Kilian Schweizer and Anna-Lena Reuter are two volunteers from Germany working at the Cultural Center San Isidro.
San Isidro Cultural Center is an organization created and established in the Department of Santa Cruz – Bolivia.
The San Isidro neighborhood is located in the Plan 3000 district of the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia. In the Plan 3000 district lives the poorest population in Santa Cruz. Kilian and Anna work there with the children of this district.
Now they have 12 Xo laptops to work with these children. In the first hours of their activity, the children learned about the laptops and found everything about them. The next step is to start a project called: “How to build a better neighborhood”, in which children will build their own stories with pictures of the neighborhood, thinking how to improve the environment (there are a lot of trash in the streets) and other important issues to the district. Children are very committed, so Anna and Killian expect the project will be successful.
### Español ###
Kilian Schweizer y Anna-Lena Reuter son voluntarios alemanes trabajando en el Centro Cultural San Isidro.
El Centro Cultural San Isidro, es una organizacion creada y establecida en el Departamento de Santa Cruz – Bolivia.
El Barrio San Isidro está ubicado en el Plan 3000 de la ciudad Santa Cruz de la Sierra en Bolivia. En el plan 3000 vive la población más pobre de Santa Cruz y es ahí donde trabajan Kilian y Anna con los niños de este barrio.
Ahora ambos cuentan con 12 laptops Xo para trabajar con los niños. En las primeras horas de su actividad, los niños conocieron las laptops y descubrieron todo acerca de ellas. El siguiente paso es empezar un proyecto que se llamará: “Como construir un barrio mejor”, en el cual los niños van a construir sus propias historietas con fotos del barrio, reflexionando como se puede mejorar el medio ambiente (hay mucha basura) y otros temas importantes para el barrio. Los niños son muy comprometidos por lo que Anna Y Killian esperan que el proyecto sea exitoso.
A few days ago I get an excellent book about learning Scratch: “Super Scratch Programming Adventure!“.
The book is very well produced and can serve to motivate new creative kids around the world.
Since we’re talking about Scratch, I want to take the opportunity to give a preview on the new project that we will launch in October in Santa Cruz (Bolivia) and that I’ll be coordinating outside of Bolivia with the help of people in Bolivia: “Scratch and the Bibliobus Santa Cruz”.
On one occasion I already talked on this blog about the Bibliobus Santa Cruz. Basically what it does is go to the poorer neighborhoods of the city of Santa Cruz in Bolivia, promoting reading, writing and arts.
This time we will work with Scratch, the 3 Xo’s and other materials available in the Bibliobus Santa Cruz, we want to tell the world stories made in Scratch from one of the neighborhoods in Santa Cruz that the Bibliobus visit, a great challenge because we have only 3 Xo’s.
In the next post I will have more specific details about the project and the people who will be working into the project in Santa Cruz (because I’ll be working from the north of the world).
I was reading this article about the mobile world in Africa and its relation with Education: “The future of education in Africa is mobile”.
I’m currently working with AppInventor, a platform created by Google to create applications for Android and which is now maintained by the MIT.
The programming logic is similar to that used in Scratch so this tool is perfect for mixing with Scratch.
The world of tablets and smarthphones grows rapidly and thanks to Android is becoming more accessible, especially in developing countries.
In this sense I think of the great potential of working with mobile applications as we did with Scratch, but with new futures like Geolocalization, Maps, Sensors, etc.
I’m also thinking in the new Xo tablet, and how we can work with this tablet and the other Xo’s.
A few months ago I saw an initiative that takes place for quite a few years ago in France: The pièces Jaunes.
Basically, the idea is that children around the country will build a small box with a nice design, and will put inside coins that we do not usually use: 1, 2, 5 or 10 cents.
Once the box is full, they take the box to the post office and send it to the organization in charge of this initiative with the objective of raise money for Children’s hospitals.
Beyond the criticisms for and against the people who organized this initiative (the wife of the ex president Jacques Chirac), I think we could start a similar initiative to raise money that goes to promote more OLPC projects, we can buy more Xo’s, we can buy robots, and other creative educational resources.
I just published in my Ubuntu One account my research about the project that I developed in Bolivia last year with the title: “Programming and Creativity – Tools for a new education.”
The main objective of this document is to serve as a way to plant a seed of thought toward a more creative education that make effective use of technology in countries like Bolivia.
