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Waveplace Blog : Location - Virgin Islands

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Following up   Fri, 4-Jun-2010 (beth)

Catch a few notes about Realness and our Waveplace workshop in St. John: First places to look: -Waveplace in the St. John Source on May 30: http://stjohnsource.com/content/news/local-news/2010/05/30/one-laptop-child-comes-st-john -Waveplace in the Tradewinds on May 26: http://www.stjohntradewindsnews.com/index.php?limitstart=6 Some writings/bloggers that have been keeping us busy: Students and faculty at the Columbus School for Girls: http://csgolpc2010.weebly.com Some great blogging by Christoph Derndorfer of OLPC News: http://www.olpcnews.com/use_cases/education/waveplace_mentor_workshop_on_s.html Sugar Labs' own Bernie Innocenti with pictures and some comments: http://codewiz.org/wiki/blog/2010/06...


Last Day...So Unreal   Wed, 2-Jun-2010 (beth)

Last day in St. John. Had a blast swimming with Tim's daughter's nanny, Nicole- renting kayaks and snorkeling equipment and finally hitting the water!!! At Gifft Hill today. Class is going well but everyone is rowdy. End of the school year activity I suppose. We're all working on our storybooks and they're actually going extremely well. The kids are adding animations and pictures to their stories which are really fun. Not sure if they really did it simultaneously with the Basic Etoys lesson, but regardless of that fact they seem to be learning very quickly. Having some severe problems with...


As Realness Ends...The Fun Begins.   Tue, 1-Jun-2010 (beth)

And I mean that when I say it, too. Last night, we all sat up in the yoga pavilion (ie, gazebo high on a hill overlooking maybe one of the most beautiful views on Earth), watched some movies Bill made in his various trips to Haiti and then talked about something that has been simmering throughout the whole Realness Summit. This “thing” is the creation of an organization, a co-op, or some sort of group that would help seed, support and follow up with small deployments that are directly or tangentially related to the OLPC community. We all are beginning...


Models (not Runway-Ready)   Sun, 30-May-2010 (beth)

An interesting focus on the day today has gotten me thinking. It started with my presentation on São Tomé and my assistance in the presentation on Haiti, as well as Mike Dawson and Salim Hayran's presentation about Afghanistan. All three of these deployments have visible elements of success and all three have good advice to share. And then, after a nice swim in the ocean and a day that was quite full of sunshine, we sat down with it: models. What model works in a deployment and why? Is it better to have a group of mentors teaching students in...


Philosophy and Failure   Sat, 29-May-2010 (beth)

Day two of Realness and it starts off with a bang- Bernie Innocenti of Sugar Labs/OLPC Paraguay and Christoph Derndorfer of OLPC Austria/OLPC News really set the stage for some amazing presentations over the next two days. Both of them regaled us with tales of success and tales of challenge. There are a number of things that Bernie and Sugar Labs hope to do in order to improve sugar- getting the computers to start up faster, making the XO printer friendly, building full keyboard navigability, improving the friend view and creating an error message when you copy too many items...


Questions...and Answers   Fri, 28-May-2010 (beth)

It's amazing the movement that Realness is already beginning to make, and we're only one day into the summit. Here are the countries represented in Realness 2010: Haiti Paraguay Peru Uruguay Honduras Afghanistan São Tomé e Príncipe USA, including the Virgin Islands; Columbus, Ohio; and Cambridge, MA Madagascar Austria The global reach is outstanding- a collection of experience all in one place and time. We have representatives from OLPC, Sugar Labs, OLPC News, non-profits, government reps, computer software and programming groups, schools, even individual volunteers and interested observers. We come all representing various angles of the OLPC experience- the masterminding,...


Pre-Realness...Here We Go   Fri, 28-May-2010 (beth)

At the Gifft Hill School, there are flowers all over the projector screen. They keep duplicating, one after another. “Make sixty!” One kid shouts. “Make a thousand!” Exclaims another. Today is the most calm, disciplined day I have maybe ever seen in my whole experience with the XO laptop. It is also because the Guy Benjamin school was closed today due to flood warnings so we have double our mentors, plus a whole bunch of Realness participants that wanted to come and join in. We have 20 students, and about 16 adults. Today, class is not One Laptop per Child...


