June 23, 2018

Honduras: The Owen Project

Ahaseurus

There is an old legend of a man from Jerusalem who lived on the route that Jesus took on the way to Golgotha. This man, named Ahaseurus, had seen many criminals pass by on their way to crucifiction, so he took no notice of Jesus as he fell for a third time on his doorstep. He nudged the prostrate Jesus who said, “ Because you have not allowed me to rest, so too you will never rest.” At that moment Ahaseurus became immortal. Jesus appeared to him in a dream and told him that he would wander the world as a witness to the miraculous events of those times. To those faithful people who recognized him, he could give an account of that first Good Friday and reassure them that miracles do happen for those who have eyes to see. Throughout the Middle Ages Christians sought for this man in the faces of strangers, travelers and pilgrims.

I mention this story because we met this man at a kindergarten we visited in the foothills outside of Siguatepeque. I can’t describe the impact that a room full of beaming, beautiful and expectant faces can have on a heart that is open and willing to receive. All that was good, true and loving in us was called to the surface. There was simply no room for mean-spiritedness, selfishness or self-absorption.

Carried away by these emotions, I moved to the back of the classroom and was approached by an older Honduran man who was not introduced to us earlier. He proceeded to tell that he had heard of us and the story of Owen’s death and our response to it. He conveyed that he sometimes prayed for Owen’s soul and that he wanted to meet Sally and I. I can’t tell you how humbled I was by this simple and profound expression of compassion. Just as mysteriously, this man left without ceremony, but I hope to remember him for the rest of my life.

His appearance proved to be prophetic because he prepared us for an afternoon visit to the special needs school in Siguatepeque. Most of these students are deaf and unable to speak. They use facial expressions, body language and gestures to convey what their words cannot. Mostly they convey joy and happiness. Did I mention that they are the world’s best huggers? Such trust and openness! Presley, Hannah, Brian, Thong, Brooke and Kaelin found it hard to tear themselves away.

I’ll end here with some pictures which will mock my attempts to convey in words what can only be experienced directly.

by mkeddal at June 23, 2018 12:10 AM

June 19, 2018

Honduras: The Owen Project

Saint John of the Cross

Saint John of the Cross was a Spanish mystic who chronicled what he called the “ dark night of the soul.” I have known these nights, but I wonder if there are other stages of a soul’s journey that correspond to more pleasant times of day. When we arrived in San Pedro Sula safely and without lost bags or any delays, I felt a rush of gratitude and happiness that matched the vibrant green of the countryside. The experience reminded me of Saturday mornings when I was a child. The air itself tasted sweet and the sunlight was golden and magical. Borrowing from Saint John, can there be a bright morning of the soul? If so, then I have known these as well. I wonder too if I am effected by the childlike excitement of our latest and largest contingent of students. I trust that they are posting plenty of pictures. However evocative those images, there is some element of direct experience that cannot be captured by pictures or words. You have to see their faces and feel the force of their emotions.

We piled into a Forestry Service van and soon left the sweltering lowlands, climbing into the fantastically-forested mountains. The temperature fell, dark clouds gathered and the sky opened up. The rain was so fierce that we feared flooded roadways. After weeks of baking heat in Texas, we enjoyed the chill in the air and arrived safely.

Monday morning after breakfast at Dona Mercedes’, we left for our first school. Some of us rode in the back of a pickup, while others stayed safely in a van. I am going to try to add some pictures here. Sally has reminded me that no one wants to read my purple prose.

 

I’m going to sign off now so that I can post this.

With care,

Mark

by mkeddal at June 19, 2018 12:00 AM

June 14, 2018

OLPC Learning Club

Hallo Welt!

Willkommen zur deutschen Version von WordPress. Dies ist der erste Beitrag. Du kannst ihn bearbeiten oder löschen. Und dann starte mit dem Schreiben!

by admin at June 14, 2018 04:08 PM

June 13, 2018

Hands of Charity XO Project | Kenya

Supporting Community Leadership

Dear Friends,

Through the generosity of our donors, this young woman is being trained in nutrition.  She has gained notably superior marks in her work.  She will come back to the Bungoma community and share her knowledge and services.  This strengthens the impact of our programs, and builds goodwill and trust in the community.  Everyone benefits.

Receive many greetings from this end of the great rift valley of our beloved country Kenya. I hope and trust that you’re doing well in the United States of America. I’m also doing well here in my training school as I say once again that, thank you so much for your immeasurable support that enabled to be where I ‘am.

I’m learning new things about nutrition of which historically, people of my community are not upholding them. For instance, I have to help my community on the side of maintaining good health. For example, one should choose a diet moderate in sugar and salt. This is because, too much consumption of sugar leads to hypertension, diabetes and too much consumption of salt leads to goiter. They should choose a diet of whole grains, vegetables especially; they are given too much food to children, weaning starts too early or late without following health procedures and they are often sick.

Solutions on how to curb the above problems,

I will encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies for at least 6 months before complimenting them.

I have to teach mothers to complement their babies at 6 months so that they can get enough food and breast milk

Mothers should vaccine their children in order to protect their immunity.

As a dietitian, I will use the following dietary assessment to assess the diet of people in the community.

For example;

Food Frequency Questionnaire:

This is whereby a person is given a list of around 100 food items to indicate his or her intake per day, week, and month.

24 hour dietary recall;

Trainer interviewer asks the subject to recall all food and drinks taken in the previous 24 hours.

Dietary history:

Its aim is to discover the usual food intake pattern of an individual over a relatively long period of time.

Food dietary:

Food intake should be recorded by the subject at a time of consumption

Observed food consumption:

The unused in clinical method practice but is recommended for research.

I will go ahead to advice people of my community to plant plenty of guava trees and teach them about the importance of eating a balanced diet e.g fats, minerals, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates.

According to analysis of diet survey data, the measure of nutrient provided by the diet is calculated by basing on calories supplied by the food such as that food rich in nutrients relative to the energy content are termed a food with high nutrient density. E.g !kg carbohydrate(CHO)- 4 Kilo calories (kca)

1kg proteins – 4 kilo calories (kca)

1g fats – 9 kilo calories (kca)

1g alcohol – 7 kilo calories (kca)

In our community, there are children, who are malnourished due to,

Not getting enough breast milk

Given too little food and

Overfeeding among other diet requirements

Here is my performance report:

by smallsolutionsbigideas at June 13, 2018 03:14 PM

June 12, 2018

One Laptop per Child

OLPC 2017 Annual Report

We invite you to read OLPC’s 2017 Annual Report!

2017 was a year filled with growth and celebration, as programs continued to expand and positively impact students, teachers and communities.

Thank you for your continued support for the OLPC Education Program!

Click here to read OLPC’s 2017 Annual Report

by Leah at June 12, 2018 04:52 PM

June 11, 2018

Ghana Together

They DID It!!

Remember those Western Heritage Home Scholars(?)…the ones we’ve written so much about over the years? Well, as of about a week ago, SIX of them have graduated!

And we are pleased to give each of the four senior high graduates the “Leif Pederson Graduation Award” in the amount of $300 US --- about 3-4 months income for basic work in Axim, Ghana.

We lost Leif, one of Ghana Together’s founding members, in 2010, but the children remember “Uncle Leif”, and his computers and just his fun ways with them, and we know he would be so very proud of them.

We got to know all six because they spent their early years living in the Western Heritage Children’s Home. Western Heritage Home, our associate NGO in Ghana, and we have supported these young men and women in one way or another since 2007, so yes, we are proud of them!

Western Heritage Home Children in 2007. Our newest graduates are somewhere in this pic!

Dorothy has graduated with an Nursing Associate degree from the Asante Nursing School. She will be placed by the Ghanaian Government in a locale needing medical staff in the near future. Meanwhile, she is supporting herself by working with the cleaning staff at the Lou Moon Resort not far from Axim.

Peter graduated from Nsein Senior High School. He took all the "extra" classes in science and math, and dreams of becoming a computer engineer. His WASSCE test scores (like our SAT) will be available in September. Meanwhile, he is considering offers for two teacher positions (math and science skills are scarce and so even at this stage he can help younger students) and/or a position in a bank until his future educational plans materialize.

Ernestina (left) and Gifty have graduated from Axim Girls Senior High School. Both have already had some experience in market selling, and plan to use their Graduation Awards to start their own businesses

Kingsley has graduated from the Axim Community Development Vocational and Technical Institute. He has specialized in Welding and Fabrication. He has done some apprentice work, and his training at CDVTI included business and computer skills, English, and entrepreneurship as well as training in his technical specialty. He is looking for a job!

Godwin has graduated from Manye Junior High School. He will next attend Kikkam Technical Institute, which offers a wide range of vocational/technical classes for further training. 

We (and they) have so many to thank!
-James Kainyiah, Founder/Chair of Western Heritage Home, and Evans Arloo, WHH Operations Manager who managed the relationships with the schools, teachers and keep the program going, no matter what!

-To Sue, who generously provided the funds for the awards
-Mindy and family who supported Ernestina all through senior high

-Gary and the Mount Vernon, WA Kiwanis who supported Peter for many years, and also the Bentil family in Axim who gave him a home and some business experience during his vacations
-Bonnie who supported Dorothy through nurses training

-James and Beatrice Kainyiah who took Godwin into their own family home along with their own children, for his entire primary school years, until he became a Junior High Boarding Student at Manye Academy (common in Axim)
-Madame Felicia Attah, teacher and now Headmistress of Manye Academy who took a special interest in these children, and also Madame Safiatu Seidu, Director of the Community Development Vocational/Technical Institute, and Madame Theodora Appiah, Principal of Axim Girls Senior High School, and the teachers and staff of each of the schools

-And all of you wonderful “investors” who enabled us to support these children for their entire schooling, in one way or another.
We give these new graduates our congratulations, and our confidence in them, and our best wishes as they launch their adult lives!


AND, we're not done yet!! Come September and start of the 2018-2019 school term, we hope to support 70 students in one way or another. (Did we mention how much fun this is?) Stay tuned!

Thank you...thank you...

Ghana Together
http://ghanatogether.org
info@ghanatogether.org


by Ghana Together (noreply@blogger.com) at June 11, 2018 10:13 PM

June 08, 2018

One Laptop per Child

Positive Results from OLPC Program in Baitadi, Nepal

In September of 2016, OLE Nepal implemented the OLPC education program in fifteen schools in Baitadi. OLE Nepal deployed OLPC laptops and installed digital libraries in participating schools. Teachers in the program schools attended a training program focused on developing the skills they need to integrate technology into the classroom.  OLE Nepal also provided two teaching residents to support the program schools throughout the first year in order to provide ongoing support to students and teachers.

The results are positive. A comparison of baseline and mid-term  results revealed “students have made an impressive improvement in learning English, Science and Mathematics.” Students showed improvements in all three areas.

On behalf of the OLPC community, congratulations to OLE Nepal on these impressive results!

Read about the important OLE Nepal OLPC program HERE.

Thanks to OLE Nepal for its incredible commitment to the OLPC education program and children in Nepal!

Happy faces at pilot school (OLE Nepal)

by Leah at June 08, 2018 04:34 PM

June 07, 2018

Honduras: The Owen Project

The Man Who Planted Computers

There is a beautiful short story by Jean Giono called, ” The Man Who Planted Trees.” In it a peasant living in Provence early in the 20th century loses an only child and is emptied out by grief. He becomes a shepherd and moves to a part of Southern France that has been deforested and desolate since Roman times. He takes on the mission of replanting trees in this high desert- one acorn at a time, one day at a time, one year at a time. After decades of patient labor and magnificent generosity, he revives the ancient forest and water returns to the streams and springs, and animals return to the trees. With Christ-like devotion this simple man changes the world.

For obvious reasons this story resonates with Sally and I. We recognize what it feels like to be emptied by grief, and also how broken hearts are fertile ground for quiet service. In Siguatepeque our principal partner Oscar Ochoa Mendoza is a forester, a man who plants trees. For the past 8 years we have also joined him and many others in planting computers in schools in the mountains around Siguatepeque. We hope that these digital seeds have spread some measure of excitement, joy and curiosity to these children- one life at a time, one class at a time, one village at a time.

Mark

by mkeddal at June 07, 2018 07:41 PM

June 05, 2018

Honduras: The Owen Project

Proust in Central America

IMG_0646IMG_6383IMG_7129IMG_1461FullSizeRender3A1E300E-96AD-445F-BFF9-3CA7D2EB2556It is the time of the year to start dreaming of summer vacation, and for me this means a trip to Honduras. Six of my students, all graduating seniors, will be with us this trip. I’m including their photos above. I was particularly moved by these young people because they came to me to ask if they could join our mission before I had mentioned anything  about going to Honduras. With continuing wonder, Sally and I have become observers of a project that seems to draw loving people into its orbit.   I’ve asked them to view some of our old posts to get a sense of what it might be like in a mountain school surrounded by smiling children. Reviewing these posts myself, I felt like Marcel Proust, overcome by recollections of the past, overcome by a beguiling nostalgia, an enchantment.

It was not the taste of a petite madeleine dipped in tea that I sought in the memories evoked by those posts; it was that quiet joy, that moral clarity, that sense of ethical purpose. I remember a film entitled ” The Hurt Locker” which involved the adventures of a munitions expert in Baghdad who defuses bombs for the military. After his tour ends in Iraq, he returns home to his wife and child. He goes shopping for breakfast cereal and is overwhelmed by the bright lights. the muzak playing and the sheer number of choices offered in the cereal aisle. In the next frame he is back in Iraq risking his life. I think I understand him. In Baghdad his life is simple and full of life and death importance. Most days I feel like I’m in the cereal aisle of moral choices, confused and ill at ease. It seems quaint  and naive to try to love your neighbor as yourself here in Texas. This is never the case in Honduras . Some day I’ll bring some of that confidence back home.

A final note: I’ll identify those handsome folks who are about to find out  what I was struggling to convey earlier. In the order of their photos: Tong Vu, who will be attending Blinn College; Brian Cash, also attending Blinn College; Kaelin Casey, who will attend Concordia College ; Brooke Mueller, who will attend Texas A&M; Hannah Patek, is bound for Texas Tech University; and Presley Carter, will be at the University of Texas in Austin. I feel a father’s pride in all of them.

More later,

Mark

by mkeddal at June 05, 2018 05:56 PM

One Laptop per Child

OLPC Services: Technical Support

A key component of each OLPC educational program is sustainability. Implementing a sustainable educational program requires an effective, long-term technical support strategy. OLPC works with local teams to develop a system and processes to deploy the laptops and to provide ongoing maintenance and technical support services.

OLPC designs technical platforms that include integrated infrastructure and connectivity in order to provide secure internet access and a security system which disables the use of the laptop in case of loss or theft. These platforms are created with the input and guidance of local stakeholders in an effort to address local needs.

OLPC’s technical support services include customization of the operating system and content. We provide training on the technical processes of maintenance, repair and disassembly of the laptops. We help each program to create a system to manage spare parts for the laptops. We work with local teams to define and design connectivity requirements to ensure internet access in every participating school. We advise local teams as they configure, install and administrate schools servers and support infrastructure, including the laptop’s security system.

OLPC’s technical support services facilitate the development of local capacity and ensure the long-term sustainability of each educational program.

To learn more, visit http://www.laptop.org.

FZT MoneyGram San Agustin

 

by Leah at June 05, 2018 04:46 PM

May 30, 2018

Ghana Together

Reviewing Axim Schools' Use of the Mobile Library

This May, Ghana Together’s Maryanne Ward visited Axim. For two days, she joined Regional Library Director Mercy Ackah and Western Heritage Home Operations Manager Evans Arloo as they reviewed the mobile library service with Headmistresses/Masters and Library Teachers at 17 schools.

"Madame Mercy", as she is known, trying out the tricycle mobile library. No she doesn't drive it herself---she has Gaddiel Eyison, her library lead staff, to do that!!
At the beginning of September 2014 school term, the tricycle-based mobile library was dedicated. The library staff began delivering books to area primary/JHS schools. Ghana Together has provided about 8,000 high-quality children’s books counting those currently on a ship heading across the Atlantic!
The mobile library program is geared to “bring the library to the children” rather than expecting the children to consistently visit the library. It visits each school once/per week, depending some on whether the District Assembly has helped fund the fuel.


Since schools don’t have libraries or in many cases textbooks, this is a vital service to encourage literacy, especially for primary school students.

At the end of the Jan-early April term, 779 Axim-area students are registered library card holders, and the children had checked out a total of 8,622 books.


