March 02, 2019

Ghana Together

OK, you wonderful students, time to do your part!

Hi all,

We want to catch you up on what's going on with Ghana Together/Western Heritage Home efforts in the Axim area of Ghana.

As of this second term in Ghana’s 2018-2019 school year we have 74 students on scholarship.

We support 40 Primary level P4-P6 students at Apewosika Village School (Christ the King). The school is a private school, in a pretty isolated fishing area, with no government school within reasonable walking distance for primary school kids.

Apewosika Village School (CTK) P4-P6 scholarship students

We support what in the US would be 4th-6th grade students because typically, as families send younger kids into kindergarten and early grades, they can’t afford to pay tuition for all their school-age children. So, around P4, these older kids---who now know the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic---often must leave school for financial reasons. The boys go with Dad to help with fishing and the girls to the markets with Mom or help with younger siblings at home.

We want these CTK students to achieve P6 at a minimum. At that level, they are functionally literate and numerate, not only for work and general adulthood life, but also to participate as citizens in a democracy---read ballots, understand banking, communicate with family and friends via written cellphone messages, pass their skills on to their own children, etc. So, we work with leaders there to select those students who are vulnerable to dropping out because of their family's financial struggles.
We support 15 primary students at Maako School, another very isolated private school serving an ocean-side fishing community.

At Maako, leaders choose students of any age/grade whose fathers are away fishing most of the time, all along the West Africa Atlantic Coast. The moms come into the school every few days with small amounts of money garnered from their cassava and other crops to pay "school fees." They struggle to keep their precious children in school--their highest priority after basic food needs.

Students at Maako School

Our Western Heritage Scholars Ben and his sister Gladys Quayson continue in upper primary at Manye Academy. They are orphaned, and we provide not only tuition but room/board and basic health/hygiene necessities and small pocket money. 

We give heartfelt thanks especially to Headmistress Felicia Attah for all her help for so many years with so many WHH Scholars, especially these two.

Western Heritage Scholars Ben (P-5) and Gladys (P-4) 

We support 12 students at the Community Development Vocational/Technical Institute in Axim. CDVTI trains young men and women of high school age and older in various vocational trades, such as hairdressing, catering, home management, business skills, computer tech, electrical, welding, construction, etc. They recently added these last three programs which appeal more to guys, so to encourage that program, we've sponsored a few more guys than gals this year.
Sponsored students at CDVTI, in various technical/vocational training programs

Two of our Western Heritage Home Scholars---Charlotte Armah and Philomena Mensah---are in their second year of nurses training at Asanta Nursing/Midwifery College.

Charlotte Armah left) and Philomena Mensah
And two of our WHH guys are at Takoradi Technical University---Larmine in welding, and Peter in computer science.

  Kingsley Larmine (left) and Peter Assuah
Emmanuella Dein is now in her final year of Ghana National College's special senior high school program for functionally blind students, such as Emmanuella.

She is thriving, both academically and musically as part of the school choir. She has worked so hard and the College has done a wonderful job helping her, a functionally blind student, achieve her goals! 

We thank Kathryn Roe, of Anansi (and of Bellingham, WA), who also sponsors students in GNC, who has visited Emmanuella from time to time and kept up with her progress, since GNC is in Cape Coast, and distant from Axim.

Queen Mother Nana Adjou Sika and Emmanuella Dein
We show Emmanuella with her wonderful Queen Mum, Axim Queen Mother Nana Adjou Sika, who we lost late last year. Nana loved Emmanuella, and "mothered" her for years, emotionally and with some "tough love", too. What a loss to the entire community, especially the young women. We are so glad she lived to see Emmanuella well into finishing senior high!

We are proud of every one of you students! Western Heritage Home joins us in saying we are so totally grateful for all the folks who have helped us with donations. Sometimes we get emotional, wondering how it is people can be so generous and caring for students so far away!

Ghana Together

808 Addison Place

Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Website: (click "News" for earlier News Updates and to subscribe)


by Ghana Together ( at March 02, 2019 03:27 AM

January 30, 2019

One Laptop per Child

“Education Transforms Lives”

Education is a basic human right and it is at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to the UN chief, as the world celebrated the International Day of Education on January 24, 2019.