The Life of Abraham Browne   Wed, 26-May-2010 (beth)

It's 3:05pm and we're walking down the hallway of the Julius E. Sprauve School (JESS), heading to class. Our students at the end of the hall can hear our voices and our feet- they come running out of the room, bounding into our arms. There's a lot of yellow in this school- the walls are yellow, the students' shirts are yellow. The air conditioner is strong but it still feels like you're in the tropics because the school is just so colorful. Today, Wednesday, we're teaching the kids how to create sketches using the paintbrush tool in Etoys. At JESS...


The Difference English Makes   Tue, 25-May-2010 (beth)

Class today goes great. George Hunt and Jessica Curtis have joined on board and came with us to class today. It was great having them join up. We're expecting some new people tomorrow evening too- can't believe the summit is already here. Today we worked on Etoys Lesson 2 and tried to build interest among the kids in storytelling, using the book item in the Etoys supply box (which is something students learn in Lesson 2). I was with the Guy Benjamin School today, the same school that Waveplace did a pilot with a couple of years back. We were,...


START: Day One in Maho   Tue, 25-May-2010 (beth)

Arrived in St. John late last night due to a few flight delays. Bill picked me up at the ferry. “Man, Bill,” I said to him. “It's like I just saw you two weeks ago!” “Funny,” he responds. “You did!” St. John is a little bit different from Haiti, but certainly an interesting comparison. They're both in the Caribbean and there are cultural things that seem to spill over between the two- Tap Taps (or Safari Wagons, as they call them here), the intense humidity, the mosquitoes. Headed out to Beach Bar with Bill where we filled what was my...


olpc realness summit (realness.org)   Sat, 1-May-2010 (teefal)

Waveplace is pleased to announce the OLPC REALNESS SUMMIT. No hype, no bashing, no wireless, no room service. Just straight talk about what works, what doesn't, and why we do what we do. WHERE: Maho Bay Camps on the island of St John, US Virgin Islands (steps from the beach) WHEN: May 28, 29, 30, 31 HOW MUCH: $300 for four nights, including lodging Twelve invited talks and discussions, three a day, from five continents and the Caribbean: * WAVEPLACE: Tim Falconer * OLPC: Adam Holt * SUGAR LABS: Bernie Innocenti * ASIA: Mike Dawson from the OLPC Afghanistan...


Winds of Change   Fri, 17-Oct-2008 (teefal)

(by Timothy Falconer, from newsletter) As I write this, Hurricane Omar is about to make landfall on the US Virgin Islands. From my talks with our friends, it's fair to say that everyone's scared. Guy Benjamin School has been closed all week. Ferry and mail service have been stopped. Mary Burks has moved her live-in boat to Hurricane Hole. Jan Kinder has been boarding up buildings since 6 AM. Everyone's braced for impact. Looking at the satellite images tonight, I'm reminded of our first Waveplace proposal, which starts: "Each summer and fall in the Caribbean, locals watch the weather with...


What Waveplace Means to the USVI   Thu, 1-May-2008 (teefal)

(written by Senator Louis Patrick Hill, from newsletter) Upon viewing the final projects implemented during the Waveplace Pilot among fourth-graders at the Guy Benjamin Elementary School on St. John, I concluded that the project has enormous potential for Virgin Islands students. I also came away deeply gratified that the non-profit entity, Waveplace Foundation, had selected the Virgin Islands as a viable location to introduce a pilot program calculated to stimulate learning among children (particularly those outside of the continental United States), with emphasis on the development of language skills, the very bedrock of acquiring an education. The Waveplace Project, utilizing...


Reflections on the St John Pilot   Sun, 20-Apr-2008 (teefal)

(written by Mary Burks, 4th grade teacher, from newsletter) The pilot at Guy Benjamin School in St. John has come to a close. At its inception, all persons involved understood that we were delving into new technological territory. There were some initial roadblocks due mostly to some hardware problems that were resolved. The students were excitable, malleable, and productive. Some picked up the skills step-by-step as they were introduced. Others holistically delved, experimented and learned through risk-taking. Yet others became experts at gaining the attention of the teachers and mentors for special "how-to" tips. Four students were selected as winners...


back from st john   Fri, 4-Apr-2008 (teefal)

Had a great trip to Saint John last week, finishing up our ten week Waveplace pilot with the fourth grade class at Guy Benjamin School. I got to teach the class one day, which was great fun, and for our last class, we had each student present their storybooks, then gave out four iPods as prizes. The judges were me, Dionne Wells (their principal), and Jamie Elliot (a local reporter). Mid-trip we presented the results of the pilot to the new USVI Education Commissioner by having A'Feyah, one of the students, sit with the Commissioner and show her what she...