Meeting with Headmaster and Library Teacher
We visited every school, met with the Headmistress/Master and/or the Library Teacher. We took photos below the "school sign" to document the visits!














 






We thank all the generous Americans who have donated high-quality books over the years (...if it's good for your kids or grandkids, it's good for the kids of Axim!!!). They have gone from almost none to a good collection from the very beginner's books to a growing number for JHS level.

We especially thank the Axim Public Library staff and the school leaders for working together to develop this program on behalf of children in Axim.

Ghana Together
808 Addison Place
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Email: info@ghanatogether.org



by Ghana Together (noreply@blogger.com) at May 30, 2018 10:45 PM

Hands of Charity XO Project | Kenya

Brighton on Corruption

CORRUPTION IN KENYA
Corrruption is where a person becomes greed of money and needs to be bribed in order to do something.Corruption in Kenya has been widely spread in all parts including in schools,offices,companies,churches and hospitals.

Kenya has been noted by many countries in all parts of the wold to be among the most corrupt countries. Behold the fact that Kenya is one of the third world countries in the world where citizens depend on education for survival, throug corruption Kenya is killing her own inovative and prosporous son.

A good example is a person who works as the company manager,he claims that he want kitu kidogo (something small) in order to employ ssomebody. This leads to lose of jobs to the poor who are educated, they lose chances because they have nothing to offer.

Principals in schools are bribed by parents who had their children perfoming poorly for them to get a chance inthe school while the poor children who perfomed better loses the chance.

Traffic police officers need to be bribed by drivers.The drivers who have wrecked dud vehicles which may lead to accidents on *roads are allowed to pass on roads.

Effects of corruption
1. Corruption has led in killing of prosperous and inovative minds which can change kenya by vission 2030.
Managers can only employ the rich who are able to offer something smallto them .
Through this we discover that Africa is killing her own son
2.Accidents are rapidly becoming high because traffic police officers are allowing wrecked,old and poorly managed trucks passing on roads.
3.Companies are collapsing because the managers employ unskilled people who are rich leavingout the skilled people who are poor.
4.Extreme poverty.

What kenya shall do to overcome corruption.
1.Citizens should practice equality to all because we were made by the same God and our blood is made of the same colour.
2.Citizens should not be greed of money.
3.Citizens should conduct public rallies so as to fight corruption by conducting public awarenesses.

US BEING YOUTHS,LETS DISCUSS CORRUPTION SO THAT IT CANT HAPPEN AGAIN IN OUR GENERATION.

LETS UNITE AND FIGHT CORRUPTION

LETS SAVE THE LIVES OF THE POOR AND OPHARNS

KENYA-CORRUPTION=PEACE+LOVE+UNITY+PROSPERIT

BrightonBY  BRIGHTON

Brighton is one of our Scholarship students. He is attending St. Luke’s High School for Boys.  It is a very good prestigious local school.  He wants to be an engineer.  He is one of our ‘building youth leadership’ students.  He contributes to the learning and activities at the Hands of Charity/SSBI Technology Education center.

by smallsolutionsbigideas at May 30, 2018 10:09 PM

One Laptop per Child

Liaison Technologies Supports OLPC School in Nicaragua

Earlier this month, Liaison Technologies joined forces with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) to support education in Central America. Thanks to a generous contribution from Liaison, the OLPC education program in Nicaragua implemented by the Fundacion Zamora Teran has expanded to include children in the Bautista Betania School in Sandino City.

OLPC is a non-profit organization created to provide every child in the world with a quality, innovative education. As part of its comprehensive education program, OLPC provides each participating student and teacher with a rugged, connected laptop computer, in addition to the training and support needed to realize each student’s full potential. OLPC provides on-going teacher training and technical support training to participating schools, as well as a monitoring and evaluation program. OLPC’s partner in Nicaragua, the Fundacion Zamora Teran, has implemented the OLPC education program with more than 65,000 children throughout Central America.

As a leader in cloud-based integration and data management technology, Liaison Technologies is shaping the integration marketplace with innovative solutions designed to meet today’s toughest data challenges. From complex integration and data management to the brave new frontiers of big data, Liaison’s secure solutions break down data silos, reduce inefficiencies, and uncover actionable insights.

Liaison Technologies chose to partner with OLPC as part of its ongoing mission to make a lasting impact in and beyond the communities they live, work, and serve. Liaison is committed to helping forward-thinking organizations unlock insights that have the power to sustain our planet, revolutionize lives, and improve societies. With this contribution, Liaison is supporting OLPC’s efforts to transform education, lower the barriers to technology in Central America and provide a brighter future for all.

For more information, please visit Liaison Technologies and OLPC.

OLPC is grateful for Liaison Technologies for its continued support for education!

Ciudad Sandino Digital (2) (3)

by Leah at May 30, 2018 02:41 PM

May 25, 2018

One Laptop per Child

OLPC Teacher Training in Zimbabwe

This past week, the OLPC team provided teacher training to teachers from Ngamo Primary school in the Linkwasha region in Zimbabwe. Thanks to a generous donation form Henny’s Kids, OLPC laptops and teacher training were given to participating students and teachers.

Now the team is on its way to Zambia to provide additional laptops and training as part of the OLPC education program. Stay tuned for more details!

Thank you to Henny's Kids for its support! Teachers participate in training provided by OLPC. OLPC Teacher Training Eager to get started exploring! Excited about learning! Teachers empowered with new teaching methodologies!

by Leah at May 25, 2018 03:53 PM

May 23, 2018

Sayamindu Dasgupta

Testing the “wide walls” design principle in the wild

Seymour Papert is credited as saying that tools to support learning should have “high ceilings” and “low floors.” The phrase is meant to suggest that tools should allow learners to do complex and intellectually sophisticated things but should also be easy to begin using quickly. Mitchel Resnick extended the metaphor to argue that learning toolkits should also have “wide walls” in that they should appeal to diverse groups of learners and allow for a broad variety of creative outcomes. In a new paper, Benjamin Mako Hill and I attempted to provide the first empirical test of Resnick’s wide walls theory. Using a natural experiment in the Scratch online community, we found causal evidence that “widening walls” can, as Resnick suggested, increase both engagement and learning.

Over the last ten years, the “wide walls” design principle has been widely cited in the design of new systems. For example, Resnick and his collaborators relied heavily on the principle in the design of the Scratch programming language. Scratch allows young learners to produce not only games, but also interactive art, music videos, greetings card, stories, and much more. As part of that team, I was guided by “wide walls” principle when I designed and implemented the Scratch cloud variables system in 2011-2012.

While designing the system, I hoped to “widen walls” by supporting a broader range of ways to use variables and data structures in Scratch. Scratch cloud variables extend the affordances of the normal Scratch variable by adding persistence and shared-ness. A simple example of something possible with cloud variables, but not without them, is a global high-score leaderboard in a game (example code is below). After the system was launched, I saw many young Scratch users using the system to engage with data structures in new and incredibly creative ways.

cloud variable script
Example of Scratch code that uses a cloud variable to keep track of high-scores among all players of a game.

Although these examples reflected powerful anecdotal evidence, I was also interested in using quantitative data to reflect the causal effect of the system. Understanding the causal effect of a new design in real world settings is a major challenge. To do so, we took advantage of a “natural experiment” and some clever techniques from econometrics to measure how learners’ behavior changed when they were given access to a wider design space.

Understanding the design of our study requires understanding a little bit about how access to the Scratch cloud variable system is granted. Although the system has been accessible to Scratch users since 2013, new Scratch users do not get access immediately. They are granted access only after a certain amount of time and activity on the website (the specific criteria are not public). Our “experiment” involved a sudden change in policy that altered the criteria for who gets access to the cloud variable feature. Through no act of their own, more than 14,000 users were given access to feature, literally overnight. We looked at these Scratch users immediately before and after the policy change to estimate the effect of access to the broader design space that cloud variables afforded.

We found that use of data-related features was, as predicted, increased by both access to and use of cloud variables. We also found that this increase was not only an effect of projects that use cloud variables themselves. In other words, learners with access to cloud variables—and especially those who had used it—were more likely to use “plain-old” data-structures in their projects as well.

The graph below visualizes the results of one of the statistical models in our paper and suggests that we would expect that 33% of projects by a prototypical “average” Scratch user would use data structures if the user in question had never used used cloud variables but that we would expect that 60% of projects by a similar user would if they had used the system.

probability graph
Model-predicted probability that a project made by a prototypical Scratch user will contain data structures (w/o counting projects with cloud variables)

It is important to note that the estimated effective above is a “local average effect” among people who used the system because they were granted access by the sudden change in policy (this is a subtle but important point that we explain this in some depth in the paper). Although we urge care and skepticism in interpreting our numbers, we believe our results are encouraging evidence in support of the “wide walls” design principle.

Of course, our work is not without important limitations. Critically, we also found that rate of adoption of cloud variables was very low. Although it is hard to pinpoint the exact reason for this from the data we observed, it has been suggested that widening walls may have a potential negative side-effect of making it harder for learners to imagine what the new creative possibilities might be in the absence of targeted support and scaffolding. Also important to remember is that our study measures “wide walls” in a specific way in a specific context and that it is hard to know how well our findings will generalize to other contexts and communities. We discuss these caveats, as well as our methods, models, and theoretical background in detail in our paper which now available for download as an open-access piece from the ACM digital library.


This blog post, and the open access paper that it describes, is a collaborative project with Benjamin Mako Hill. Financial support came from the eScience Institute and the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. Quantitative analyses for this project were completed using the Hyak high performance computing cluster at the University of Washington.

by Sayamindu Dasgupta at May 23, 2018 04:00 AM

May 19, 2018

Ntugi Group | Kenya

コンパニオンの派遣の仕事といえば・・・。

「派遣」と聞くと、一般的に想像するのは、事務職やSEなどのIT企業への派遣、日雇い労働に多い力仕事などでしょうか。 でも最近は、「コンパニオン派遣」というコンパニオン専門の派遣会社もありますね。 コンパニオン派遣に含まれ …

by sobby000 at May 19, 2018 06:16 PM

May 18, 2018

One Laptop per Child

Congratulations to Fundacion Marina Orth!

An all-girls team of students from the Fundacion Marina Orth in Colombia has been recognized as international robotics champions!

The students participated in RoboRAVE 2018 and won fist place in the middle school category, held in New Mexico on May 10-12, 2018.

We congratulate the Little Engineers team and wish them continued success in their education! Our thanks to Fundacion Marina Orth for providing students in Colombia with a quality, innovative education as part of the OLPC education program.

Marina Orth Photo

by Leah at May 18, 2018 04:35 PM

May 15, 2018

One Laptop per Child

Uruguay is Leader in IT Industry

We invite you to read this important article on how the OLPC eduation program in Uruguay has helped it to become an international leader in the IT industry.

Thanks to Uruguay for its commitment to providing all children with a quality, innovative education!

Click below to read the story:

https://sociable.co/business/latin-american-governments-tech-outsourcing/

by Leah at May 15, 2018 04:03 PM

May 08, 2018

One Laptop per Child

May 02, 2018

One Laptop per Child

The OLPC Education Program: Teacher Training

A key component of the OLPC education program is teacher training. OLPC’s experience in the field has evidenced the need to give teachers the skills and tools they need to seamlessly incorporate technology and innovative methodologies for learning into their daily lessons. OLPC partners with the Fundacion Zamora Teran to provide a comprehensive teacher training program to participating schools around the world. Our multidisciplinary teams focus on providing teachers with the skills they need to improve the academic and critical thinking skills of students.

Our comprehensive teacher training program includes more than 100 hours of training on topics including:

  • education and innovation;
  • educational strategies for integrating technology into the classroom;
  • building reading fluency and comprehension;
  • technology and mathematics;
  • strategic management; and
  • technical support.

Our teams provide continuous support to teachers through workshops, in-class observations and individualized coaching sessions. These are designed to give teachers targeted feedback about performance in the classroom in an effort to encourage and support use of the innovative strategies introduced in the teacher training workshops. Our teams provide support to schools and teachers each month throughout the school year.

DSC_4842
Rubén Darío-PC (135)

For more information, send an email to information@laptop.org.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for your support for the OLPC Education Program!

by Leah at May 02, 2018 03:02 PM

April 18, 2018

OLPC SF

Community Summit = Open Hack 2018

Registration is open. Register here.

 

This year's event is a little different. We are joining forces with some of the other projects in the Commons space at San Francisco State University. This year's event is called Open Hack 2018.

 
openhack 2018
 
The event is largely scheduled to run on Saturday (April 28) and Sunday (April 29). Will have a meet-and-greet event on Friday evening (April 27), but the main event will begin on Saturday (April 28).
 
The format is as follows:
 
  • What we typically refer to as "projects" are called "Challenges" in this format. Anybody can Submit a Challenge. When submitting the Challenge, you have to provide us with information about the Challenge itself, existing resources, people involved, and the kinds of skills that you may find helpful in completing this challenge. The goal is that we would want to complete some degree of the Challenge by the time we get to Sunday afternoon.
  • The Challenges will be printed and posted up on the wall starting Friday (April 27). On Saturday morning (April 28), people who come in will assign themselves to different challenges. It's quite common for some of the challenges to not have any interested people. That's okay.
  • As we start to see a cluster of people collecting on a given Challenge, we will allocate a room for them and then that room becomes their space for the next day and a half. Unlike in the past, where we had timed sessions (typically 75 minutes), these groups get to work on their problem for the entire day Saturday and half day Sunday.
  • On Sunday afternoon, they present their progress and future direction. The work (code, content, etc) will have to be made available some place (a repo such as github) via a FOSS, or CreativeCommons, or OpenData license.
  • After the presentations, a panel of judges will determine some form of ranking. There may also be some token prizes.
This is somewhat different from what we've done in the past, but given the level of maturity in our projects, and the amount of focus that is needed to work on fixing bugs and building upon what we already have, the hackathon approach seems to be more apt than simple presentations. If you have somebody in mind who cannot be there physically, you can always bring them in online. The rooms are fairly well equipped, with whiteboards, projectors and Internet access. We are also in the process of arranging for other operational logistics.
 
In the time being, take a look at the information here, the code of conduct here and submit a challenge.
 

Registration is open. Register here.

 
Also, let us know if you plan to attend, so we can look out for other arrangements as well, as necessary.
 
Sameer Verma: sverma@sfsu.edu
Aaron Borden: adborden@live.com

 

by sverma at April 18, 2018 01:59 AM

April 17, 2018

One Laptop per Child

OLPC is an Education Program

Thank you to the Verge for providing OLPC the opportunity to clarify some misperceptions about the OLPC Educational Program.

When Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Medial Lab, unveiled the XO Laptop in 2005, it was indeed the first laptop focused on education for children. The idea was revolutionary: OLPC was created to provide the most vulnerable children with a quality, 21st Century education. Today, 13 years after Mr. Negroponte announced his transformative idea, the need to educate vulnerable children around the world continues to grow and intensify, and therefore the need for the OLPC education program is  increasing.

The XO Laptop created by OLPC remains one of the most innovative and rugged laptops to date, with extremely low power consumption and software designed to facilitate collaboration and learning. With more than 10 years in the hands of children, the original XO 1 Laptops still work. Many are powered by solar panels. “The batteries still work, the Wi-Fi still works, and amazingly, OLPC still cranks out the software images for it,” stated Sameer Verma, OLPC Community Leader and Member of Sugar Labs’ Oversight Board. OLPC products still work and the OLPC mission continues to exist. This is a testament to the validity of Mr. Negroponte’s vision and creation.

OLPC knows constructionism facilitates the greatest development of all children. Constructionism is the educational theory which states children learn best when involved in creation and experimentation. The XO Laptop is a unique machine designed to facilitate this kind of creative, engaged, collaborative learning for children.

OLPC is an education program, not a hardware startup. OLPC’s goal has always been to give children the tools and information they need to learn and to continue asking questions, in an effort to break the cycle of poverty, empower students and improve local communities. A quality education and access to information are basic human rights. OLPC has always been- and continues to be- dedicated to providing the most vulnerable children with these basic human rights.

The OLPC education program now includes a robust system of teacher training, technical support and training, as well as monitoring and evaluation services. In each community, OLPC works to engage a community of volunteers to provide ongoing support to the education program. The OLPC program in Nicaragua, implemented by the Fundacion Zamora Teran, developed this comprehensive system of support and is an example of educational excellence. OLPC works to support the entire educational community in an effort to create a sustainable transformation in education.