Education transforms lives”, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said, recounting his personal story of teaching in “the slums of Lisbon” where he saw first-hand that “education is an engine for poverty eradication and a force for peace”.

Education is the foundation upon which all of the other development goals are based. It is critical that every child has an equal opportunity for a quality education. Read more about the UN Secretary-General’s remarks and other world leaders celebrating the International Day of Education HERE.

Photo courtesy of Fundacion Zamora Teran

by Leah at January 30, 2019 05:14 PM

January 24, 2019

One Laptop per Child

Happy International Day of Education!

Education is a basic human right of every child. Today, we celebrate the role education plays in peace, development and the creation of a better future for all.

According to a recent report from UNESCO, more than 262 million children and young people do not attend school. More than 617 million children and youth cannot read and do not possess basic math skills.

Education is the only way we can break the cycle of poverty and empower children to create a better future for themselves and for their families. Today, we invite you to support OLPC and help us empower children through education.

Thank you for supporting education!

A student in Nicaragua supported by Fundacion Zamora Teran.

by Leah at January 24, 2019 07:12 PM

January 14, 2019

One Laptop per Child

Local Learning

City-designed schooling can be difficult to implement in rural areas, which is not always evident to those who design national educational systems and curriculum. See National curriculums don’t always work for rural and regional schools by Alison Willis, Lecturer, School of Education, University of the Sunshine Coast, in Australia.

An open one to one device program such as One Laptop per Child can help rural and regional schools by;

  • including devices in local learning lessons,
  • supporting local research or content curation by learners,
  • creating projects, programs and curriculum that addresses local concerns and issues,
  • enabling custom content or software installed by teachers or volunteers to meet local needs.

OLPC is committed to the creation of learning environments which foster the greatest development of all children. OLPC’s experience has shown children learn best when they are engaged in learning that is meaningful and active. For help with custom content or software, contact us.

by James Cameron at January 14, 2019 11:00 AM

January 10, 2019

One Laptop per Child

Early Childhood Learning

A recent blog post from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD), UNESCO and UNICEF makes excellent recommendations for providing quality early childhood learning opportunities to every child. According to the article, 50% of preschool-aged children do not participate in early childhood educational opportunities. In low income countries, the percent of children without access to early childhood education increases to 85%. These children are missing critical opportunities for learning and development.

One of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is to provide quality preschool learning opportunities to every child. In order to meet this goal, experts from the OECD, UNESCO and UNICEF met in December 2018 to discuss this crisis and to make recommendations for providing quality early childhood learning experiences to every child. The experts urged governments to increase funding and to work across sectors to achieve universal preschool education for every child.

You can read more about the recommendations HERE.

OLPC applauds this effort to join forces across sectors in order to ensure that every child has access to a quality early childhood education. Together, we can ensure that every child has an equal opportunity for learning in order to create a brighter future for all.

by Leah at January 10, 2019 05:20 PM

January 07, 2019

One Laptop per Child

Scratch: Creative Learning

Scratch 3.0 has arrived and the Scratch team announced an updated Creative Computing Curriculum Guide! The Guide will share ideas and suggestions for facilitating creative learning and computing. It will be available in the next couple of months. We’ll be sure to post it as soon as it is complete! In the meantime, the Scratch Ed Team has updated the second version of the Guide which reflects many of the updates to Scratch 3.0.

Every OLPC Laptop comes with Scratch as part of the Sugar Learning Software. It is a wonderful way for children to learn animation and programming in a fun and engaging way.

You can access the guide HERE.

Happy Creative Learning!

by Leah at January 07, 2019 04:30 PM

January 03, 2019

One Laptop per Child

Updated Sugar Activities

Get updated activities for our XO-1, XO-1.5, XO-1.75 and XO-4 laptops. Use the Software Update icon in My Settings.

Software Update

Or to install afresh, see the release notes for OLPC OS 13.2.10.

Some of the updates are a mirror mode for hairstyling with Record, use an external USB microscope or camera for Record, a ticking Clock, a samples button for Physics, paste unformatted and grid creator with Write, and new keyboard shortcuts for Jukebox and Record.

