Yesterday, we went to the outskirts of the city of Santa Cruz. A radiant sun, dirt roads and high winds accompanied our trip to the “Children’s Home”: Los 4 Vientos.
A small child of about 9 years old came to our meeting. The “Children’s Home” have children of virtually all ages, ranges from 9 to 12 to a range of 14 to 16 years old. The Director, Pedro, welcomed us, showing us a bit the location, facilities, children, their experiences, tastes, concerns and motivations.
We realize that the vast majority of kids love to dive into the web, especially for watching videos, downloading music or in the case of the biggest kids, check their facebook. An important feature when viewing the motivations of these kids.
The “Children’s Home” only has 2 damaged Pentium IV computers: “surely are viruses, we always have that problem with Windows” the Director says. The main idea is to build in this place, a space for creativity: about 9 old computers that are no longer in use, giving them a new life through GNU / Linux, connected to both Xo that we have, taking advantage of Xo portability and attraction. All of this integrated with other artistic elements.
We will work with two groups of kids: first, we will work with children between 9 and 12 years old, using Etoys and the Xo based on what they do now in school, showing them a new way of learning, and through them, we can expand this new way of learning with a tool that has a great creative potential. On the other hand, we will work with kids between 14 and 16 years old, in more advanced development activities, the idea is that each of these kids will develop a blog of their own, where they can express what they learn every day.
In the second phase, we will introduce the programming language Python: Pygame specifically, for the creation of video games (Pippy in the Xo) with the kids that are more motivated in this regard. Therefore, the age segregation disappears.
Thus, we will begin to build our creative center with the help of the Xo, Free Software and Art. And then, expand it to other “Children’s Homes” and schools in Santa Cruz.