The Verge article incorrectly states there is little hard data about the long term impact on education. We invite you to read the evaluations on the OLPC program in Uruguay, where every primary student has access to a connected laptop computer. The program expanded to include preschool and high school students. We invite you to visit Nicaragua where more than 65,000 students are receiving a quality, innovative education thanks to the OLPC educational program implemented by the Fundación Zamora Teran.  Come to Nepal to see students using the OLPC laptops in innovative and creative ways, thanks to the incredible work of OLE NEPAL. Learn more about the programs in Madagascar, Rwanda, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Panama, and Cameroon, among others, where children are receiving a quality, innovative education, thanks to OLPC and its local partners. We invite you to take a moment to read the evaluations and resources  listed below. You can also send an email to information@laptop.org and we will be happy to share additional evaluations of the OLPC educational program around the world. The OLPC educational program has the proven ability to transform education and give all students an opportunity to succeed.

OLPC is alive and well. OLPC continues to grow and change the lives of children, teachers and communities around the world. OLPC works closely with teachers and school leaders to improve teaching strategies and methodologies. OLPC trains local teams to provide technical support and to accurately measure the results of the program. Students improve academically and perhaps more importantly, students are motivated to keep learning and creating.

Thanks to the support of organizations and individuals around the world, OLPC continues to work to fulfill its mission to provide educational opportunities for the world’s most vulnerable children by providing each child with a rugged, connected laptop computer, loaded with content and software designed for joyful, self-empowered learning. OLPC will not rest until every child receives the education he or she deserves.

Thank you for your continued support for the OLPC education program.

https://blogs.worldbank.org/edutech/edutech/category/tags/plan-ceibal

https://www.ceibal.edu.uy/en/articulo/institucional/evaluacion

https://blogs.worldbank.org/edutech/edutech/20-innovative-edtech-projects-around-world

https://mg.co.za/article/2018-03-20-how-kids-in-a-low-income-country-use-laptop-lessons-from-madagascar

http://fundacionzt.org/en/who-we-are/publications/research/

 

by Leah at April 17, 2018 05:45 PM

April 09, 2018

Jim Gettys

Mythology about security…

Ed Felton tweeted a few days ago: “Often hear that the reason today’s Internet is not more secure is that the early designers failed to imagine that security could ever matter. That is a myth.”

This is indeed a myth.  Much of the current morass can be laid at the feet of the United States government, due to its export regulations around cryptography.

I will testify against the myth.  Bob Scheifler and I started the X Window System in 1984 at MIT, which is a network transparent window system: that is, applications can reside on computers anywhere in the network and use the X display server. As keyboard events may be transmitted over the network, it was clear to us from the get-go that it was a security issue. It is in use to this day on Linux systems all over the world (remote X11 access is no longer allowed: the ssh protocol is used to tunnel the X protocol securely for remote use). By sometime in 1985 or 1986 we were distributing X under the MIT License, which was developed originally for use of the MIT X Window System distribution (I’d have to go dig into my records to get the exact date).

I shared an office with Steve Miller at MIT Project Athena, who was (the first?) programmer working on Kerberos authentication service, which is used by Microsoft’s Active Directory service. Needless to say, we at MIT were concerned about security from the advent of TCP/IP.

We asked MIT whether we could incorporate Kerberos (and other encryption) into the X Window System. According to the advice at the time (and MIT’s lawyers were expert in export control, and later involved in PGP), if we had even incorporated strong crypto for authentication into our sources, this would have put the distribution under export control, and that that would have defeated X’s easy distribution. The best we could do was to leave enough hooks into the wire protocol that kerberos support could be added as a source level “patch” (even calls to functions to use strong authentication/encryption by providing an external library would have made it covered under export control). Such a patch for X existed, but could never be redistributed: by the time that export controls were relaxed, the patch had become mostly moot, as ssh had become available, which, along with the advent of the World Wide Web, was “good enough”, though far from an ideal solution.

Long before the term Open Source software was invented, open source and free software was essential to the Internet for essential services. The choice for all of us  working on that software was stark: we could either distribute the product of our work, or enter a legal morass, and getting it wrong could end up in court, as Phil Zimmerman did somewhat later with PGP.

Anyone claiming security was a “failure of imagination” does not know the people or the history and should not be taken seriously. Security mattered not just to us, but everyone working on the Internet. There are three software legacies from Project Athena: Kerberos, the X Window System, and instant messaging. We certainly paid much more than lip service to Internet security!

Government export controls crippled Internet security and the design of Internet protocols from the very beginning: we continue to pay the price to this day.  Getting security right is really, really hard, and current efforts towards “back doors”, or other access is misguided. We haven’t even recovered from the previous rounds of government regulations, which has caused excessive complexity in an already difficult problem and many serious security problems. Let us not repeat this mistake…

 

 

by gettys at April 09, 2018 10:02 PM

March 15, 2018

OLPC SF

Community Summit 2018

Remember our Community Summit? We didn't host one last year due to logistical challenges and such, but we are getting ready to host one this year! We have joined forces with open source, open data, and open education communities at San Francisco State University to organize a weekend hackathon. Details will be out shortly, but mark your calendars.

April 27-29, 2018

https://www.olpcsf.org/open-hack-2018

by sverma at March 15, 2018 06:25 PM

March 08, 2018

Hands of Charity XO Project | Kenya

Black Panther – What questions does it pose for us?

What questions does Marvel Comics “Black Panther” movie pose for us?

  1. How do we recover and overcome the sins of our fathers.?
  2. Is it possible that the powerful plant or the equally powerful mineral – that changes the world might be invented in some remote African village?
  3. How much of war is male egos?  And in this film how do the women suceed in turning their power towards healing rather than conquest?

 

Does it make a difference that people of color have joined the mostly white club of directors and filmmakers. Kudos to Marvel for Black Panther and its director, Ryan Coogler. The performances are remarkable in the quality of the acting, beauty, grace and authenticity of the characters,  The role of women in the drama, and the rescue of their country is worth a discussion. The genre is a Superhero Comic book genre. The main character Ch’alla appeared first in 1966, and overtime has rated at the 52nd most popular Super hero.

 

Black Panther is not only beautifully executed with strong performances especially notable are the performances of the women, Lupita Nygong’o as Nakia, Letita Wright as Suri, and Florence Kasumba as Ayo.  The character portrayed by T’Challa by Chadwick Boseman, is one of the tradition of challenges that prove his earning leadership How can we build a future from poverty.

 

The theme of a kingdom in the hidden forests of Africa what has the key to the future and to a world peace is a timely message.  My experience of African people, especially the women, is a remarkable strength overcoming the obstacles of poverty, failed governments and access to education.  I find them also totally dedicated to building a better future for their country, and ready to take leadership into their own hands.The are strong in technology. It is a great message to youth of color that the smartest person in the story is a woman who has built the technology that fuels their civilization.   And who plays the tradtiona role of ‘evil’ in this movie version that is now playing? Someone very like the sterotype of the aparthied Boers Africaans. Toally reckless in his valuing of himan life. The other evil is a California home grown young man who has been through the US military war in Afghanistan, and become a killer.  He has a disarmingly casual cool demeanor, which some may think makes him not very believable. The face that so many people of color have suffered for so long from the effects of racism and had to wear a cool innocent face to get through life is not far from the truth of the hidden anger that mus be brewing – that we see now in Black Lives Matter.   

This film provides a vision of rising up and conquering from the perspective of those have suffered, and as a good Superhero movie does, holds out for the good guys, the superheroes, to overcome evil and launch a future of peace and reconciliation.  The fact that their skin color is not white, is a powerful message to people of all colors.

 

I’d like to contrast the women in this film with those in  Wonder Woman film. I found the physical and dramatic portrayal of strong women much more convincing in this film..   For the Kenyan actress, Lupita N’gongo she knows the struggle of her Kenyan sisters who had to be strong, to face survival issues such as FGM, early marriage,preferential treatment and  education of the males. Many made bargains with their families and tribes for their freedom and right to an education, others fled to secure their future. Her power, and anger is fueled by an internal knowledge. It looks vastly different from the horse back riding sisters of Wonder Woman.  

.

by smallsolutionsbigideas at March 08, 2018 01:51 AM

February 26, 2018

Ntugi Group | Kenya

野菜を多く取り入れたバランスに優れた食事を摂ろう

サプリメントを活用すれば、健康をキープするのに寄与してくれる成分を要領よく摂取できます。あなた自身に必要な成分をキッチリと摂り込むように頑張ってみませんか?人生において成長するには、それなりの苦労や心理的ストレスは欠かせ …

by sobby000 at February 26, 2018 08:10 AM

February 16, 2018

Danishka Navin's Diary

කණ්ඩියපිටවැව නාලන්දාවට වල් අලින්ගෙන් තෑග්ගක්

පසුගිය කාලයේ රටවටේ විවිධ වැඩසටහන් සඳහා එක් වුවත් ඊයේ පෙරෙදා උන සිදු වීම නම් ලියන්නම ඔන කියල හිතුනා.

කණ්ඩියපිටවැව, නාලන්දා පාසලට පසුගිය ජූලි 19 දින ගියේ මීට පෙර කිසි දිනෙක නොදුට පිරිසක් සමඟ..


උදේ පාන්දර 3.30ට පමණ ගෙදරින් පිටත්වෙලා, වල් අලි කරදර වලින් දුක්විදින ජනතාවගෙ ජීවන තත්ත්වය උසස් කිරීමට සහාය වන Born Free Foundation ආයතනයේ මිතුරන් සමඟ   කොළඹදි එක් විමෙන් අනතුරුව බලංගොඩ තණමල්විම මාර්ගයේ ගමන් කරන කොට හම්බවෙන හම්බේගමුව ප්‍රාදේශීය ලේකම් කාර්යයාලයට අයත් ප්‍රදේශයට අපි ලගා උනේ දවල් 1ත් පහුවෙද්දි. අපි යද්දි පාසල් වාර විභාගය ලියමින් සිටි ලමයි ගෙදර යන්න කලින් වදිනව.. එවගේම පොඩි පැංචො ටිකක් නම් ඒ වෙද්දිත් අපි එන අතරමග...



පාසලට ඇතුල් වන විටම ලැබුණු සිනා සංග්‍රහය



මේ වෙද්දි පරිගණක විද්‍යාගාරය (මෙය මුලින් ගොඩනගල තියෙන්නෙ පුස්තකාලයකට) විදුලිය ලබා දි තිබුනෙ නැ, එවගේම අවශ්‍ය අභ්‍යන්තර රැහැන් ඇදීමක්ද තිබුනෙ නැ.  පෙරෙදා පාසලෙ තිබුණු උත්සවේකදි කියවුනෙ ඒ ගොඩනැගිල්ලට ආණ්ඩුවෙන් 50,000ක මුදලක් ලැබුනත් ඉස්කොලෙ ලොකු සර්, ගුරුවරු, පාසල් ලමුන් සහ ගම්මු එකතු වෙලා තවත් බාහිර පිරිස් සමඟ මේ වැඩේ අහවර කරගෙන. කොටින්ම ගොඩනැගිල්ලට අවශ්‍ය ගඩොල් දෙමාපියක් එකතු කරලා දීල..
 ගුරුවරුන් පළමු වරට OLPC XO උපාංගය විවෘත කිරීමට උත්සාහ දරමින්...


අගෝස්තු 1දා සවස් වන විට කණ්ඩියපිටවැව නාන්දා පාසලට පරිගණක ගෙන ගිය මොහොතෙ සිට පරිගණක විද්‍යාගාරය නම් කිසිම විටක තනි නොකරන්න පාසලෙ පුංචි පැටව් වග බලාගත්ත. හන්තාන මෙහෙයුම් පද්ධතිය ස්ථාපනයටත් කිහිප දෙනෙක් එක් වුනා විතරක් නෙමෙ රාත්‍රී 9.30 පමණ වන තෙක් අප සමඟ රැදුණු ඔවුන් බලෙන්ම වගේ ගෙවල් වලට පිටත් කරන්න උනේ ඔවුන්ගෙම ආරක්ෂාව නිසයි.


ලග පාත ගෙවල්වල ළමයි ඔක්කොම හවස පාසලට දුවන් ආව...




ඉස්සෙල්ලම වැඩ කරන්න හැමෝම තමන්ගෙ වාරයනතෙක් බලන් ඉන්නව...


ලෙසි නැ ගණන් හදන සෙල්ලම,... බැරිම තැන ඇගිලි ගනිමින්...



හන්තාන ලිනක්ස් 17 (නවතම නිකුතුව) ස්ථාපනය වෙමින්....

අප බලාපොරොත්තු වූ සේම සහයෝගයෙන්, එක්ව අධ්‍යනයේ යෙදීමට පළමු දිනයේ සිටම පාසල් සිසුන් කටයුතු කරන අයුරු දක්නට පුලුවන් උනා..

තමන්දැනගත් දේ අන් අයට කියා දීමටත් වෙනත් කෙනෙක් දන්නා දේ අසා දැනගැණීමටත් ඔවුන් පැකිලුනේ නැ

මේ කාර්යයෙදි ලැප්ටොප් පරිගණක ලබා දුන්නෙ යොහාන් සුමතිපාල, ඔහු සිංහල කතා කිරීමට නොදන්නා වුවත් තමන්ගෙ රට ගැන කැක්කුමක් තියෙන දැනට ඇමරිකාවෙ වාසය කරන අවුරුදු 17ක සිසුවෙක්.  පසුගිය අගෝස්තු මස දෙවැනිදා පැවැත්වුණු උත්සවයට යොහාන් ඔහුගෙ මැණියන්, සහෝදරයා සමඟ සහෝදරිය සමඟ එක් වුනා. ඌව පලාත් අධ්‍යාපන කාර්යයාලයේ, වැල්ලවාය කලාප අධ්‍යාපන කාර්යයාලයේ නිළධරින් සහ අවට පාසල් වල විදුහල් පතිවරුන් මෙන්ම ගම්වාසීන් මෙම වැඩසටහනට එක්ව සිටියා.

කණ්ඩියපිටවැව නාලන්ද පාසලෙ දරුවන්ගෙන් සහ ගුරුවරුන්ගෙන් උණුසුම් පිළිගැණීමක්

පන්සිල් සමාදන්වෙමින්...

පිළිගැණීමෙ ගීතය

 යොහාන් සුමතිපාල  (වෛද්‍ය දීපානි ජයන්තා විසින් යොහාන්ගෙ අදහස් සිංහල බසට පෙරලනලදි)

 ගම්වාසීන්

ලොකු ලොකු අයගෙ හරබර කතා අතරතුරු පොඩිත්තන්ගෙ ලස්සන රැගුම් වැඩසටහන තවත් ලස්සන කලා.





පරිගණක විද්‍යාගාරයේ උපරිම ප්‍රයෝජනය ගුරු සිසු දෙපිරිස ලබා ගන්නා බව කැට තියල කියන්න පුලුවන්.. මොකද ලැබ් එක ඇරපු මුල්ම දවසේ මූලික වැඩසටහනෙන් පසුව සවස 2 සිට සවස 5.30 දක්වා ගුරුවරුන් සඳහා වැඩසටහනක් ක්‍රියාත්මක උනා.. නමුත් වැවට ගිහින් නාගෙන එද්දි ලොකු සර් නිකමට වගේ අහනව අපිට රෑටත් ටිකක් පුරුදු වෙන්න පුලුවන් නේද කියල. ඔහුගෙ උනන්දුව නිසාම අවට නිවෙස් වල සිටි  ගුරුවරු 5 දෙනෙක් මැදියම් රැය වෙනකන් දිවා කාලයෙ ඉගෙන ගත් දැ යලි පුහුණු වීමටත් දරුවන්ගෙ අධ්‍යාපන කටයුතු සඳහා හන්තාන පද්ධතියෙන් වැදගත්වන පාඩම් සොයා බැලීමටත් එක් වුනා.

කණ්ඩියපිටවැව නාලන්දා විදුලේ තොරතුරු තාක්‍ෂණ ප්‍රජාව...

අපිට අවශ්‍ය දේ අපිම ඉගෙන ගන්න ඔනා කියන හැගිමෙන් එක් කෙනෙක් ඉගෙන ගන්න දේ අනිකාටත් කියා දීමට ඔවුන් පසුබට උනෙ නැ.