Our thanks to Sugar Labs developers; Yash Agrawal, Walter Bender, Rahul Bothra, Ibiam Chihurumnaya, Sanatan Kumar, Emily Ong, Sam Parkinson, Ezequiel Pereira, Lubomir Rintel, and Zeeshan Khan.

Our thanks also to translators; Chris Leonard, Berend, Božidar Putanec, Mariana, Besnik Bleta, Paulo Francisco, Yaron, nabil509, Mariana, juanpabl, MIkusan, and scootergrisen.

by James Cameron at January 03, 2019 11:08 PM

Happy 2019!

On behalf of the OLPC team and the communities we serve, we wish you a wonderful 2019! Thank you for supporting the OLPC mission to provide every child with a quality, innovative education.

by Leah at January 03, 2019 06:57 PM

December 24, 2018

OLPC Basecamp @ Malacca, Malaysia

10 Years Today on Christmas Eve: What's Next?

Christmas Eve 2008. I hurried down to the Oregon store in Shatin to collect my XO laptops. At the cost of HK$3,380 (the price of two XOs) I was able to own one, while donating another XO to a child somewhere in the world.  OLPC Asia  has come to town recently as a registered charity organization to raise fund with this Give 1 Get 1 (G1G1) laptop ownership program.

I remember two months earlier I made a birthday wish to own this little green laptop after discovering it on the web.  My hope was to kick a little joy back to my life with a new toy. Now I have one!
Back home, I unpacked and taught myself how to use it while instructing my mother-in-law how to operate it . She was my main donor and her first encounter with the XO was captured in video on Christmas Eve,2008.

Ten years later today, I am in a reflective mood. It has been quite a 10 years journey for me with the XO especially in my professional  life as a Clinical Psychologist, since I could breakout the 4 walls of therapy room into the world of child development and technology.

Today with the widespread availability of smartphones and tablets, the XO relevance as rugged and low powered computing for children is unique for me and children. Since our last Basecamp2013@Malacca where we discussed the XO future, there has yet to be another innovative one in all solutions as in the XO.

I recently came back from Malaysia after 2 weeks of followups on small deployments in various settings. The first generation XOs-1 that are 10+ years old are still functioning and recycled into the field.

XOs that are deployed in harsh environment like are still operating despite missing screws and broken screens. I retrieved a number of SD cards that has 2 years history usage and digital portfolio of children to study. As I demo the XO for urban parent with children,  they still see a role to counteract the mindless digital play of children growing up in the Apps world. The right screen time with the right tools matter today since there is a backlash from issues of devices common today.

 What's next? It may still follow me for another decade. The XO will still provide the dLEAP for learning in an upside down world.

If I outlived the XO, I  will reflect in a Christmas Eve 2028 blog entry. However in the present, the XO is like the King of Fruits, Durian -  either a +1 or -1 for your senses.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

by T.K. Kang ( at December 24, 2018 05:14 AM

December 09, 2018

Ghana Together


Ghana Together supports education. Let’s not stop now!

To help us in 2019...go here!

During 2018 we supported so many students in one way or another. Here are many of them!

779 students paid a small fee and are now registered Axim Public Library members. Thanks to the mobile library serving 17 schools, they checked out at least 10,000 books 2018.

The Axim Public Library has 969 more books now than they had in 2017.

The library’s computer labs, for both children and adults, are running, thanks to help with electricity and a new printer.

Some 400+ senior high girls are learning more with Internet-in-a-Box, science and math videos, and a new printer/copier to help out their teachers.

Several hundred nursing students have up-to-date medical information, thanks to the Wiki-Med “internet-in-a-box” type devices installed in two nursing schools.


We wish we could magically transport all of our generous supporters to Ghana so you could visit these schools, talk with the students, and get a sense of the energy and enthusiasm they share!

Dorothy's graduation photo says it all!!


by Ghana Together ( at December 09, 2018 02:55 AM

December 06, 2018

Honduras: The Owen Project

For Where Two Or Three Are Gathered Together…

I now see what Saint Matthew may have meant when he wrote about the promise of miracles when good people gather together. As a younger man I thought I understood anything I read in a book, including the Scriptures, and that this purely imaginative knowledge was the ultimate truth. How foolish and overblown this seems today. I feel like a child, learning all over again, looking at the world with fresh eyes. Perhaps this explains some of the deep joy I feel in these quite humble schools in Honduras. I’m supposed to be the teacher, but in truth I am the student. I trace the wonder and excitement not only on faces of these beautiful students, but on those of Natalia, Thong, Kaelin, Brian, Presley, Brooke and Hannah as well.