A'Feyah's Story   Mon, 31-Mar-2008 (teefal)

(written by Linda Smutz, from newsletter) "I'm the worst kid in this class." These were the first words out of A'Feyah's mouth, after nodding shyly to grant me permission to watch her work on her XO. As a stranger from the mainland with zero credibility, there was no point in trying to persuade her otherwise, so I simply asked to hear about her story. That's how I found out about CeCe the dog, who was happy enough living under a table outside A'Feyah's trailer until another dog joined the family one day. The draft was a little rough, but it...


St John Pilot Finishes   Sat, 29-Mar-2008 (bill)

(from newsletter) On Thursday March 27, an exciting chapter in Caribbean education history came to an end as we finished our Guy Benjamin Pilot here on St. John. As the kids did their final presentations of the digital storybooks they created, I could not help but be amazed by their journey of the past three months. At our very first Etoys class, I asked the kids how many computer programmers they knew. Between them they could name only three. I then told them they were all about to become computer programmers, and then we strapped them to their rocket sleds...


St John Day 15   Thu, 6-Mar-2008 (bill)

LaReesa teaches! I had worked with LaReesa earlier in the week on Holder animation, the same lesson as with Laura. I had originally thought we would only get through half of it on Tues - i.e. we would work on frames on Tues and scripting on Thurs. However because Laura had managed to teach the entire process on Tues, and because LaReesa had had problems when she was trying out the lesson on her own, I switched what she was teaching just before class to a tutorial/refresher of a few of the more helpful tools in Etoys. In it she...


St John Day 14   Tue, 4-Mar-2008 (bill)

Laura teaches! Meet with her at Skinny's two hours before class and teach her how to use Holder animation. She practices it till she's comfortable with it. It is interesting in that almost always something invariably goes wrong the first time you try it, as there are host of things that can stop your animation dead in its tracks. (as we shall see...) Laura starts the class with a beautiful mermaid drawn on the Whiteboard. This immediately has the attention of the girls in the front row. Then she goes about the process of duplicating the mermaid, getting a holder,...


photos from haiti and st john pilots   Sat, 1-Mar-2008 (teefal)

Just received some photos from the start of our Haitian pilot, along with some new photos from our St John pilot, which is in its sixth week. * Haiti photos * St John photos...


St John Day 13   Thu, 28-Feb-2008 (bill)

Main thing before I come to class is to figure out the duplicating objects across pages problem. Once I'm in a quiet place takes all of five minutes to figure it out. Key is to move or resize the object immediately after drawing it and clicking Keep, to "set" it on the page. Absolutely critical to know, we probably lost a day on this problem. Also another interesting thing that only happens in book mode. Moving an object temporarily "lifts" it off the page. Ramifications in scripting, because if you were to move an object by hand (instead of say...


St John Day 12   Tue, 26-Feb-2008 (bill)

Back from Haiti. Laura and LaReesa have been teaching, plan now is for me to concentrate shooting video and let them and Mary do the primary mentoring. Heard all had gone great while I was gone, but just before class started I found they had a problem where at random times an object would be duplicated on every page instead of being on the page it was supposed to be on. Unfortunately I found out about just before class started, so there was no time for me to look intro it. Laura started class by reviewing lesson of week before....


Report from our St John and Haiti Pilots   Tue, 26-Feb-2008 (bill)

(from newsletter) For the past two months my brain has been in two different places, only a few hundred miles apart on a map of the Caribbean, but worlds apart in challenges faced. On St. John we are now six weeks into our pilot. Learning most of the XO is almost effortless for the kids. Chat, Write, Record, Journal, and Browse took me all of about fifteen minutes to get a few kids started, then I just sat back and watched the newfound knowledge spread like wildfire. Learning Etoys is more like jumping into the deep end of the pool,...