පහුවදා උදැසන යලිත් පාසල්දරුවන්ට  කෙටි වැඩසටහනකින්  පළමුපුහුණු  වාරය නිම කළේ මේ අගෝස්තු නිවාඩුවෙ යළිත් හන්තාන කණ්ඩායමේ සාමාජිකයෙක් එහි යන දිනයක්දස්තිවරව  පවසමින්.  මෙතෙක් හන්තාන ලිනක්ස් කණ්ඩායම සිදු නොකල, එක් පාසලකට මාස  6ක් තිස්සේ වැඩසටහන් ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමක් මෙම පාසල ඉලක්ක කරගෙන සිදු කරන්නෙ යොහාන්ගෙ සහ born free මිතුරන්ගෙ, ගම්වාසින්ගෙ, පාසලෙ මහන්සිය අපතෙ නොයා, හැකි උපරිම ඵලදායිතාවයකින් යුතුව පරිගණක විද්‍යාගාරය භාවිතයට මග පෙන්වීමටයි.

මෙම පාසලට සාමාන්‍ය ලැප්ටොප් පරිගණක වලට අමතරව OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) ව්‍යාපෘතිය මඟින් XO පරිගණක දෙකක් ලැබුණු අතර අනෙක් ලැප්ටොප් පරිගණක මඟින්ම OLPC හි ඇති Sugar වැඩතලය ඇති නිසා ප්‍රාථමික සිසුන්ටත් මෙම පරිගණක විද්‍යාගාරයේ ඉඩක් ලැබෙනු ඇත.


දැන් මේ සටහන කිව්ව ඔබහිතනව ඇති මොන හරුපයක්ද, අද මාතෘකාවට දාල තියෙන්නෙ කියල. :D ඇත්තටම කියනව නම් මාතෘකාවෙ කිසි වැරද්දක් නැ...

මොකද මේ වැඩසටහන සිද්ධ උනේ අලි කරදර වලින් දුක්විදින ජනතාවගෙ ජීවන තත්ත්වය උසස් කිරීමට සහාය වන Born Free Foundation ආයතනය මේ ගමටත් ගිය නිසා සහ එම ආයතනය කරන වැඩ ගැන පැහැදුනු යොහාන් සුමතිපාල නාලන්දාවෙ දරුවන්ට පරිගණක ලබා දිමෙ කටයුත්තට අත ගැසීමත් සියල්ල සිදු උනේ වල් අලි නිසා නේද? මෙම අහන්නෙ born free ශ්‍රී ලංකා කණ්ඩයම. :)


Born Free මිතුරන් (නිර්මල, වෛද්‍ය දීපානි ජයන්තා, සමීර) 

මීට සවර කිහිපයකට පෙර විසකුරු සතුන් පිළිබඳ මෙම පාසලේදිම පැවැත්වුණු වැඩසටහනකදි සමීරට නයෙක් ගැහුව කියල පස්සෙයි ආරංචි උනෙ.. :-)
කොච්චර බඩගිනිවුනත් පොඩි උන්ටික රැ 9.30ට එලියට යනකන්, උපරිම සහාය දෙමින්, දවල්ටත් නොකා සහයට සිටි සමීර මිත්‍රයට තුති!

by Danishka Navin (noreply@blogger.com) at February 16, 2018 10:52 AM

February 12, 2018

Jim Gettys

The Blind Men and the Elephant

640px-elephas_maximus_eye_closeup

Bufferbloat is responsible for much of the poor performance seen in the Internet today and causes latency (called “lag” by gamers), triggered even by your own routine web browsing and video playing.

But bufferbloat’s causes and solutions remind me of the old parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant, updated for the modern Internet:

It was six men of Interstan,
 To learning much inclined,
Who sought to fix the Internet,
 (With market share in mind),
That evil of congestion,
 Might soon be left behind.

Definitely, the pipe-men say,
A wider link we laud,
For congestion occurs only
When bandwidth exceeds baud.
If only the reverse were true,
We would all live like lords.

But count the cost, if bandwidth had
No end, money-men say,
But count the cost, if bandwidth had
No end, money-men say,
Perpetual upgrade cycle;
True madness lies that way.

From DiffServ-land, their tried and true
Solution now departs,
Some packets are more equal than
Their lesser counterparts.
But choosing which is which presents
New problems in all arts.

“Every packet is sacred!” cries
The data-centre clan,
Demanding bigger buffers for
Their ever-faster LAN.
To them, a millisecond is
Eternity to plan.

The end-to-end principle guides
A certain band of men,
Detecting when congestion strikes;
Inferring bandwidth then.
Alas, old methods outcompete their
Algorithmic maven.

The Isolationists prefer
Explicit signalling,
Ensuring each and every flow
Is equally a king.
If only all the other men
Would listen to them sing!

And so these men of industry,
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion,
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
Yet mostly in the wrong!

So, oft in technologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance,
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Internet,
Not one of them has seen!

Jonathan Morton, with apologies to John Godfrey Saxe

Most technologists are not truly wise: we are usually like the blind men of Interstan. The TCP experts, network operators, telecom operators, router makers, Internet service operators, router vendors and users have all had a grip *only* on their piece of the elephant.

The TCP experts look at TCP and think “if only TCP were changed” in their favorite way, all latency problems would be solved, forgetting that there are many other causes of saturating an Internet link, and that changing every TCP implementation on the planet will take time measured in decades. With the speed of today’s processors, almost everything can potentially transmit at gigabits per second. Saturated (“congested”) links are *normal* operation in the Internet, not abnormal. And indeed, improved congestion avoidance algorithms such as BBR and mark/drop algorithms such as CoDel and PIE are part of the solution to bufferbloat.

And since TCP is innately “unfair” to flows with different RTT’s, and we have both nearby (~10ms) or (inter)continental distant (~75-200ms) services, no TCP only solution can possibly provide good service. This is a particularly acute problem for people living in remote locations in the world who have great inherent latency differences between local and non-local services. But TCP only solutions cannot solve other problems causing unnecessary latency, and can never achieve really good latency as the queue they build depend on the round trip time (RTT) of the flows.

Network operators often think: “if only I can increase the network bandwidth,” they can banish bufferbloat: but at best, they can only move the bottleneck’s location and that bottleneck’s buffering may even be worse! When my ISP increased the bandwidth to my house several years ago (at no cost, without warning me), they made my service much worse, as the usual bottleneck moved from the broadband link (where I had bufferbloat controlled using SQM) to WiFi in my home router. Suddenly, my typical lag became worse by more than a factor of ten, without having touched anything I owned and having double the bandwidth!

The logical conclusion of solving bufferbloat this way would be to build an ultimately uneconomic and impossible-to-build Internet where each hop is at least as fast as the previous link under all circumstances, and which ultimately collides with the limits of wireless bandwidth available at the edge of the Internet. Here lies madness. Today, we often pay for much more bandwidth than needed for our broadband connections just to reduce bufferbloat’s effects; most applications are more sensitive to latency than bandwidth, and we often see serious bufferbloat issues at peering points as well in the last mile, at home and using cellular systems. Unnecessary latency just hurts everyone.

Internet service operators optimize the experience of their applications to users, but seldom stop to see if the their service damages that of other Internet services and applications. Having a great TV experience, at the cost of good phone or video conversations with others is not a good trade-off.

Telecom operators, have often tried to limit bufferbloat damage by hacking the congestion window of TCP, which does not provides low latency, nor does it prevents severe bufferbloat in their systems when they are loaded or the station remote.

Some packets are much more important to deliver quickly, so as to enable timely behavior of applications. These include ACKS, TCP opens, TLS handshakes, and many other packet types such as VOIP, DHCP and DNS lookups. Applications cannot make progress until those responses return. Web browsing and other interactive applications suffer greatly if you ignore this reality. Some network operation experts have developed complex packet classification algorithms to try to send these packets on their way quickly.

Router manufacturers often have extremely complex packet classification rules and user interfaces, that no sane person can possibly understand. How many of you have successfully configured your home router QOS page, without losing hair from your head?

Lastly, packet networks are inherently bursty, and these packet bursts cause “jitter.” With only First In First Out (FIFO) queuing, bursts of tens or hundreds of packets happen frequently. You don’t want your VOIP packet or other time sensitive to be arbitrarily delayed by “head of line” blocking of bursts of packets in other flows. Attacking the right problem is essential.

We must look to solve all of these problems at once, not just individual aspects of the bufferbloat elephant. Flow Queuing CoDel (FQ_CoDel) is the first, but will not be the last such algorithm. And we must attack bufferbloat however it appears.

Flow Queuing Codel Algorithm: FQ_CoDel

Kathleen Nichols and Van Jacobson invented the CoDel Algorithm (described now formally in RFC 8289), which represents a fundamental advance in Active Queue Management that preceded it, which required careful tuning and could hurt you if not tuned properly.  Their recent blog entry helps explain its importance further. CoDel is based on the notion of “sojourn time”, the time that a packet is in the queue, and drops packets at the head of the queue (rather than tail or random drop). Since the CoDel algorithm is independent of queue length, is self tuning, and is solely dependent on sojourn time, additional combined algorithms become possible not possible with predecessors such as RED.

Dave Täht had been experimenting with Paul McKenney’s Stochastic Fair Queuing algorithm (SFQ) as part of his work on bufferbloat, confirming that many of the issues are caused by head of line blocking (and unfairness of differing RTT’s of competing flows) were well handled by that algorithm.

CoDel and Dave’s and Paul’s work inspired Eric Dumazet to invent the FQ_Codel algorithm almost immediately after the CoDel algorithm became available. Note we refer to it as “Flow Queuing” rather than “Fair Queuing” as it is definitely “unfair” in certain respects rather than a true “Fair Queuing” algorithm.

Synopsis of the FQ_Codel Algorithm Itself

FQ_CoDel, documented in RFC 8290, uses a hash (typically but not limited of the usual 5-tuple identifying a flow), and establishes a queue for each, as does the Stochastic Fair Queuing (SFQ) algorithm. The hash bounds memory usage of the algorithm enabling use on even small embedded router or in hardware. The number of hash buckets (flows) and what constitutes a flow can be adjusted as needed; in practice the flows are independent TCP flows.

There are two sets of flow queues: those flows which have built a queue, and queues for new flows.

The packet scheduler preferentially schedules packets from flows that have not built a queue from those which have built a queue (with provisions to ensure that flows that have built queues cannot be starved, and continue to make progress).

If a flow’s queue empties, and packets again appear later, that flow is considered a new flow again.

Since CoDel only depends on the time in queue, it is easily applied in FQ_CoDel to ensure that TCP flows are properly policed to keep their behavior from building large queues.

CoDel does not require tuning and works over a very wide range of bandwidth and traffic. Combining flow queuing with a older mark/drop algorithm is impossible with older AQM algorithms such as Random Early Detection (RED) which depend on queue length rather than time in queue, and require tuning. Without some mark/drop algorithm such as CoDel, individual flows might fill their FQ_CoDel queues, and while they would not affect other flows, those flows would still suffer bufferbloat.

What Effects Does the FQ_CoDel Algorithm Have?

FQ_Codel has a number of wonderful properties for such a simple algorithm:

  • Simple “request/response” or time based protocols are preferentially scheduled relative to bulk data transport. This means that your VOIP packets, your TCP handshakes, cryptographic associations, your button press in your game, your DHCP or other basic network protocols all get preferential service without the complexity of extensive packet classification, even under very heavy load of other ongoing flows. Your phone call can work well despite large downloads or video use.
  • Dramatically improved service for time sensitive protocols, since ACKS, TCP opens, security associations, DNS lookups, etc., fly through the bottleneck link.
  • Idle applications get immediate service as they return from their idle to active state. This is often due to interactive user’s actions and enabling rapid restart of such flows is preferable to ongoing, time insensitive bulk data transfer.
  • Many/most applications put their most essential information in the first data packets after a connection opens: FQ_CoDel sees that these first packets are quickly forwarded. For example, web browsers need the size information included in an image before being able to complete page layout; this information is typically contained in the first packet of the image. Most later packets in a large flow have less critical time requirements than the first packet(s).
  • Your web browsing is significantly faster, particularly when you share your home connection with others, since head of line blocking is no longer such an issue.
  • Flows that are “well behaved” and do not use more than their share of the available bandwidth at the bottleneck are rewarded for their good citizenship. This provides a positive incentive for good behavior (which the packet pacing work at Google has been exploiting with BBR, for example, which depends on pacing packets). Unpaced packet bursts are poison to “jitter”, that is the variance of latency, which sets how close to real time other algorithms (such as VOIP) need to operate.
  • If there are bulk data flows of differing RTT’s, the algorithm ensures (in the limit) fairness between the flows, solving an issue that cannot itself be solved by TCP.
  • User simplicity: without complex packet classification schemes, FQ_CoDel schedules packets far better than previous rigid classification systems.
  • FQ_CoDel is extremely small, simple and fast and scalable both up and down in bandwidth and # of flows, and down onto very constrained systems. It is safe for FQ_CoDel to be “always on”.

Having an algorithm that “just works” for 99% of cases and attacks the real problem is a huge advantage and simplification. Packet classification need only be used only to provide guarantees when essential, rather than be used to work around bufferbloat. No (sane) human can possibly successfully configure the QOS page found on today’s home router.  Once bufferbloat is removed and flow queuing present, any classification rule set can be tremendously simplified and understood.

Limitations and Warnings

If flow queuing AQM is not present at your bottleneck in your path, nothing you do can save you under load. You can at most move the bottleneck by inserting an artificial bottleneck.

The FQ_CoDel algorithm [RFC 8290], particularly as a queue discipline, is not a panacea for bufferbloat as buffers hide all over today’s systems. There has been about a dozen significant improvements to reduce bufferbloat just in Linux starting with Tom Herbert’s Linux BQL, Eric Dumazet’s TCP Small queues, TSO Sizing and FQ scheduler, just naming a few. Our thanks to everyone in the Linux community for their efforts. FQ_Codel, implemented in its generic form as the Linux queue discipline fq_codel, only solves part of the bufferbloat problem, that found in the qdisc layer. The FQ_CoDel algorithm itself is applicable to a wide variety of circumstances, and not just in networking gear, but even sometimes in applications.

WiFi and Wireless

Good examples of the buffering problems occurs in wireless and other technologies such as DOCSIS and DSL. WiFi is particularly hard: rapid bandwidth variation and packet aggregation means that WiFi drivers must have significant internal buffering. Cellular systems have similar (and different) challenges.

Toke Høiland-Jørgensen, Michał Kazior, Dave Täht, Per Hertig and Anna Brunstrom reported amazing improvements for WiFi at the Usenix Technical Conference. Here, FQ_CoDel algorithm is but part of a more complex algorithm that handles aggregation and transmission air-time fairness (which Linux has heretofore lacked). The results are stunning, and we hope to see similar improvements in other technologies by applying FQ_Codel.

WiFiThis chart shows the latency under load in milliseconds of the new WiFi algorithm, beginning adoption in Linux. The log graph is used to enable plotting results on the same graph. The green curve is for the new driver latency under load (cumulative probability of the latency observed by packets) while the orange graph is for the previous Linux driver implementation. You seldom see 1-2 orders of magnitude improvements in anything. Note that latency can exceed one second under load with existing drivers. And implementation of air-time fairness in this algorithm also significantly increases the total bandwidth available in a busy WiFi network, by using the spectrum more efficiently, while delivering this result! See the above paper for more details and data.

This new driver structure and algorithm is in the process of adoption in Linux, though most drivers do not yet take advantage of what this offers. You should demand your device vendors using Linux update their drivers to the new framework.

While the details may vary for different technologies, we hope the WiFi work will help illuminate techniques appropriate for applying FQ_CoDel (or other flow queuing algorithms, as appropriate) to other technologies such as cellular networks.

Performance and Comparison to Other Work

In the implementations available in Linux, FQ_CoDel has seriously outperformed all comers, as shown in: “The Good, the Bad and the WiFi: Modern AQMs in a residential setting,” by Toke Høiland-Jørgensen, Per Hurtig and Anna Brunstrom. This paper is unique(?) in that it compares the algorithms consistently using the identical tests on all algorithms on the same up to date test hardware and software version, and is an apple-to-apple comparison of running code.

Our favorite benchmark for “latency under load” is the “rrul” test from Toke’s flent test tool. It demonstrates when flow(s) may be damaging the latency of other flow(s) as well as goodput and latency.  Low bandwidth performance is more difficult than high bandwidth. At 1Mbps, a single 1500 byte packet represents 12 milliseconds! This shows fq_codel outperforming all comers in latency, while preserving very high goodput for the available bandwidth. The combination of an effective self adjusting mark/drop algorithm with flow queuing is impossible to beat. The following graph measures goodput versus latency for a number of queue disciplines, at two different bandwidths, of 1 and 10Mbps (not atypical of the low end of WiFi or DSL performance). See the paper for more details and results.

aqmsummary

FQ_CoDel radically outperforms CoDel, while solving problems that no conventional TCP mark/drop algorithm can do by itself. The combination of flow queuing with CoDel is a killer improvement, and improves the behavior of CoDel (or PIE), since ACKS are not delayed.