Enough of this wordy introduction to what everyone wants to see- pictures. Enjoy!

Well I don’t have those pictures so I’ll post this long after I wrote it.

With Christmas wishes,



by mkeddal at December 06, 2018 10:14 PM

In Blackbeard’s Footsteps

In the past few decades scholars have reassessed the reputations of buccaneers and pirates in the Caribbean islands. In addition to being cutthroats they were also involved in small experiments in freedom and democracy. Long before the American Revolution these adventurous spirits longed to live free or die. Next year the Owen Project will be deploying XOs in Nevis. Nevis is the island next to Saint Kitts and was named by Columbus, who thought the mist clinging to its dominating volcano was snow. The devastating hurricane last summer in the Caribbean left Nevis relatively intact, though its schools and infrastructure are primitive and basic. Schools there are similar to those in Honduras and Guatemala, built out of cinder blocks with windows open to the elements. We hope to join with an association of homeowners to purchase enough XOs to cover an entire grade level throughout the entire island. This is the kind of deployment favored by One Laptop Per Child because it maximizes the educational impact of introducing computers into the national curriculum.

We plan to invite graduating seniors from the high school where I teach to join us. Visiting the island last year we noticed a strange phenomenon. Though a tropical paradise, complete with beaches and palm trees, there is a sense of fragility, of quiet calm before some violence- violence here being frequent storms. This was the inspiration for our decision to bring the Owen Project to this island. Following in Captain Blood’s footsteps, we hope to be a modern experiment in intellectual freedom and democracy.

With holiday wishes,


by mkeddal at December 06, 2018 10:12 PM

One Laptop per Child

Give the Gift of Education

With the holiday season now here, we’d like to take a moment to ask for your support for the OLPC education program. Each donation received helps support education for children around the world. As you make your holiday preparations, please consider a gift to support the education of a child through the One Laptop Per Child education program.

Thank you for supporting OLPC around the world!



by Leah at December 06, 2018 03:59 PM

November 21, 2018

Hands of Charity XO Project | Kenya

Girls Talking


US Side Participant Ellen: The girls on the call this morning were very clear about the many challenges young girls in Kenya face in school and in their social lives. They voiced the problems on topics such as self esteem, peer pressure, the challenges they face when they have their period, teen pregnancy and STDs and being separated from boys because they could be seen as a threat from the parents and society. I was very  interested in the later. To me the current situation of boys vs girls social environment can pit them against each other. Boys should be girl’s allies! They should work together, play together and be there for each other for their mutual benefit. Boys should be their friends, their protector and most important learn to be equals. I believe the parents are the ones enforcing this social rule on their girls and boys and we need them to get involved to create change. Maybe by meeting the boys and their families and creating a community around them.


Good Morning Friends of Small Solutions Bukokholo Kenya Education Center


We apologize if you were not able to connect to our call this morning. We had issues with the tools for sharing conversations online.  We tried Zoom, but the sound on the Kenya side, and the faces and voices of the girls from four different schools could not be heard. I will send the teacher some funds to try some new plug in microphones.

Then we tried Skype.  We had a video, but the sound feedback and buzzing was too much. This happens, but we moved ahead with WhatsApp.

So we had a clear voice connection with Whatsapp.  Ellen Reis joined us while girls shared the discussions they have been holding in small groups at their schools.


It is very moving to hear the voices of these girls talk about the social and cultural issues that make their life difficult, and become barriers to school attendance and make their daily life challenging.


I was most moved by their desire to have normal friendships with boys.  They described the attitudes of adults that prevent them from developing friendships with boys.  In school, in their classrooms, playgrounds, and walking to and from school or doing errands in their village, they are discouraged from talking to or walking with boys.  Parents and others believe that if they are with a boy and are of the age to be sexually active that they are putting themselves in harms way. They are likely to accuse them of having a sexual relationship with these boys.