It also reflects my own research on topics such as education and creativity, showing how I built all the project and trying to expose in the document the most basic concepts about some topics.
The link to the PDF document: http://ubuntuone.com/0VlxsjseKNnRvUIeLS5u7u (the document is in Spanish).
If you want the fonts of the document, soon I will upload them with the following format: .sla (because the document was done in Scribus).
The photographs shown in this post are pictures that I changed a bit and they show the richness and diversity of the OLPC projects around the world, from Uruguay and Peru to Nepal or Afghanistan. It is from this seed that children will begin to positively transform our rich and diverse planet.
These last days I was experimenting with a new MSP-EXP430G2 LaunchPad distributed by Texas Instruments for just over 4$.
Unfortunately, I have not much experience in electronics, but I am researching about the topic.
The good news is that Yamandú began in GoogleDocs a guide to build robots at low cost with the Xo. Can you imagine to build a little Lego Wedo robot, but at a much lower cost?
Interesting initiative, but the guide is in Spanish. It would be very cool to have this guide also in English, so more people could contribute to the initiative in both languages.
After our first step working with Scratch, we decided what to do in the second step: create a small game like “The Sims“.
The idea is to create a small town in Scratch, in which we can integrate the characters we did in the previous step (the presentation). In our little town we will have a house, a family living in the house, and also a supermarket where we can buy some things. As we move through the city we will work with new concepts in Spanish like directions (left, right, up, down – north, south, east, west), numbers, fruits and animals.
We already started to build our house and work with the family, the next week we will start to work with the Supermarket and after that, we will build our game in Scratch :-).
The animations we made in Scratch are ready and on the Scratch website: http://scratch.mit.edu/.
I picked 4 of the 12 animations.
The main ingredient of this activity was the motivation to work with the Xo and Scratch, because the mere fact of having an Xo generates a great attraction, interest and curiosity of children.
Hope you enjoy! – the goal is to create a short story with the characters.
Rigaud School – CE2 (8 – 9 years old)
Rigaud School – CM1 (9 – 10 years old)
Saleilles School – CM2 (10 – 11 years old)
Saleilles School – CM2 (10 – 11 years old)
This week in the French National Education, the vacation began, and just before the end of the classes, we finished our first animation in Scratch with our own characters, which we will be happy to see when we will be back to work.
It caught my attention the creativity of children to build their own characters that you can seen in this post. These are characters made by children from 7 to 11 years old.
A very nice thing happened the other day, when I listened a mother of a child saying that her son talk a lot about the class in which we work with the computer, recording the voice and giving life to characters and thanks to this , he remember very well the things he learned about Latin America and Spain. That’s one of the many possibilities of the computer: develop motivation and curiosity.
In the coming days I will be uploading the animations in Scratch with the presentation of the characters that children created.
Enjoy the characters :-). In total there are about 200 characters.
The new Blog
Originally this blog was intended for the project that I made last year in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I am currently living in France for new learning experiences, I am working with the Xo and specifically with Sugar and Scratch.
The new idea for the Blog, is to make this place a global contribution for the education of the XXI century. On my side, I will be posting the entire experience with the Xo and Scratch from two schools in southern France. I will also be inviting people who are working with the 3 Xo’s that we have in Bolivia to post the progress of this new project in Bolivia as well as people that I know from around the world, who do research or work in the areas of education, technology and art to publish in this place.
Experience in France
The picture above is a picture that represents the work that I’m doing in France. It is here that I am working in two schools, one in Perpignan, and another one in a town near to Perpignan: Saleilles. What I do is teach Spanish to children who are between 7 and 11 years old, to complete this task I use the Xo with Sugar and Scratch.
I am in contact with about 250 children in these two schools, basically what we started to do was animation with characters taken from the Internet with the voices of the children in Scratch, and now what I will be doing is encouraging the children to create their own characters with their own voices in Spanish (each child will draw his character and import it into Scratch).
One of the main objectives is to show how we can learn more easily and interactively other languages (in this case Spanish) with an Xo with Sugar and Scratch. The other objective is to show teachers, how powerful are these technological tools for education.
Challenges in Bolivia
In Bolivia, there are 3 of our Xo’s, Mario Cesar is the person who is assisting in this regard, and gave me the good news that one is already in use and gave me some progress of the project that they have in mind :-). I will also talk to other people in Bolivia involved in education issues, and I think one of the poorest countries in South America could be starting to create something big in education :-).