St John Day 11   Thu, 21-Feb-2008 (bill)

(LaReesa report) During Bill's session in Haiti, I had an opportunity to teach the class with the assistance of Mary. When I went to the class, there was not really much teaching for me to do. All the kids were just continuing to work on the stories that they had started during the session on Tuesday. Most of the class time, I had spent assisting the kids with what to write or problems that they were having with the starting new pages. A lot of the kids didn't know how to create another page so the work was duplicating itself...


St John Day 10   Tue, 19-Feb-2008 (bill)

(Laura report) I introduced the digital storybook for the first time. I showed them how to pull a book from the toolbox and how to add pages. They already knew how to draw pictures, so we spent most of the class thinking of story ideas and starting drawing. The problem was that when we added pages and proceeded to the next page, usually the image carried to the new page. I didn't know how to resolve this, but eventually it was discovered that you need to move the images after they are done to keep them on that page....


St John Day 9   Thu, 14-Feb-2008 (bill)

Today is Valentines Day, by default the most horrible day of the year, and generally a day of mourning for me. When I showed up at GBS the place was a nuthouse. The kids were hyper-amped on massive quantities of Valentine's candy and their fragile brains were pretty much short circuiting before my eyes. I had had a plan to start the class with more geometry marching on the playground, but it was obvious that that wasn't going to happen. In fact it was obvious not much was going to happen today. Decide instead to make it a day of...


St John Day 6   Thu, 7-Feb-2008 (bill)

Been having the sense that I am on the razor's edge of loosing the kids' excitement in eToys, so decide that we need to have our paint the fence day (i.e. The Karate Kid) sooner rather than later, as in today. When I get to class I tell the kids that we will be making a game today, using everything we've learned so far. They are kinda excited, kinda incredulous. Do a bit of review on the paper compasses, for the kids who missed class on Tuesday. Then we move on to X Y coordinates. We basically turn the playground...


St John Day 5   Thu, 31-Jan-2008 (bill)

Prepared for class by getting last two XOs reflashed with the latest system build. (Tuesday Elvis wouldn't give up his computer, willing to deal with occasional cursor madness, so he could bring it home with him) Spent the drive out to Coral Bay thinking about class, most especially how to get the kids motivated to learn this stuff. Today is the fifth class and there are still kids who don't have lesson one down. As usual, had kids run around to burn off excess energy. Easy to forget that some of these kids have started as early at 6:30 am,...


St John Day 4   Tue, 29-Jan-2008 (bill)

Came to class with three more reflashed XO's, hopefully would clear up some of problems. Brought too Squeak Installer and eToys image on my USB drive. Also before class I spent a lot of time trying to think how to motivate the kids, to get them looking forward, as we had been pretty much stuck on lesson two for the past few classes and I wanted them to get an idea that there was more to etoys than just having the objects interact on their own. Thought it might be a good idea to at least introduce them to the...


News from the St John Pilot   Fri, 25-Jan-2008 (bill)

(from newsletter) Thursday January 10th was a historic day for the Caribbean. After months of behind the scenes work by Waveplace foundation, we finally handed out the OLPC laptops (among the first off the manufacturing line!) to the fourth graders at Guy Benjamin. As I rolled video, Principal Dionne Wells spoke to the kids while LaReesa Williams began passing out the XO laptops. Needless to say everyone was pretty psyched. Before you knew it everyone was plugged in, charging and setting up their XO's with their own names and custom colors. Next I took the kids on a tour of...


good press   Wed, 23-Jan-2008 (teefal)

Great article about Waveplace in the St John Tradewinds. Talks about our Virgin Islands pilot, which is into its second week. We also launched our new website, which has a terrific new video from our trip to Haiti earlier this month....


Overwhelmed and Honored   Sun, 20-Jan-2008 (teefal)

(written by Dionne Wells, GBS principal, from newsletter) First let me begin by thanking Timothy Falconer and the Waveplace Foundation for having this grand vision. It is through their foresight that we are able to say today how successful this pilot program is going at Guy H. Benjamin Elementary School. I am proud to be associated with this endeavor and look forward to watching it grow from school to school and across the entire district. When you walk onto Guy H. Benjamin School, you see fourth graders walking around the campus with green and white laptops in their hands. I...



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