The girls seem to  long for normal friendships with boys who are their own age.  They know they are good smart boys who can help them with their school work, or possibly protect them from more dangerous older men who are looking for girls for sex. They want to be friends with them.

They talked about the attitude of parents.  Sometimes it is not providing materials so that they can manage their menstrual flow, or their parents’ fear of friendships with boys, their belief in FGM as a necessary procedure for girls. One girl mentioned parents who push their daughters into prostitution for the money.  They also mentioned that many men do not believe in the necessity of using medicine to control STIs. Most girls use pills to protect themselves from pregnancy, not condoms as I had thought. So they are afraid of contracting STIs.


I was impressed at their awareness of the need to understand their emotions.  They said that often they don’t recognize or understand the strong feeling they have when they are attracted to a boy, and understand that it is a normal feeling and don’t have to act on it.   The said that they know that boys like sex. But they would like to be just friends with them, not a girlfriend. They know that they can understand and learn to manage their feelings. Girlstalking

by smallsolutionsbigideas at November 21, 2018 03:44 PM

OLE Nepal

Meet our Darchula Teaching Residents for 2018-19

OLE Nepal’s Teaching in Technology Residency program has been receiving rave reviews from school teachers, local communities and children. Each year, OLE Nepal trains young graduates to support the newly launched laptop program schools in the far western districts of Nepal. Ever since it was introduced 5 years ago, many young graduates have travelled to remote communities in these districts where they live for months working with schools and communities so that they can use…

by admin at November 21, 2018 05:09 AM

November 14, 2018

Ghana Together

Making Leaders of the Least!

Wow! She DID it! 

This very morning, in Takoradi, Ghana, Western Heritage Home Scholar Dorothy Armoo formally went through her graduation from Asanta Nursing/Midwifery College and her induction ceremony into the Ghana National Health Service.

She is now a certified professional nurse!

Nov 12, 2018
Dorothy has been "one of ours" since 2006. She was a child who needed a home. Western Heritage Home Chairman James Kainyiah found her and brought to live at their Children's Home. She became a "Western Heritage Home Scholar".

She learned to spell her name! She attended nearby Manye Academy. She graduated from Nsein Senior High School. Her dream from when she was a small child was to become a nurse. And she has achieved her dream! 

James Kainyiah and Dorothy after her graduation ceremony. He is the proud "father," having provided overall care for her for so many years!

Western Heritage Home's motto is: "Making Leaders of the Least." And Dorothy is a prime example!

Ghana Together has worked hand-in-hand with WHH to support Dorothy for many years. We especially thank her "special sponsor" who has been so faithful. 

Dorothy herself worked as a kindergarten teacher for one year, while she waited acceptance into nursing school after graduating senior high. And she's been supporting herself as part of the Lou Moon Lodge cleaning staff for a few months between end of classes and today's formal induction. Now she awaits assignment to her national service post. 

Congratulations Dorothy! We are proud!

For earlier News Updates and to subscribe:
808 Addison Place
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

by Ghana Together ( at November 14, 2018 09:14 PM

October 17, 2018

Ghana Together

October News Update from Ghana

We sadly say good-bye to Queen Mother Nana Adjow-Sika, who passed away last week.  What a loss to the Axim community! 

Nana served on the Western Heritage Board since its first day. She was a co-signer on all WHH bank checks. Because of her knowledge of the Axim community and families, she was crucial in helping select our scholarship students. 

Nana, second from left in rose-colored dress, with James' arm affectionately on her shoulder. She was part of the Western Heritage Home NGO team from the beginning.

Nana with her beloved Nyame quilt, made for her by Ghana Together's Jerome Chandler. The symbol in the middle is the traditional Ghanaian Adinkra symbol for God. It is revered and found widely on buildings, windows, clothing, etc.

Interested especially in girls’ education and maternal health, she was proud of her role in creating a purpose-built maternal health center at the hospital. She counselled innumerable girls, and a few guys, too, in how to wisely handle the mysteries of human reproduction!

Students, especially girls from the Axim Girls Senior High School, use the path past her simple home and market stand as a short-cut on their walk to school. She knew the students and never failed to encourage them in their studies as they passed by.