Pfifo_fast previously has been the default queue discipline in Linux (and similar queuing is used on other operating systems): it is for the purposes of this test, a simple FIFO queue. Note that the default length of the FIFO queue is usually ten times longer than that displayed here in most of today’s operating systems. The FIFO queue length here was chosen so that the differences between algorithms would remain easily visible on the same linear plot!

Other self tuning TCP congestion avoidance mark/drop algorithms such as PIE [RFC 8033] are becoming available, and some of those are beginning to be combined with flow queuing to good effect. As you see above, PIE without flow queuing is not competitive (nor is CoDel). An FQ-PIE algorithm, recently implemented for FreeBSD by Rasool Al-Saadi and Grenville Armitage, is more interesting and promising. Again, flow queuing combined with an auto-adjusting mark/drop algorithm is the key to FQ-PIE’s behavior.

Availability of Modern AQM Algorithms

Implementations of both CoDel and FQ_Codel were released in Linux 3.5 in July 2012 and in FreeBSD 11, in October, 2016 (and backported to FreeBSD 10.3); FQ-PIE is only available in FreeBSD (though preliminary patches for Linux exist).

FQ_CoDel has seen extensive testing, deployment and use in Linux since its initial release. There is never a reason to use CoDel, and is present in Linux solely to enable convenient performance comparisons, as in the above results. FQ_CoDel first saw wide use and deployment as part of OpenWrt when it became the default queue discipline there, and used heavily as part of the SQM (Smart Queue Management) system to mitigate “last mile” bufferbloat. FQ_CoDel is now the default queue discipline on most Linux distributions in many circumstances.  FQ_CoDel is being used in an increasing number of commercial products.

The FQ_CoDel based WiFi improvements shown here are available in the latest LEDE/OpenWrt release for a few chips. WiFi chip vendors and router vendors take note: your competitors may be about to pummel you, as this radical improvement is now becoming available. The honor of the commercial product to incorporate this new WiFi code is the Evenroute IQrouter.

PIE, but not FQ-PIE was mandated in DOCSIS 3.1, and is much less effective than FQ_CoDel (or FQ-PIE).

Continuing Work: CAKE

Research in other AQM’s continue apace. FQ_CoDel and FQ-PIE are far from the last words on the topic.

Rate limiting is necessary to mitigate bufferbloat in equipment that has no effective queue management (such as most existing DSL or most Cable modems). While we have used fq_codel in concert with Hierarchical Token Bucket (HTB) rate limiting for years as part of the Smart Queue Management (SQM) scripts (in OpenWrt and elsewhere), one can go further in an integrated queue discipline to address problems difficult to solve piecemeal, and make configuration radically simpler. The CAKE queue discipline, available today in OpenWrt, additionally adds integrated framing compensation, diffserv support and CoDel improvements. We hope to see CAKE upstream in Linux soon. Please come help in its testing and development.

As you see above, the Make WiFi Fast project is making headway and makes WiFi much to be preferred to cellular service when available, much, much more is left to be done. Investigating fixing bufferbloat in WiFi made us aware of just how much additional improvement in WiFi was also possible. Please come help!

Conclusion

Ye men of Interstan, to learning much inclined, see the elephant, by opening your eyes: 

ISP’s, insist your equipment manufacturers support modern flow queuing automatic queue management. Chip manufacturers: ensure your chips implement best practices in the area, or see your competitors win business.

Gamers, stock traders, musicians, and anyone wanting decent telephone or video calls take note. Insist your ISP fix bufferbloat in its network. Linux and RFC 8290 prove you can have your cake and eat it too. Stop suffering.

Insist on up to date flow queuing queue management in devices you buy and use, and insist that bufferbloat be fixed everywhere.

by gettys at February 12, 2018 12:39 AM

January 29, 2018

Ntugi Group | Kenya

負の世界遺産というものを知っておこう

世界遺産という言葉は知っている人は多いでしょう。 世界遺産のリストに登録された、遺跡や景観や自然を観光で見に行ったことがある人も多いと思います。 これは文化遺産でも自然遺産でも、「人類が共有すべき普遍的な価値をもつもの」 …

by sobby000 at January 29, 2018 08:04 AM

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

by sobby000 at January 29, 2018 06:36 AM

January 15, 2018

Ghana Together

Ghana Together’s Mr. Quilt Man! Our own Jerome Chandler!


Jerome Chandler is a founding member of Ghana Together, having served since 2006. His interest in Ghana goes way back!

He served from 1958-1967 at St. John’s Senior High School in Sekondi, Ghana---the first four years, as math teacher, and then as Headmaster for five years. Sekondi is about 30 miles east of Axim.

It was a tumultuous time with Ghana becoming independent in 1957, followed by an unsettled period including a military coup in 1966, and political turmoil generally.  Not so easy to be the Headmaster in a school that followed the English education system, including administering the “Cambridge Exam” to his students---the same exam English students were taking at the time—during those difficult years!

Jerome returned to the US and eventually, luckily for us, he became a Science Instructor at Skagit Valley College for many years, here in Mount Vernon, WA.

But, he never lost his interest and affection for Ghana and its culture. And what better represents Ghanaian culture than its indigenous textiles---especially woven kente cloth and printed adinkra symbolic motifs?

And, since in his senior years, Jerome has taken up quilting, what better raw material than the beautiful Ghanaian cloth?

So, when our friend Kathryn Roe, Founder/Leader of Anansi Non-profit in Ghana, brought back extensive yardage of traditional Ghanaian “cloth” from Ghana, Jerome was thrilled! And he got to work!

First, he made a beautiful Adinkra symbols quilt for Kathryn herself, as a thank-you

The adinkra symbolism is an old traditional art form, which is still ubiquitous in Ghana. There is a record of a stamped Adinkra cloth being sent back to England in 1817. The symbols have meanings. 

See this website which beautifully documents the rich meaning. These symbols are still widely used in Ghana---not only on textiles but also as decorative art on buildings, signage, etc. 


Having made that first quilt, now Jerome was on a roll! So he made another one for the Mount Vernon Kiwanis Club, which has supported our students since 2007!


Gary Jones, (left),  International Program leader, accepts a quilt on behalf of the local Kiwanis 

One thing led to another! A few folks who have collected and arranged shipping for hundreds of children’s books got their surprise quilts!





He made this one below  for the Axim Library, featuring the Gye Nyame symbol meaning “except for God”, which may be the most common, and is found on textiles, stores, restaurants, taxi cabs, signage. A common use might be "except for God, you and I would not be greeting each other today."

The symbol in the middle is the symbol for God---"except for God"...



And one for our friend Bonnie who supported a student from...grade 3?...through nursing school...her "graduation gift."



And there are more, but this is a good sample! Some are going to our partners in Axim, who have worked so well with us to enable us to help them achieve our mutual goals.

We only wish we could honor every one of you, our dear readers and  “investors” in so many ways, with one of Jerome’s beautiful pieces! 

Thanks to you, we’ve managed to enable our partners, Western Heritage Home, to support 69 students this first term in 2018. We continue to support the library. We love this collaboration and are eager to see what 2018 puts in front of us!!

(Notice our logo features adinkra symbols. Starting at 1:00, "nurture", lifelong learning, health & beauty, leadership, and "except God.")


Ghana Together
808 Addison Place
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Email: info@ghanatogether.org




by Ghana Together (noreply@blogger.com) at January 15, 2018 07:25 PM

January 04, 2018

OLE Nepal

The Mountain Village That Stole Our Hearts

AUTHOR: Yap Mun Ching DECEMBER 23 , 2017 For my last work trip of 2017, I had the rather unusual task of leading a group of 9 Allstars (AirAsia staff) from 5 countries and a 5-member film crew up the Gorkha mountains of Nepal to a village called Olang. The trip was part of a two-and-a-half-year long ‘To Nepal with Love’ campaign that AirAsia Foundation has been running with an excellent organisation called Open Learning…

by admin at January 04, 2018 11:01 AM

December 15, 2017

Ghana Together

Medical Milestones in Axim area of Ghana


Congratulations to our Western Heritage Home Scholar Dorothy Armoo who has graduated as a Nursing Assistant from the SDA Health Assistant Training School in Asanta, Ghana! Dorothy exemplifies the Western Heritage Home motto:
MAKING LEADERS OF THE LEAST!
Dorothy will participate in a graduation ceremony in early 2018, at which time the new graduates will be assigned to their workplace---which could be ANYWHERE in Ghana! She is excited and proud!



And congratulations to Scholars Philomena Mensah and Charlotte Armah who met the academic requirements to be accepted into the Asanta Nursing Training School, and who have just completed their first term. They are on their way to becoming nurses!

Charlotte (left) &  Philomena on first day at the Asanta Nurses Training School


Charlotte (second from left) and Philomena (far right) with classmates at the end of first term of nurses training in their nice new training uniforms!

******************************
Huge thank you to Dr. James Heilman and the WikiMed Foundation for allowing us to purchase two of the first 100 newly-published prototype WikiMed Internet-in-a-Boxes! And to Adam Holt of Unleash Kids who connected Ghana Together with the WikiMed folks.

Western Heritage Home Operations Manager Evans Arloo and the computer lab teachers installed the units---one at Asanta Nursing Training School and the other at Essiama Community Health Nursing/Midwifery School.

Each of these little devices is a “hot spot” that sends signals to network-enabled computers and smartphones

Students can access as if they are on the actual internet from the computers in their lab and even on their smartphones, if they have them! (Actual internet is not very available yet in the more rural parts of Ghana, and if available, very expensive.)


WikiMed Training Session at the Computer Lab at the Asanta Nurses Training School






Western Heritage Home Operations Manager Evans Arloo (left) hands over the WikiMed device and documentation to the computer teacher at Asanta Nurses Training School


WikiMed Handing Over Ceremony at Essiama Nursery/Midwifery School. James Kainyiah, Chairman of Western Heritage Home, is tall guy 4th from left
Believe it or not (!), each of these little units holds:

--a complete collection of all healthcare, anatomy, and medication-related topics from Wikipedia, but in offline format---at least 50,000 articles in all
--a “Global Emergency Medicine Wiki”, which is the world’s largest emergency medicine open-access reference resource
--a “HealthPhone Medical Video Collection”---videos on various healthcare topics
--many “Practical Action” videos on topics such as agriculture, disaster response, fisheries, food processing, social and economic development, and waste management
--OpenStreet Mapsof the entire world (especially useful for medical personnel traveling in more remote areas of their own countries)
Dr. Heilman and his group allowed us to purchase these WikiMed devices, as prototypes, on the condition that the faculty and students will provide feedback to his group, to help improve the next release they are already working on. As Dr H told us, “These represent the work of 10s of thousands of people. I hope people find it useful. We are busy working on the next version.”
************************************
AND, remember those urine diversification/dehydration toilets Engineers Without Borders pioneered in Axim? Well, EWB built one, we of Ghana Together funded two more. We gave workshops…we visited…and RE-visited… we used them ourselves just to prove... (J) and now the nearby village of Apetaim has built one for itself, thanks to a local NGO!! A wonderful move to better health and hygiene! We only hope more villages take up this type of toilet design.







************************************
And so, we’ve come to the end of our year. So many good projects and accomplishments!
Our Annual Update Letter summarizes our year and our plans.
On behalf of the Western Heritage Scholars, and the Axim Community, we sincerely thank you for your financial help. The American dollar goes a long way in Ghana!
We spend every donated amount on projects there. All our administrative expenses, including travel, are paid out-of-pocket by our Board Directors. We try to help in areas where our expertise, technology, and funds can provide what is difficult or impossible for Axim-ites to provide for themselves. We have wonderful leaders in Axim who are our good friends, and partners.
If you want to help, please visit our website for more info. Our mailing address is:

Ghana Together
808 Addison Place
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Email: info@ghanatogether.org


by Ghana Together (noreply@blogger.com) at December 15, 2017 04:17 AM

December 13, 2017

Tabitha Roder

Learn Moodle MOOC

As the year comes close to it’s end it seems like a good time to think of some development goals for 2018. Learn Moodle 3.4 Basics MOOC is a free, four week course that you can sign up for here.

For those who work in education there are many reasons why you might want to consider signing up for the next Learn Moodle MOOC starting 8 January 2018.

Here is a quick list, if you tick a box or two then think about signing up:

  • never seen an LMS or never seen Moodle
  • not used Moodle in ages and want a refresher of latest features and current practice
  • want to experience being a student to better understand their needs
  • interested course design and experience an approach used for big groups
  • get some inspiration for your teaching practice by seeing some activities in action
  • network with some other Moodle users, hear and share stories, make some friends – you can also join the conversation on twitter using #learnmoodle and engage with other participants in the forum
  • give yourself license to reflect on your own practice by comparing with what you see and experience during the MOOC
  • get some help on some challenges you are facing through doing the activities and learning more about Moodle and through conversations with other participants
  • get free professional development
  • you want a badge! you can use this MOOC as a way to collect a badge, useful particularly if you have started talking about badges at your learning institute but not figured out what it is all about yet and are ready to explore

Note that you can start introducing yourself and familiarising yourself with the course on 1 January 2018, so don’t feel like you have to wait until the 8th to get started.

That link again – https://learn.moodle.net/

Share the love and inspire other teachers by spreading the word to educators you know.

 

by tabithaparker at December 13, 2017 09:00 PM

December 03, 2017

Tabitha Roder

Letting the outside world into your classroom

One of the many lessons I have learned over my years of working in education, is to remember to bring the outside into the classroom.

There are lots of ways to do that, whether it be guest speakers, excursions, work experience, getting students to bring things in, all sorts! But an easy starting point is RSS feeds into your online classroom space.

I remember reading about RSS being old technology that was going out the window, but I have to say that news feeds are still incredibly powerful at helping connect what students are learning about with the real world.  They invite conversations that link theory with practice, and all too often give real examples of what can go wrong.

If you are using Moodle, it is very easy to add an RSS feed to your course (turn editing on, add a block, remote RSS feeds).

If you haven’t done it before but have a relevant news provider for the industry relevant to your teaching, you are looking for and you need to get the URL for the feed.

The URL (that is the web address) for the RSS feed will start with “http://” and usually ends with “.xml”.

Blogs often have RSS output, and there might be an RSS feed on one of your favourite industry websites, so go looking and bring the outside world into your classroom.

by tabithaparker at December 03, 2017 08:30 PM

November 30, 2017

Tabitha Roder

Communicating in Moodle

Today I’m highlighting some ways of communicating in Moodle.It is useful to remember the different methods available so you can use the right tool for the job. I won’t put pictures up for all the things I’ll discuss below, but I will point you to Moodle Docs so you can learn more about any of these features.

Messaging

Messaging provides an easy way to send private messages between users. In newer Moodle versions there is a messages icon in the top of the screen that tells the user if there are unread messages. Users can add people to their contacts, they can easily search for people by name or by course. The user can decide their own preferences for receiving notifications of new messages when online/offline by mobile or email. This feature is particularly popular with students who use social media platforms already. I would not recommend using this feature for course announcements.

In some cases, administrators disable messaging.

messaging

Forums (and announcement forum)

A versatile feature, forums allow students to communicate between themselves, in whole class or in specific groups, with or without the teacher/facilitator involved. The students don’t need to be logged in at the same time.

The group options give flexibility. An example of use could be a competition where groups of students complete a project of their choosing where all must use the same methodology. In this example, I might set the forum to have “visible” groups, so students can talk amongst their group, and they can see (but not interact with) the other groups posts. The splitting of the groups conversations makes it easier for them to track the conversation, but the visibility of the other groups conversations lets them see different ways to use the methodology, so more learning.

Optional subscription means students can choose whether they are notified of new posts to forum threads, whereas forced subscription suggests the teacher thinks all students need a notification of new posts. 

There is an announcement forum for teachers to update their students. This forum does not allow for student responses.

Chat activity

The chat is for real-time synchronous discussions. This is particularly useful for courses that are entirely online, to provide a set time that teachers can provide text based support for their students.

It is also useful for students to use in groups for planning their projects, or discussing other group activities.

Chat times can be published for scheduled times or available for students to make their own times to chat with each other.

Chats can be recorded and can be set to allow or not allow students to view the past chat sessions.

