other classes keep asking for their inclusion in these classes so they can too have an opportunity.
Also putting children in groups we severally allow children to use the CHART activity so that they can exchange views about AIDS. This is to encourage children individually and in common peers to turn their attention from the myths world to the reality of AIDS.
We are now focusing our attention at observing the other part of the curriculum which has the following goals;
- Make decisions about personal and social behaviour that reduce risk of HIV and STD infection using the XO technology.
- Show compassion towards and concern for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDs why use information from XO.
- Communicate effectively with peers and others, issues and concerns related to HIV/ AIDS and STDs using the activities on XO Laptops.
- To be actively involved in school and out of school activities aimed at prevention and central of HIV and STD’s infections.
Whilst paying attention to our next step, we shall keep looking back and use the XO to emphasize what they have already covered.
-More XO laptops be availed to reduce on the ratio of laptop/learner for the effective coverage.
-Longer lasting batteries be installed or possible replacement of the current ones.
We assert that these children will be able to send the right message to the rest of the school community and even back home about AIDS as they continue to explore the indulgence in XO activities Convinced that in the world where AIDS is at the doorsteps, using the XO laptops children will not simply live, but live well with conduct governed doing the right thing, at the right time for the right reason.
Martin & Joel through the Manager
Fred Juma Wakasiaka