She tried hard to gather the region’s Queen Mothers on a regular basis, to work together especially for women and children’s issues. She was highly respected in the community. She and Maryanne Ward of Ghana Together became friends over the years. All of us of Ghana Together knew and respected her and we will miss her.
Nana and Ghana Together's Maryanne Ward having a nice conversation in May, 2018 in her home. Good friends!

On other news, we are delighted to report that Western Heritage Home Scholars Kingsley Lamin and Peter Assuah have been accepted at Takoradi Technical University. They began classes on Oct 1---Kingsley in Advanced Welding/Fabrication and Peter in Computer Science.
Peter (left) and Kingsley just a couple of days ago. They are "brothers", both having lived in the Children's Home in their early years and Axim boys forever
Remember the Heritage Building, which Western Heritage Home began building, and we joined in to help via the Seattle-based non-profit Global Citizen Journey and the Boeing Corporation…before Ghana Together was even in existence? 

For about 5 years or so it was a Children’s Home. Then, when the Ghana government closed children’s homes, it became a dormitory for girls attending the then-new Axim Girls Senior High School.

Now, the girls’ high school has its own dormitory, and WHH has found a new way to help the community. The Heritage is now a hostel for workers putting up a new seawall to protect Axim from the rising ocean! This is at least a two-year project.  
This is a great use of the building because Axim is rather isolated, and there is really no other accommodation within reasonable distance of the shoreline for the 25-30 temporary workers. They travel to the seawall area by a short bus ride provided by the contractor. The contractor has provided a caretaker to clean and maintain the building. 

WHH has used the initial rent funds to paint the building inside and out, repair the roof, and repair some of the windows, etc. on the inside.  They plan to modify the inside with more partitions, to better accommodate the workers. Longer term, they will use the rent funds for their charitable projects in the community.
Beginning work on sea defense. They first had to build a road so they can get the heavy equipment to the area

And, thanks to Barry and Regina, Ebby Mienza, George Hayford, and who knows how many other generous folks, there are another 969 children’s books at the Axim Public Library, ready to go out to 17 schools via the tricycle/mobile library. Those kids are going to learn to read no matter what!
Unpacking the boxes of books, readying them for delivery to 17 primary schools, via the tricycle-mobile library.

And that's it for this time! Thanks to all for helping with scholarship funds, AND for donating, packing, shipping, and delivering the books to the Axim Library! Whew! 
And thanks to the Western Heritage Home folks for all the work involved in turning the Heritage building into a hostel for construction workers. Not so easy and a real community service!

Ghana Together
808 Addison Place
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

by Ghana Together ( at October 17, 2018 02:40 AM

September 18, 2018

Ghana Together

OK, you guys, break is over...

OK, you guys, time to get to work…

Oh yes, it’s been fun playing on the beach for the past 3 weeks or so... 

Or helping Mom with her market stand...

Or doing your nursing practicums in a hospital... 

And, yes, Kundum Festival is OVER. The music was great, the food was plentiful, the drumming, the dancing!! After all, it’s a festival meant to thank God for harvest and food and family…what a celebration! But good things do end...

Lots of drumming, with guys in funny costumes!

And so much DANCING...

 BUT, now it’s time for school. Time for you students to do your part, yes! And you will LOVE it!

Methodist JHS in Axim, in classroom renovated by Western Heritage Home & Ghana Together

After all, your country is trying its best to get you all educated. As of this year, Kindergarten through all three years of Senior High School is tuition-free and boarding if warranted. Your schools are jam-packed! But we know, for some of you, help is still needed.

--You may live in an isolated fishing community, way too far from a government school to reasonably walk and the closest school is private… like Maako School in a small fishing village...

Maako Preparatory School
--Or you may attend a vocational school, which are not yet tuition-free... 

Male students at Community Development Vocational/Technical Institute who helped build their school's urine diversification/dehydration toilet

Or you may have done very well in senior high and are now in nursing or technical college…with substantial costs. Or one of the many other reasons why school may still be difficult...