Moodle profile settings

Users have control over how they receive notifications from Moodle. They can choose to receive email digests for example rather than individual emails for every forum posts. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself and your students with these settings.

profile settings

profile settings

Calendar and Upcoming Events block

Not always thought of as a communication tool, the calendar does in fact communicate to users events coming up as advertised by the Moodle site, the courses they are enrolled in, groups they are in, or their own events they enter into the Moodle calendar. Similarly the upcoming events block can be displayed in a course with links to calendar events. 

There is the option to export calendars and import into other calendar programs with an ics file. Some students might for example want to put a dynamic link to their Moodle calendar in their google calendar.

Feedback activity

This activity provides a way for students to communicate their views about a course or topic (or evaluate their teacher) by answering questions designed by the teacher. Feedback can be anonymous, there can be as many questions as necessary (though I would advise to keep evaluations short) and there is a graphical analysis of the responses automatically created.

User tours

The new tours feature (Moodle 3.2 or newer sites) allows administrators to communicate changes made to a site with customisable tours. If this interests you, read here.

Where to from here

These are not the only communication features of Moodle, but hopefully serve as a reminder that there are lots of options so it’s worth having a good think about which is the right tool for the task.

If you don’t know which tool is right, and you have read the Moodle Docs pages, you can try talking with other Moodle users you know. There is also the Moodle community forums as a great place to get help, and they are multi-lingual.

by tabithaparker at November 30, 2017 11:00 PM

November 29, 2017

Tabitha Roder

Monitoring in Moodle

Today I want to share a few ideas around monitoring in Moodle: Setting up your Moodle courses to reduce the teacher management workload, effectively monitor student progress, and empower students with the autonomy to self manage as they progress through their studies.

So often teachers talk of the high workload in managing online components of the their courses; checking which students have completed what tasks, looking for forum contributions and checking what needs marking.

This post will show tracking options and reports available to teachers and students. I will focus on core tools that are available in a modern Moodle standard install. There are excellent modules and plugins available, however they’re not much use if you don’t have admin rights, so here’s what tools you will have.

Reports

Course administration block - reports

There are different types of reports available in Moodle through the administration block or through the user profile page.

Logs and live logs

You can generate logs of course activity by selecting any combination: participants, days, activities, actions or events. Then click on “Get these logs”.

Use the ? icon to get more information. The logs give you active links enabling you to access the student’s profile page or the particular page they were viewing. IP address gives an estimate of the student’s location.choose which logs you want to see

Teachers and students both have access to logs but they get different information. See the user reports below for student views.

Course reports > Activity reports

Teachers can assess the usage of each activity and resource within their course using the activity report. It shows the count of clicks and the number of unique users who clicked. This can assist in having conversations with learners about why some activities and resources have more clicks than others, but the data in isolation should not be used to make assumptions.

A question that helps teachers understand this:

You read the Course > Activity report and find one resource has 200 clicks, another has 20 clicks. Discuss which resource is the most useful to your students and why? What is the data telling you?

activity report

Ask teachers to discuss the possible causes of clicks:

  • “It was really useful so I referred to it often.”
  • “It was confusing and I read it over and over but still don’t understand.”
  • “I didn’t click on it because the name of it made me think I didn’t need to open that.”
  • “I didn’t open it because I already knew about it.”

Course reports > Course participation

Teachers can generate a participation report on a particular activity. For example: forum view or forum posts. A useful feature of the participation report is the option to send a message to all students who have or have not completed an action.

Course reports > Activity completion

If the Moodle site has activity completion enabled this can drastically improve course management and a huge time saver for both the teacher and the student. Setting up activity completion is discussed later in this blog post, so keep reading!activity completion report

The reports above are largely teacher focused. Next, let’s look at the reports and tools primarily for students.

User reports > Profile page

user profile page

User reports > Today’s logs and all logs

Students can use the logs to show their submissions were sent on time. They can also see what days of the week they are more active.user profile todays logs

User reports > Outline report

This is a brief outline of the learner’s course participation. For more detailed information they can look at the complete report. This report is useful for a brief overview and to check if they have missed anything.user profile outline report

User reports > Complete report

The learner can use the complete report to get a detailed record of their course contributions. Depending on the course design, the learner can print their complete report and use it as a study guide. Teachers who would like to encourage this approach should get their students to write question and answers in forum posts, and ensure the layout of activities like database show the questions in the students responses so the questions appear in the complete report.

I have used this approach in a course that has an elearning pre-requisite to a face-to-face workshop. The learner prints their complete report and brings it to the workshop, instead of printing a large workbook.

user profile complete report

Using the reports

When I teach people how to use the reports and logs I give them scenarios to consider in groups.

  • A student says that they have submitted an assignment before the due date, but it is showing as late. Which reports can you look into to see exactly when the student accessed and submitted the assignment? Discuss in a group and submit your chosen answer in this choice activity.
  • The teacher wants to check the students are all keeping up with the course work. They should have done the first three topics.  Which reports can you look into to see exactly where the students are at? Discuss in a group and submit your chosen answer in this choice activity.
  • One of the students has asked to meet with you about their course work. They are struggling with the course work but they say they have been trying to do all the course required activities. What report would you look at to prepare to meet with them? Discuss in a group and submit your chosen answer in this choice activity.

 

Completion settings

Earlier we showed you the Activity completion report. To use the report above, you need to set up activity completion at site level course level, and in each activity and resource.

It is helpful to refer to Moodle Docs > Activity completion settings to learn about this feature, but the brief is that you can use activity completion settings in Moodle to track and display activities and resources as “complete” for students based on criteria set by the teacher for each resource or activity, dependent on viewing, submitting, receiving a grade, or posting or replying conditions being met.activity completion icons

When I teach this I show how to setup activity completion settings on existing activities such as forum, glossary, page, quiz, and assignment. I discuss with teachers self marked quizzes that show as complete immediately on submission, versus teacher marked assignments which can show as complete on submission or complete when a grade has been received. When the “completion” happens on grade received there is a delay.

Another consideration is that this tracking does not assess quality of contributions. For example, forum conditions can’t assess quality of posts, only quantity. Viewing a resource does not equal reading/understanding/processing etc.

Restrict Access settings

This feature allows you to restrict students from accessing a resource or activity based on criteria set by the teacher (roles are blurry, so I am simplifying here).add restriction pop up

There is useful documentation at Moodle Docs > Restrict access settings for you to find out more.

Examples we use in our practice include:

  • Restrict access until another resource or activity is marked as complete – e.g. certificate not available until assignments are marked complete.
  • Restrict access until after a grade over 90% achieved in another graded activity.
  • Restrict access to a group or grouping – we use this to manage monthly new intakes and classes.
  • Restrict access until after a date – this could restrict the learner from viewing a resource or activity until after a presentation or a field trip.
  • Restrict access so only visible to people who have match a profile field – e.g. city equal to Auckland, this would allow you to show a label with a face to face event for learners in that city.

You can use restrictions to stop learners from viewing the certificate module until after feedback activity is marked complete, and they have a grade of 100% on the assessment activity.  This ensures instructional designers are always getting feedback on their development, and the learner has met the assessment standards agreed with the SME.

Note that when you have two restrictions there is the option to require the student to have met “all” or “any” of the requirements. With “all” you see “and” but with “any” you see “or” between the conditions.

The “Restriction set” is best left for teachers with some experience setting the other restriction types first.

Course completion criteria

When I teach course completion criteria, I demonstrate how to set this up and then encourage them to give it a go. Documentation for setting up course completion is here – Moodle Docs > Course completion – and you should totally read it.

This is a task list for workshop participants:

  • Turn on and off course completion tracking in course settings in practice course.
  • Add course completion block.
  • Set course completion criteria via the administration block
  • Discuss the risks of unlocking the criteria after a course has started (note the option to unlock without affecting current completions – how does this impact future participants?).
  • Discuss what happens if you want to add an activity, track it in course completion, after students have started? We promote pre-planning, but there is an option to retain some of the data if you do need to make adjustments after the course start date. We recommend reading https://docs.moodle.org/31/en/Course_completion_FAQ

Grader report

Moodle includes a grader report that is automatically populated by graded activities in your course. The documentation Moodle Docs > Grader report will give you the steps to using grader report.

During workshops with teachers:

  • Look at what is automatically put into the grader report, and what you can manually add, show how to set up categories and grade items, how to use groups for filtering and set grade visibility, type (real/percentage/letter), and weighting.
  • Get the workshop participants into groups and give them an existing course that is not currently used by students. Ask the groups to organise the grader report in a way that makes sense to their group, add categories and grade items as necessary, and decide on the weighting of activities.

What I want teachers to think about are the benefits to the students for having the grade structure organised, as well as themselves and moderators and auditors of courses.

I ask workshop participants to share examples and discuss ways they can use these features in their courses.

Feedback on these workshops is overwhelmingly positive. Participants are keen to spend more time on familiarising themselves with these features.

Some feedback received from participants:

  • “I have learnt more in the last 2 hours than in the last day… you have my creative juices flowing now.”
  • “This session is how I envisioned the whole day to be. It was great!”
  • “Impressed by the combination of solid development and “on the fly” flexibility.”
  • “I am very keen to add more activities to my courses. Our current pages are flat, unorganized and definitely have the scroll of death!”
  • “I’ve got a lot of information now to try and get more out of Moodle which is currently being hugely underutilized.”
  • “Really useful to discuss the ways the reports can be used and interpreted, using the as a start point for discussion!”

 

And despite each workshop being three hours long, when asked “Tell us one thing you would change or improve” received responses are like these:

  • “Too short! Could spend a whole day using this type of thing.”
  • “Restricted time limit.”
  • “It would be great to have a bit more time to go over how to create these things.”
  • “More time!”

I hope this blog post helps you monitor your students or provided you ideas for your courses.

by tabithaparker at November 29, 2017 06:37 PM

October 24, 2017

ICT4D Views from the Field

Record 150 SolarSPELLs Built in One Day!

On Saturday Oct 21st 2017, over 40 volunteers arrived at ASU’s Polytechnic campus to help build 150 SolarSPELL digital libraries. This is the largest build in the history of the project, breaking the previous one-day record of 100. These libraries will go out to Peace Corps volunteers and local teachers in Tonga, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Fiji in the coming months.

The day began with a presentation by Prof. Laura Hosman, giving a background of the SolarSPELL project and an overview of appropriate technology for resource-constrained locations. During this presentation, the SolarSPELL university student team was busy getting the build area ready for the larger group.

The volunteers transitioned over to the build area and received a step-by-step walk-through of each stage of the building process, led by the SolarSPELL Hardware team lead and Build-Master, Miles Mabey. Subsequently everyone chose their stations and jumped right in.

There were many opportunities for hands-on activities, including wire-stripping, soldering, gluing, cutting, velcroing, heat-shrinking, and laminating.

The hardware team took advantage of lessons learned from the previous Build Day last April, to make numerous process improvements, so the assembly line-style work was even more efficient.

 

The Build Day proved to be a family affair on multiple fronts, with many siblings, parents, and children coming out for the day’s activities.

We also welcomed some students who are originally from Rwanda and South Sudan to the Build, which was particularly exciting since approximately half of the SolarSPELLs will be going to Rwanda and South Sudan. These students are Bridge2Rwanda (B2R) scholars. B2R is an integral SolarSPELL partner for the project in Rwanda and South Sudan.

We also had significant representation from across ASU’s colleges, schools, and campuses, with volunteers coming from ASU Library, the College of Nursing and Health Innovations, the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, The Polytechnic School, the School for Earth and Space Exploration, and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. ASU Alumni also came and rolled up their sleeves to help in the effort!

We even got press coverage from the State Press—click here for further reading and more photos!

The fabulous photos in this post were taken by SolarSPELL team member Tyrine Pangan, bottom row, right, in the team picture below.

The finished boxes:

 

by ljhosman at October 24, 2017 08:14 PM

September 06, 2017

Path Education, Pakistan

Path Annual Report 2017

Major Programme Achievements

We are pleased to inform the Management Committee of the progress being made at Rahnuma Public School, our sole project.

The school year ending June 2017 brought many new achievements. Of the six Science Students who sat for their final SSC examinations with AKUB four passed with very good results specially in Urdu, Islamiat, Pakistan Studies and English. Two very weak students who are sisters and come from a difficult background, need to re sit their Math and Physics exams in supplementary papers, but we are hopeful they will clear these.
We have examined the results this year and discovered that in Physics, our students obtained one A and 2 B’s, a high score. In Chemistry we got two B’s and we know the teacher has to do better. Our area of weakness are Mathematics and Biology in which we are looking to train our teachers and hire additional resources.
With the board approval we have expanded the Junior school by taking over the building and as many students as would transfer from APNA School from May 2017. Our admissions closed in June with over 400 students with room for about 50 more students in Senior school. Our plan is to grow this strength through organic growth as our Junior school students moving up in greater numbers into senior school.
We can report that the International Primary Curriculum (used by British Schools all over the world) that we introduced last year has proved hugely successful. Teachers have responded very well to this new method of teaching. We hope to see concrete results as these students move into highschool and demonstrate the skills they are learning to think and analyse information for themselves.
We will continue to monitor and guide the primary school teachers to learn and improve their teaching skills. The school has just concluded one month of training on teaching English and Phonics to primary school students. This was provided by Infaq Foundation Free of cost.

Teacher’s Recruitment

We have added 5 new classes from Nursery to Year 3, giving us two sections each for Nursery, Reception, Year 1, 2 and 3. Five new teachers have been hired for these classes and we are pleased with the new staff who were taken on from May so they could be trained. 5 additional Teacher’s assistants have also been hired to support these teachers.
We now have two Vice Principals, Ms. Saima Ahmed for Primary Section and Ms. Humaira Yasmeen for the Senior Section which will now be housed in the new building we have taken over from Sapna. With a school that had increased capacity by more than 30%, this administrative change is necessary. We also have Ms. Sadia Irshad looking after Early Years and Primary Science and Social Studies Curriculum.

Fund Raising

We have had another successful year of fund raising. We approached three corporate sponsors this year. Of these, this month Infaq Foundation have approved a donation of Rs. 1 million for Rahnuma after we applied for a grant and arranged for several sessions for their team to meet our teachers and staff.
The second organization was Rotary Club, who are still doing their review and we will know about this after they have completed their due diligence in August.

Our individual contributors have also been very generous and have sent us substantial amounts as zakat and other donations.

Upgrade of Facilities

Upgrade of facilities and class rooms continues. This year we have focused on furnishing the five new classes we are adding to the Primary School as well as furnishing the new building. We have budgeted for this additional one time expense.

Future Plans

We have successfully increased our student strength significantly this year. The plan is to now manage the growth of this expanded junior school in a way as to feed into the much smaller senior school without causing disruption for students and teachers. Our plan is to offer only the top studets in Year 6 places in our high school, allowing us to manage the standard of students we fund to SSC. We will ensure that all students who do not get a place in the senior school do get admission elsewhere.

Financial Highlights

We are happy to report that the financial year 2017 we were able to raise sufficient funds to meet the school’s growing needs.

We thank all the staff of Rahnuma and volunteer Board members of PATH who devote so much time to making our work at Rahnuma Public School so successful.

Kishwer Aziz
Secretary
July 30th 2017

by kishwer at September 06, 2017 07:33 PM

September 04, 2017

ICT4D Views from the Field

SolarSPELL Project Honored with PLuS Alliance Education Innovation Award

Dr. Laura Hosman received the PLuS Alliance Prize for Education Innovation at an awards ceremony held at Bush House, of King’s College London, on Sep. 3 2017.

The PLuS Alliance Prize recognizes outstanding innovation contributions by individuals or groups in addressing the greatest global challenges facing society today. The PLuS Alliance Prize was established in 2017 with a total prize of $50,000 and is awarded annually in two categories: Education Innovation and Research Innovation.

These prizes are awarded to ground-breaking research that either addresses a need or solves a current problem in one or more of the arenas of global health, sustainability, social justice, or technology and innovation, in the previous five years.

The Prize is designed to highlight innovative work that:

  • Addresses a globally significant issue
  • Makes a direct and positive impact
  • Helps—or has the potential to help—communities globally

After presenting the award to Dr. Hosman, ASU President Michael Crow connected to the SolarSPELL WiFi and was impressed by how quickly the website came up on his smartphone.

Dr. Hosman also had the opportunity to explain how the SolarSPELL digital library works, to many of the event’s attendees.