So, we’ve helped Western Heritage Home, our affiliates in Ghana, support:
  • 2 pupils in Manye Academy
  • 2 students in Asanta Nursing
  • 1 student in Ghana National College Senior High for the Blind
  • 10 students in Axim Community Development Vocational Technical Institute
  • 40 pupils in Axim Christ the King Academy
  • 15 pupils in Esiama Maako Future Leaders Preparatory School
  • 1 student in Takoradi Technical University

We thank our fellow "investors" and our dedicated Western Heritage Home colleagues who have made it possible for these 71 students to go to school.
OK kids!! Now it's up to you!! 
To contact us:
For prior News Updates:

by Ghana Together ( at September 18, 2018 07:34 PM

September 01, 2018

OLPC Basecamp @ Malacca, Malaysia

August 15, 2018

OLPC Learning Club

Kryptowährungen für Zahlungen

Verschlüsselter E-Mail-Service Tutonata testet Kryptowährung für Zahlungen Tutanota akzeptiert nun Bitmünze und einige Altmünzen. Anzeige Tutanota, ein Anbieter eines verschlüsselten E-Mail-Dienstes, hat damit begonnen, Spenden in bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash und monero entgegenzunehmen, um die Zahlungsabwicklung mit Krypto-Währungen zu testen, … Continue reading

by admin at August 15, 2018 09:11 AM

August 11, 2018

OLPC Learning Club

Was ist der wahre Wert von Krypto-Währungen?

Dies ist der erste in einer Reihe von Beiträgen, die die Quellen von Werten in Krypto-Währungen identifizieren. Der jüngste Trend bei den Münzangeboten, einschließlich des massiven Anstiegs von Tezos, hat die Krypto-Währungen ins Rampenlicht gerückt. Die Bewertung der weltweit führenden … Continue reading

by admin at August 11, 2018 09:06 AM

August 07, 2018

OLPC Learning Club

Krypto-Währung und der Bitcoin Profit

Krypto-Münzen, auch Krypto-Währung oder Krypto genannt, sind eine Form der digitalen Währung, die durch Blockchain-Technologie angetrieben wird. Cryptocoins haben kein physisches, reales Äquivalent. Es gibt keine echten Münzen, die den Krypto-Währungswert repräsentieren, jedoch wurden einige Repliken für Werbezwecke oder als … Continue reading

by admin at August 07, 2018 09:02 AM

August 03, 2018

OLPC Learning Club

Alle Kryptowährungen erklärt

Als erste und älteste Kryptowährung ist Bitcoin oft das erste Blockchain-Projekt, von dem Neulinge hören. Wenn Sie neu in dieser Technologie sind, sind Bitcoin-Ressourcen ein großartiger Ort, um Informationen über das Bitcoin-Protokoll und das Netzwerk zu erhalten. Von hier aus … Continue reading

by admin at August 03, 2018 08:58 AM

August 02, 2018

One Laptop per Child

Education For All

“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.” (John F. Kennedy) #OLPC #EducationforAll #ThursdayThoughts

by Leah at August 02, 2018 03:59 PM

OLE Nepal

Teacher’s training: A wonderful experience!

– Deepa Thapa, Senior Officer: Curriculum and Training, OLE Nepal. Dharma Raj Joshi is a tall man with amazing personality. He is kind-hearted and quite expressive. He loves sharing his ideas along with some personal stuffs without any hesitation,  even with a new group of people. He has a great esteem towards what he is doing for his livelihood. He can easily open up with concerned persons, and speaks very naturally, His tone of Doteli language…

by admin at August 02, 2018 07:49 AM

July 29, 2018

OLPC Learning Club

Beliebte Krypto-Währung & Blockchain-Projekte

Blockketten und Kryptowährungen begannen mit dem Debüt der digitalen Währung Bitcoin im Jahr 2008. Heute gibt es so viele verschiedene Arten von Kryptowährungen, dass es schwierig sein kann, mit allen Projekten Schritt zu halten! Litecoin und Ethereum waren die nächsten … Continue reading

by admin at July 29, 2018 08:55 AM

July 25, 2018

Hands of Charity XO Project | Kenya

How We Teach Scratch

Using Math and Design Based Thinking to Create: Classes for children, learning to create projects in Scratch Junior or Scratch, using MakeyMakey.  These projects can be animations, games, puzzles, simulations. Our approach to learning is design based knowledge construction, and thinking about thinking process.  These classes will be tailored to those who are interested. We like working with small. If you are interested in these classes, now or in 2018 please contact us. Susan McPhee, Alan Papert and Sandra Thaxter are the instructors.