It is truly an honor to receive this award, as it recognizes the dual importance of SolarSPELL’s mission: to offer transformative educational experiences for my ASU students, as they see the project through from A-to-Z, designing, building, and then implementing the libraries in the field. Simultaneously, the library is benefiting schoolchildren and communities across the developing world. Receiving this distinguished award will help our team continue this important work and have a greater impact, for even more people, around the world. Thank you to Arizona State University, to the dedicated students I’ve worked with, and to the PLuS Alliance!

by ljhosman at September 04, 2017 01:33 PM

August 12, 2017

ICT4D Views from the Field

August 02, 2017

OLE Nepal

Developing the New E-Pustakalaya

## Introduction ## Since OLE Nepal’s inception in 2007 we have strived to provide open and free access to quality education and innovative learning environments to children all over Nepal.  One of our core missions is to reduce the disparity found within the accessibility of learning tools brought about by geographic location, school type, and population group.  E-Pustakalaya, our free and open digital library, closed the gap by providing a collection of thousands of books,…

by Melech Maglasang at August 02, 2017 11:23 AM

July 26, 2017

ICT4D Views from the Field

ASU SolarSPELL Peace Corps training in Micronesia: Three Years in FSM!

The ASU SolarSPELL team traveled to Pohnpei, in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), in July 2017, to carry out a training on the solar digital libraries with a new cohort of Peace Corps volunteers. This training represents the third (annual) training with FSM volunteers, launching SolarSPELL’s third year of use in the field.

This particular training was quite special, as our team comprised a librarian from ASU Libraries, who offered a training on how to set up a library in a school, as well as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) who had served in Pohnpei some twenty years earlier, who had returned to the island for the first time since her service. We also had some special guest visitors attend the training from SolarSPELL project partner PREL, Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, with whom we look forward to collaborating even more closely in the (near) future!

The training kicked off with a background and overview of the SolarSPELL project, explaining not only where the idea for a solar digital library sprang from, but also some of the challenges and successes that the project has faced over the years. This presentation concluded by welcoming this new group of volunteers into the SolarSPELL family.

We continued the training by distributing both tablets and the SolarSPELL digital libraries, so that the volunteers could figure out how to operate the libraries, and could begin to surf and explore the library’s content, as well as pose any questions about the content, functionality, etc.

Subsequently, we held a scavenger hunt for the volunteers, to help familiarize them with the content on the library. Since there were prizes involved, the scavenger hunt became quite competitive!

The winning team members were quite pleased with the prizes!

After lunch, the training segued into a workshop on “How to Set Up a Library in Your School,” led by Lorrie McAllister, Associate University Librarian at ASU. The volunteers played a game to familiarize them with challenges associated establishing a library in resource-constrained conditions.

Discussion continued on relevant topics such as obtaining books, keeping the library as free as possible of bugs, mold, and other potential environmental threats, as well as topics like setting up a book check-out system, and incentivizing reading.

Finally, Jessica Hirshorn, Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies at ASU, and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) who had served in Pohnpei, FSM approximately 20 year prior, gave some valuable advice and insights to this incoming class of volunteers.

Jessica had the benefit of 20 years of hindsight, to see the impact her service had had, and she shared this with the incoming volunteers, which was quite a motivating force! The new volunteers had plenty of questions for Jessica.

The day ended in the traditional SolarSPELL way: with a group photo.

And some nice SolarSPELL team pictures, too!

Pictures taken by Brooks McAllister.

by ljhosman at July 26, 2017 12:08 AM

July 12, 2017

Ghana Together

How Are Those Western Heritage Home Scholars Doing??

Remember, way back, when James Kainyiah refused to identify a bunch of kids as "orphans" or what the Ghana Ministry of Women and Children calls "OVCs" (orphaned or vulnerable children)?

...NO, he said. No. These children are our SCHOLARS...we are making leaders of the least! ...And so we are.

Maryanne Ward traveled to Ghana in June and caught up with most of the 74 scholars Ghana Together supported in one way or another during the 2016-2017 school year. A wonderful adventure!!
Dorothy is in her last term of nursing school, and will graduate in November. She is currently doing clinical practicum in the hospital in Babiana, Ghana. 


Dorothy doing her practicum

Eric and Francis are both in automotive apprentice programs in Tarkwa and Takoradi. Maryanne met Francis’ mother briefly, who expressed her thanks. Unfortunately, We don't have up-to-date pics...
Philomena and Charlotte have graduated from Nsein Senior High School, both in the top ten of their class.

Philomena is working for Mr. Bentil as a receptionist in his business and also cares for her five younger siblings, because her mother is too ill to care for them. She is teaching her 14-year old brother to cook, so if/when she is accepted into nursing school in September, he can manage, he says, and he'll keep himself and the younger siblings in school. Then, when Dorothy becomes a nurse, she can help him with his own training.

Charlotte has started a small business selling water sachets, which she says has enabled her to support herself. Her Mom, who told Maryanne she finished 3rd grade herself, is just over-the-top proud of Charlotte and as a savvy market woman, has helped Charlotte launch her own little business. Charlotte also plans to go to nursing school in September, with our help.

Philomena, Maryanne, Charlotte, Charlotte's niece, and Charlotte's Mom

Emmanuella is finishing her first year at Ghana National College in Cape Coast, which has a specialized senior high school for blind students like her. She told us she's made friends, and has learned to "walk about the campus" unaided. She's learning via a "talking laptop", and will join the choir in September!

During the break, she will join her Auntie who has a small subsistence farm near Axim, and help out as much as she can.


Emmanuella with her laptop. She has a special program that reads her textbooks aloud, and headphones

Peter is finishing his term at Nsein Senior High. Peter will work during the break readying the Heritage Building for a new group of boarding female students from Manye Academy Senior High. He will finish his senior high school in spring of 2018 and hopes to go to university to become an engineer.

Peter and Maryanne discussing Peter's future!!

Kingsley (2nd year) and George (1st year) are finishing their term at Community Vocational Development Technical Institute (CDVTI). They are specializing in welding, but taking courses in English, math, computing, government, and some other basic vocational classes. During the break, they will work as "apprentices" to a local welder.


Kingsley and George---"brothers" in the art of welding!

Gifty and Ernestina are finishing their  year at Axim Girls Senior High School. Gifty wants to become a teacher and hopes to attend extension classes from the Winneaba School of Education, held right in Axim at the Manye Academy. Ernestina is about to enter her 3rd year of SHS.
Gifty and Ernestina with Maryanne---PURPLE is the school color!!

Johnson completed Junior High and will enter CDVTI in September and specialize in electrical work. He is working now with his uncle preparing little rubber plant shoots for planting.

Johnson and Maryanne

Godwin is finishing his 2nd junior high school term, and plans to take his BECE exam and graduate in August 2018.

Olivia is an entrepreneur, in business with her Mom, selling gari, a food made from cassava, and other food items.  
Maryanne and Olivia, near her and her Mom's food stand

Gladys is in 3rd level at Manye Academy andBen in 4th level. These two, with Godwin and a few others, plan to spend time at the Heritage Building during their break, working with the One Laptop Computers, esp. the more advanced learning activities. Have fun and learn at the same time!!

Gladys, Maryanne, Godwin, and Ben

Twelve scholarship students at CDVTI will graduate end of August, specializing in vocations such as hairdressing, sewing, culinary arts, and carpentry. They also have training in entrepreneurship, family/home management, etc. They received Days for Girls and Leadership training in 2016.

Ghana Together scholarship graduates at Community Vocational Development Technical Institute (one is missing)

Thirteen Apewosika Village School-Christ the King scholarship students will graduate Level 6 and start at government-funded junior high school in September. We supported 50 primary students at this school during the 2016-2017 school year, helping this poor fishing neighborhood. Fishing is declining, and the community is struggling.



13 of these students are graduating Grade 6 and are headed for JHS---we are sorry we didn't get a pic of the actual 13!!


Each of these young men and women have been given a chance to overcome their circumstances through education. Ghana is investing liberally in education, with government schools initiating tuition-free senior high school this coming September.

In fact, when we started working in Ghana in 2006, there was no tuition-free education from primary through university.

On behalf of these 74 youngsters we've helped out during the 2016-2017 school year, we thank especially the adults in Axim ---James Kainyiah and Queen Mother Nana Adjow Sika, Evans Arloo (WHH Operations Mgr), Headmistresses/Headmasters, and teachers. Their dedication is inspiring.

 And we thank you, our dear readers...for your support and encouragement.

_________________________________________

For prior News Updates go to http://ghanatogether.blogspot.com

To respond to this email, hit "reply" or info@ghanatogether.org

To help out: http://ghanatogether.org/HTML/Donations.html


by Ghana Together (noreply@blogger.com) at July 12, 2017 05:03 AM

July 10, 2017

Juan Chacon Free Software & Education | El Salvador

Moving an ArcGIS File Geodatabase to QGIS

I am taking GGS 553: Geographic Information System this semester at part of my graduate studies at George Mason University.  In a previous post I described how I ended up in this Geographic Information Science graduate certificate program, which I have now been pursuing for almost 2 years.  GGS 553 is a required course, and the first one in the program that has required me to use proprietary software, since much of the course is focused on learning to use ArcGIS.

I am both philosophically and ethically opposed to proprietary software, since it runs dead against the expansion of our shared cultural space, which I believe is vital to the survival of our species. This is a required course, however, and in the large scheme of things I am willing to compromise when I need to. I like to think of it as dancing with the devil, learning the devil's moves in order to be able to freely out dance him in the future. In this case that will mean applying what I learn in GGS 553 to mastering QGIS, the free software alternative to ArcGIS. I had intended to try to do each of our assigned labs this semester in both ArcGIS and QGIS, but when I found it difficult enough just to complete them on time in ArcGIS, I gave up on that idea after the first week.

This week we have a sort of half size assignment, so I thought I would use the extra time available to see if I could do it in QGIS.  The first challenge will be to load the project data into QGIS.  We were given the data in ArcGIS's file geodatabase format. QGIS can not yet read and write to this format directly, but there are tools available to convert it into PostGIS, with which QGIS can work well.

Last Summer I wrote a blog post documenting how I setup a PostGIS server on Ubuntu 14.04.  Since this year I am also needing to learn RHEL, I'll use this guide to setup the server on the little Centos 7 server I have at home for just such purposes, and then connect to it from QGIS running on my Ubuntu desktop.

Installing a PostGIS Server on Centos 7

$ sudo yum install postgis postgresql-server postgresql-contrib
$ sudo postgresql-setup initdb
$ sudo -i -u postgres
$ psql
postgres=# \password postgres
Enter new password:
Enter it again:
postgres=# \q
$ exit
$ sudo vi /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf

Change this line (near the bottom):

host    all             all             127.0.0.1/32            ident

to this:

host    all             all             0.0.0.0/0               md5

Next allow database connections from outside:

$ sudo vi /var/lib/pgsql/data/postgresql.conf

Change:

#listen_addresses = 'localhost'

to this:

listen_addresses = '*'

Create a new database user with superuser privileges:

$ sudo su - postgres
$ createuser --superuser [user]
$ psql -c "ALTER ROLE [user] PASSWORD '[password]'"
$ exit

Then as that user create the database and add gis extensions:

$ createdb webster
$ psql -d webster -c 'CREATE EXTENSION postgis'

Then after copying over the Webster.db directory containing the file geodatabase, I ran:

$ ogr2ogr -f "PostgreSQL" PG:"dbname=webster user=[user] password=[password]" Webster.gdb

After which I connected my desktop QGIS to the PostgreSQL server running on my little household server and loaded the three layers I found there:

Resources

by jelkner (noreply@blogger.com) at July 10, 2017 04:53 PM

July 03, 2017

ICT4D Views from the Field

ASU SolarSPELL Samoa Training with Peace Corps Volunteers and Local Teachers

The final highlight of the ASU SolarSPELL team’s time in Samoa was a two-day training with the Peace Corps volunteers and their local counterpart teachers. This was our team’s first opportunity to carry out a training with local teachers, and we are so grateful for the Samoa Peace Corps staff for suggesting it and then making it a reality!

The day started off with an introduction of the team from the Peace Corps country director, Sherry Russell.

It continued with a historical overview of the development of the SolarSPELL: it did not appear out of thin air! There was a lot of in-field “lessons learned” that went into developing it, and we’re never finished with development: the library is a living thing. The background also lets participants know where they fit in to the overall picture of the SolarSPELL, and that they are now part of the SolarSPELL family.

The team next distributed the SolarSPELL libraries, explained how the technology works, got everyone connected, and then allowed time for the participants to begin surfing and exploring the content.

The ASU students on the team subsequently gave a “highlights tour” of the SolarSPELL’s content, with each taking one of the website’s main categories to elaborate upon.

The following day was kicked off with a scavenger hunt. There were prizes for the winners, so the event turned quite competitive! Surprisingly, the smallest team won the competition.

Next, there were a few frank discussions of the challenges that the participants would likely face once they returned to their home schools and villages. The SolarSPELL is a disruptive technology, and introducing new technologies is always challenging. We worked through six “use case” scenarios, all from real-world challenges that previous Peace Corps volunteers had faced, in the field.

We took more time for questions and answers, and the participants (as always) had useful, valuable questions, insight, and advice for us. We will take this advice to heart and use it to improve the future versions of the library!

by ljhosman at July 03, 2017 01:13 AM

July 02, 2017

Sayamindu Dasgupta

Big news

Last month, after nearly 5 years of knowing each other, sharing each other’s interests, and learning from each other, Sucheta and I got married.

We had a small ceremony with close friends by the Salish Sea on the beautiful Orcas Island. We will have a more “formal” get together in Kolkata later this year on dates TBD.

Here is a picture of us:

Picture of us

…and here are some pictures from the ceremony taken by Steve Horn:

Picture of the ceremony 1

Picture of the ceremony 2

Picture of the ceremony 3

by Sayamindu Dasgupta at July 02, 2017 04:00 AM

June 27, 2017

Honduras: The Owen Project

Apocatastasis

The theologian Origen created the idea of apocatastasis, which means in the Greek that at the end of time everything will be as it was in the beginning. For Origen this meant that history is moving to the perfection that existed when the universe was an idea in the mind of God. I was reminded of this when we rode into the mountains after a heavy downpour on our way to Santa Rosita. This was the very first school we visited seven years ago. Below are the words I read to the gathered parents, students and village elders.

” There is a saying in my country that once you leave home you can never return.But every time we come back here it feels like coming home. I remember the old mud and wattle school and the desks set up outside under the trees.  I remember the looks of wonder in the eyes of you parents, a look of gratitude for prayers answered. I remember the looks of understanding and compassion in all of your eyes when we told you of our son and why we were here. I remember the looks of excitement and enthusiasm on your young faces and those of pride on the faces of your parent’s. My favorite memory of all is when we walked to the swimming hole in the rain, each child carrying a laptop, stopping under porches when the rain grew heavy.  Each year when we come back, we see more confidence, more understanding and more aspiration.  Today I see faces of children who will find the talents that God gave them and share them with the world.  Truly these memories are touched by grace.

Too often it is easy to think that the world is only filled with struggle and war, with poverty and oppression.  But I see here something miraculous, something magical, something that confirms what is best in human beings, wherever they live, whatever language they speak.  There is something hopeful and resilient here, something beautiful and holy. To those who say that miracles never happen, I say what about Santa Rosita!”

Here are some photos:

by mkeddal at June 27, 2017 02:34 AM

June 26, 2017

Sayamindu Dasgupta

Learning to code in one’s own language

Millions of young people from around the world are learning to code. Often, during their learning experiences, these youth are using visual block-based programming languages like Scratch, App Inventor, and Code.org Studio. In block-based programming languages, coders manipulate visual, snap-together blocks that represent code constructs instead of textual symbols and commands that are found in more traditional programming languages.

The textual symbols used in nearly all non-block-based programming languages are drawn from English—consider “if” statements and “for” loops for common examples. Keywords in block-based languages, on the other hand, are often translated into different human languages. For example, depending on the language preference of the user, an identical set of computing instructions in Scratch can be represented in many different human languages:

Scratch code translated into English, Italian, Norwegian Bokmål, and German

Although my research with Benjamin Mako Hill focuses on learning, both Mako and I worked on local language technologies before coming back to academia. As a result, we were both interested in how the increasing translation of programming languages might be making it easier for non-English speaking kids to learn to code.

After all, a large body of education research has shown that early-stage education is more effective when instruction is in the language that the learner speaks at home. Based on this research, we hypothesized that children learning to code with block-based programming languages translated to their mother-tongues will have better learning outcomes than children using the blocks in English.

We sought to test this hypothesis in Scratch, an informal learning community built around a block-based programming language. We were helped by the fact that Scratch is translated into many languages and has a large number of learners from around the world.

To measure learning, we built on some of our our own previous work and looked at learners’ cumulative block repertoires—similar to a code vocabulary. By observing a learner’s cumulative block repertoire over time, we can measure how quickly their code vocabulary is growing.

Using this data, we compared the rate of growth of cumulative block repertoire between learners from non-English speaking countries using Scratch in English to learners from the same countries using Scratch in their local language. To identify non-English speakers, we considered Scratch users who reported themselves as coming from five primarily non-English speaking countries: Portugal, Italy, Brazil, Germany, and Norway. We chose these five countries because they each have one very widely spoken language that is not English and because Scratch is almost fully translated into that language.

Even after controlling for a number of factors like social engagement on the Scratch website, user productivity, and time spent on projects, we found that learners from these countries who use Scratch in their local language have a higher rate of cumulative block repertoire growth than their counterparts using Scratch in English. This faster growth was despite having a lower initial block repertoire. The graph below visualizes our results for two “prototypical” learners who start with the same initial block repertoire: one learner who uses the English interface, and a second learner who uses their native language.

Graph of our results

Our results are in line with what theories of education have to say about learning in one’s own language. Our findings also represent good news for designers of block-based programming languages who have spent considerable amounts of effort in making their programming languages translatable. It’s also good news for the volunteers who have spent many hours translating blocks and user interfaces.

Although we find support for our hypothesis, we should stress that our findings are both limited and incomplete. For example, because we focus on estimating the differences between Scratch learners, our comparisons are between kids who all managed to successfully use Scratch. Before Scratch was translated, kids with little working knowledge of English or the Latin script might not have been able to use Scratch at all. Because of translation, many of these children are now able to learn to code.

This blog-post and the work that it describes is a collaborative project with Benjamin Mako Hill. You can read our paper here. The paper was published in the ACM Learning @ Scale Conference. We also recently gave a talk about this work at the International Communication Association’s annual conference. We have received support and feedback from members of the Scratch team at MIT (especially Mitch Resnick and Natalie Rusk), as well as from Nathan TeBlunthuis at the University of Washington. Financial support came from the US National Science Foundation.

by Sayamindu Dasgupta at June 26, 2017 04:00 AM

June 25, 2017

ICT4D Views from the Field

ASU SolarSPELL Samoa Peace Corps Volunteer Site Visits Part 2: Upolu Island

The ASU SolarSPELL Team’s second day of visiting Peace Corps volunteers’ sites took place on Upolu Island. We first visited Cynthia’s school, and got a tour of the school’s library.

Once again, the ASU students got to spend some quality time with the primary-level students. We even got to demonstrate the SolarSPELL to these students, including a Virtual Reality field trip.

As a post-script highlight, Cynthia let us know that our visit has re-inspired interst in the SolarSPELL at her school, and sent us pictures of her students using the digital library in the following days.

Our next stop was to see Zack. We had let him know we were on the way, so he had asked another teacher to take over for him once we arrived. Thus, we were delighted to be able to watch Zack’s host mother leading a class on environmental issues.

When she excused the class to start working in groups, the ASU students again had the opportunity to interact with the students, helping them brainstorm about how and why erosion takes place. We got a tour of Zack’s house, and spoke further with him about using the SolarSPELL at his school.

Finally, our marathon-of-a-day ended with Craig, and he gave us a quick tour of his school and library.

After this (and a quick dip in the Piula Cave pool), we returned to Craig’s house where he kindly allowed us to interview him. In fact, we interviewed all of the volunteers we went to visit, and our videographers made a fantastic couple of videos from this footage. Those will be highlighted in separate posts.

 

 

 

by ljhosman at June 25, 2017 07:16 PM

June 22, 2017

ICT4D Views from the Field

ASU SolarSPELL Samoa Peace Corps Volunteer Site Visits Part I: Savai’i Island

In May 2017, the ASU SolarSPELL team traveled to Samoa to carry out a training on the SolarSPELL digital libraries with both Peace Corps volunteers and their local counterpart teachers. Before this training took place, however, the team had the opportunity to visit some volunteers who had received SolarSPELL libraries (and training) one year prior, in their local schools and communities. We had the chance to catch up with these volunteers, receive feedback on some of the challenges and victories they’ve had vis-à-vis using the SolarSPELL in their schools and communities, and got a much better idea of what their lives are like as Peace Corps volunteers.

 

On May 27, the team had the opportunity to travel to Savai’i Island and visit two Peace Corps volunteers at their schools. The day began with a ferry ride across the ocean, from Upolu Island to Savai’i Island, which was breathtakingly beautiful.

Once arriving at Savai’i, we headed to Kiana’s school, where students were still in class. Kiana showed us her library, and we talked further about the SolarSPELL, while also providing her with an updated SD card with all of the new content we’ve been collecting over the past year.

The team was so fortunate to be able to interact with the students at this school, once class let out. A number of the SolarSPELL university students got to read to the primary schoolchildren, as well as play some games, including playing hide-and-seek, and dancing.

Other heretofore-unknown talents were demonstrated, as well!

Next, after a quick barbeque lunch along the side of the road, the team visited Patrick’s school, where we learned about how he is in the early stages of incorporating use of the SolarSPELL into recently launched computer courses. We also updated the content on Patrick’s SolarSPELL.

The team had many other amazing experiences on beautiful Savai’i Island, and some of the more breathtaking photos are below.

by ljhosman at June 22, 2017 08:48 PM

Honduras: The Owen Project

Stand and Deliver

There is a wonderful tradition in Honduras of giving impromptu speeches at important events. I’m sure there are some basic conventions, but to an outsider they appear spontaneous and authentic. Everyone can participate, if they are willing. At the beginning of each school visit and at the end there are a round of these speeches given by teachers, parents, students, administrators and someone from our group. Linda is our first choice, not only because of her fluent Spanish, but because she seems to know our minds and hearts and give a view of these to the villagers. Sometimes I will ask her to say something specific, something that needs saying at that moment. This year I wrote speeches for particular schools and Linda translated them as I spoke. A word to the wise: google translate does not pick up nuance or connotative meanings. I tried using this application on these speeches with laughable results. My editor( read Sally) has warned me that I am dangerously close to bombast in these posts, so I will simply reproduce the speeches as presented. After this I will include another collection of pictures. The first text was read at the Special School in Siguatepeque. I’ll enter the second tomorrow.

” My favorite place in all the world is my house in Seguin. This is because my wife lives there and, for a time, my son did as well.  My house is filled with love and openness, with caring and compassion.  It is a place where you can leave the cares and frustrations of the world behind and enter the Kingdom of God.  On the best of days, I wonder why the world cannot be like my house, filled with acceptance and idealism.

My second favorite place in the world is this school, because it feels like my house. I am a teacher and in my profession there are often very selfless and committed people, but I have rarely seen teachers like yours; their every movement and word seems full of caring and authentic concern.  I can see something miraculous in your eyes as well, you students; I see such vulnerability and trust, such openness, enthusiasm and curiosity. Jesus said that only those who can become as children will enter the Kingdom of God. You have helped me to understand these mysterious words.

I miss my son very very much. He was a beautiful soul. Thankfully, so is his mother. Thankfully, too, I sometimes catch a glimpse of the light of his eyes in yours. It is a very beautiful memory. Thank you all. We hope that you will enjoy these computers, and that they will empower your creativity and wonder. There is much in the world that is wonderful. You have some of that magic here, and we hope you find more in your futures.”

Here are more pictures:

by mkeddal at June 22, 2017 01:34 AM

June 20, 2017

Honduras: The Owen Project

The Heart Has Its Reasons That Reason Cannot Know

 

Pascal anticipated the world we live in today, a world where we live too much in our heads. Our hearts and bodies are ready with their wisdom, but we cannot hear them. I thought of this when we all arrived at the Zari Hotel in Siguatepeque long after midnight. Our minds were exhausted but our hearts were full and our bodies knew what to do. Even our Forestry Ministry driver, Raul, seemed caught up in our comfortable transition. Freed from the tyranny of thinking, I could look on in wonder at our gathered group and feel the miracle of our shared love and commitment, the many years we had been in exactly this same situation. All those experiences shifted into a single frame and made the very air itself seem somehow deepened and full of magic. The faces of these people I know so well seemed to shine from within because I was in the presence of saints. Sometimes in a pleasant dream I will walk through a familiar place but the experience is charged with some powerful symbolic significance, as if nothing was as it seemed and that everything was to be cherished as full of meaning and wonder. I have yet to wake up from this dream of Honduras. I floated through breakfast the next morning and on into the trip into the mountains to visit our first school. It is very rainy and humid this time of year and this serves to intensify all the aromas of rural Siguatepeque. You can literally smell the fertility of the mountainsides, the saturated dark earth, the profusion of leafy green and the many flowering shrubs, trees and flowers. Most beguiling are the scents of the  tropical fruits, fruits on trees and displayed on roadside stands. Surely Eden smells like this!!   Arriving at the school, we soon saw the faces of excited and expectant children, lined up before us like precious fruit. I can’t express the impact of these faces, so full of curiosity and anticipation. It is humbling and inspiring at the same time, making our hearts open like flowers. I woke up from this pleasant dream three hours later, after we had completed all of our lessons and the children were exploring in a room full of laughter and gasps of surprise and amazement. I’ll stop now and let you see the pictures which will make my words seem shallow and unnecessary.

 

by mkeddal at June 20, 2017 10:52 PM

The Sangreal

As a young boy I loved the Arthurian legends, particularly the search for the Holy Grail. When Lancelot or Gawain set out to travel to a rural chapel, their path, though simple at first glance, was always fraught with adventures and challenges which put unexpected obstacles in their way. A journey of an afternoon ends up lasting months. Hungry for the destination, for the goal, I was always anxious to move on with the narrative. Now I realize that the tests along the way are just as important as reaching the goal, that the slings and arrows of fortune are a necessary preparation. Sally and I are often very anxious before our mission begins. Making flight connections, checking shipping logistics, anticipating customs duties all seem like dragons to be faced. Yet as soon as we board our flight, it seems as if everything were happening by itself, as if some larger fate or destiny were drawing us forward. After 16 hours of relatively uneventful travel we arrived in San Pedro Sula to meet Linda, Richard and Natalia and to begin our quest for the Sangreal.

by mkeddal at June 20, 2017 08:38 PM

June 12, 2017

OLE Nepal

Discovering E-Paath in Canada

How OLE Nepal inspired talks about starting OLE in Canada  April 17-21, 2017 | Lalitpur OLE Nepal’s team of trainers conducted a 5-day in-house teacher training on ICT-integrated teaching-learning practice for teachers from Dhading, from April 17-21, 2017. The training was organized by Zen’s Outdoor Leadership Camp for Youth (ZOLCY), a Canadian non-profit organization. Following is an account of ZOLCY’s experience while working with OLE Nepal to bring quality educational resources to the public school…

by admin at June 12, 2017 07:23 AM

June 11, 2017

ICT4D Views from the Field

ASU SolarSPELL Team at ICT Days Conference in Vanuatu

The ASU SolarSPELL team’s final two days in Vanuatu were spent at the national ICT Days conference, May 17-18.

The conference proved to be a fantastic opportunity for the team to explain, demonstrate, and all around talk about the SolarSPELL and the Library Lab.

The team never would have imagined such a level of interest! I do believe our table was consistently the busiest one there! There was regularly a crowd of people around it, excited to learn about it, eager to use the tablets we provided, to surf the library’s content.

We had an eager audience in the Smart Sistas ICT Camp for girls, when the whole group came over to visit us.

We had a few groupies who spent quite a bit of time with us.

Longtime collaborator and friend of SolarSPELL, Ian Thomson, from the University of the South Pacific, took some time to talk with the team.

There was even an opportunity to demonstrate the SolarSPELL to the Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Jenny Da Rin!

The team so greatly enjoyed being able to talk with so many ni-Vanuatu people about the SolarSPELL.

The team wondered many times whether there was a language barrier, as we explained everything in English, and there are a number of technical terms. However, the rate at which people returned to the table, after listening to the explanation once, and then explained to their friends and relatives how SolarSPELL worked, and how to surf the library’s website, showed us that language was no real barrier.

There are so many great pictures from this fun event!

by ljhosman at June 11, 2017 07:52 PM

June 06, 2017

Ghana Together

Way to Go Frederick!


Today, June 5, is a BIG day for Frederick Johnson, one of our Western Heritage scholars. He is just ONE of the 468,053 candidates who have sat this very day throughout the entire country for this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination, which is given at the end of Junior High School.

Frederick Johnson, WHH Scholar, Junior High Graduate, Budding Electrician

In Ghana, education from Kindergarten through Junior High is available to all, boys and girls, and has been tuition-free for about ten years now.

However, there are limited slots for the next level of academic senior high and vocational schools. Hence the importance of the BECE exam, which determines whether or not a student is eligible to continue to the next educational level. The stakes are high!

The exam covers English Language, Ghanaian Language and Culture, Social Studies, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Basic, Design and Technology, Information and Communication Technology, French (optional), Religious and Moral Education. Whew!!

Frederick's dream is to become an electrician. He has already informally apprenticed to Manye Academy’s staff electrician for two years, and is “famous” among his friends for his skills in this area. He will continue this apprenticeship and if his exam results are adequate, we’ll try to find a spot in a vocational/technical school for him.

We've known Frederick since 2008! He has attended Manye Academy since Kindergarten, which is when we got to know this talented, quiet, thoughtful young man. His family situation is such that he lived in the WHH Children’s Home early in his young life and then in the past few years has been a boarding student at Manye Academy.



Young Frederick in 2008, proud to be able to spell his own name!
We’re proud of you, Johnson. 

You will graduate Junior High this Friday, June 9. 

Congratulations!!

------------------------------
For prior News Updates: http://ghanatogether.blogspot.com/




by Ghana Together (noreply@blogger.com) at June 06, 2017 03:42 AM

June 05, 2017

Project Rive: Reaching Students in Haiti

Apèl Ekriven / Call for Writers

English further down. Kids Write ap cheche ekriven ayisyen ki ta renmen kontribye nan yon nouvo koleksyon istwa syans fiksyon / fiksyon spèkfilatif. Nou poko defini egzakteman kisa kategori sa yo vle di nan yon kontèks ayisyen, men nou gen … Continue reading

by Sora at June 05, 2017 02:22 AM

Yon Nouvo Pwojè / A New Project

English further down. M ap reyalize pwojè sa a kòm tèz mwen: sa a se yon pwojè elèv inivisitè fè pandan dènye ane etid yo. Lekòl m (William & Mary, yon lekòl piblik nan Virginia) ap finanse pwojè sa a. … Continue reading

by Sora at June 05, 2017 02:21 AM

June 04, 2017

ICT4D Views from the Field

SolarSPELL Team works with SMART Sistas Vanuatu to develop Robot for FIRST Global Competition

The ASU SolarSPELL team had the opportunity to work with the SMART Sistas Vanuatu team on Sunday May 14. These amazing young women will be the first ever team from Vanuatu representing the country at the upcoming FIRST Global robotics competition in Washington DC in July 2017.

For this competition, the SMART Sistas will need to develop a robot from the same parts that are provided to every team in this global competition—what they do with these parts, and what they can make the robot do—is what will distinguish them from the other teams at the competition.

The SolarSPELL team arrived early and discovered that Lana and Lilia were already hard at work.

Shortly after this, team leaders/teachers/mentors Rodney and Grace from the US Peace Corps arrived and all of the team members introduced themselves.

Our team described how the SolarSPELL digital library works, and the SMART Sistas were quite taken with it.

Then, it was time for the hard work of the remainder of the afternoon. Good thing there was a robotics major among the ASU students! Even so, all of the ASU students were engineering majors, allowing them to contribute their valuable skills to the effort.

The short term goal for the day was to make sure the robot could be driven up a ramp. The longer term work included a great deal of brainstorming ideas about how to make this robot do what it’s supposed to do. The ASU students had plenty of ideas, but also indicated that they were just blown away by Lana’s and Lilia’s ideas.

A few days later, the SolarSPELL team was fortunate enough to see the SMART Sistas give a presentation at the ICT Days conference in Port Vila (May 17). Not only were the girls all poised, well-spoken and confident, their robot was a star, too! They drove it out in front of them on-stage at the beginning, and at the end, they drove it up the ramp effortlessly.

We are happy that we had the chance to get to know these amazing young women, proud that we had the chance to work with them, and we wish them all the best at the FIRST Global competition in Washington DC next month! You are AWESOME!!!

 

by ljhosman at June 04, 2017 11:50 PM