Small Solutions has held taught Scratch classes at FRS in previous years.  We would like to solicit interest before scheduling. We donate 25% of all church members class fees to FRS.  This year we are working on the theme of Re-Imagining the future. Children in Kenya thought about the homes they wanted, how their city should look.  These projects could range from imagining the cars of the future, to simulating sea rise or species extinction, to creating games to meet future environmental challenges.


Sandra Thaxter has been working with Scratch for 7 years, Alan Papert had a career as a design engineer and was part of the Turtle Seymour Papert children’s programming research. Susan McPhee is a programmer and enthusiast of Scratch Junior.  Contact  or go to our website for more information


Makey Makey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything inbetween:


Scratch and Scratch Junior are a child friendly programming environment developed at the MIT Media Lab. Scratch is an expanding set of tools and programs that  connects to MakeyMakey, Lego Robotics, Arduino and Music streaming.


Small Solutions Big Ideas is dedicated to providing children with learning opportunities that expand their thinking and awareness. We are enthusiasts of after-school informal learning environments.  We structure each class to adapt to the children signed up. Classes are small 8 to 10 students, and students receive individual attention.  We use Scratch programming as an environment for children to build programming skills, but learn how to design complex tasks, such as designing a game, or animating a narrative story, or simulating a natural process.  We also use hands on materials and activities to create and design. 3D design is available for students who are interested in that medium.


by smallsolutionsbigideas at July 25, 2018 09:06 PM

July 23, 2018

One Laptop per Child

OLPC’s New Address

OLPC New Address

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

For additional information, please visit

by Leah at July 23, 2018 02:00 PM

July 12, 2018


Ethiopia project: An update

Andreas Gros, who had presented about his upcoming Ethiopia project has now made a trip to Addis Ababa and back. This project has several OLPC NL3 laptops and multiple School Servers. He will be sharing his updates and experiences with us about this project. Please join us!

RSVP on Eventbrite

Update: Andi's slides are posted here. The recoding is also up on YouTube here.

by sverma at July 12, 2018 05:00 AM

July 09, 2018

OLPC Basecamp @ Malacca, Malaysia

dLEAP in 2018

The last blog I  wrote  was in January, 2017.It has the title "dLEAP into 2017". A year and half later I am updating this blog with an entry "dLEAP in 2018". Happy to say that no news is good news - there has been progress over the year.

Volunteers and I was back in July 2017 to follow-up the CheWong kids who lives in the surrounding areas of the Elephant Sanctuary. In my last 2017 blog I reported that we replaced all the older XO in the hands of the CheWong's children to XO4. Bags were purchased and they were reminded to keep it clean. Our surprise visit confirmed that they were indeed keeping it real clean and using it regularly to our delight.

Thanks to the good public relation by a local volunteer we were offered a newly painted room in Elephant Centre (EC) as resource centre for the children. It is also an educational public space for visitors to EC. On August 12, 2017 last year we had the children of dLEAP to participate in the World Elephant Day. A simple Scratch game written by a Hong Kong 12 year old kid and downloaded to their XO4 were shown to visitors.

Kids from a surrounding school was entertained to what they could do with the XO4. These students envied what the CheWong's  children were able to do with 1:1 laptop ownership.

Yes, we hope to do another event for August 12, 2018!


To reach out to new children and even smaller children we piloted leaving a few XOs to a kindergarten to the delight of the 4-6 years old children. They were using it almost immediately and was very proficient a month later with no support. Work is in progress  that we will get each children their own laptop by the end of 2018. Hence this pre-school will become a 1:1 kindergarten and will serve both very young CheWong children and Malay village children.

We have been supporting the CheWong kids for four years now. They have grown up alot since then. A local volunteer who is a teacher recently introduced the mind-mapping activity to these children. A  kid took the opportunity to describe  CheWong tribe:  350-400 people remaining, permalu (shy) people, lives in jungle and make a living with "rotan" collection, etc. It was insightful and they also made mind-maps to describe who they are as a person!

In another front some good progress is coming out from a small pilot of XO4 with another local volunteer who is based in Sarawak. As an academic and computer scientist he is engaging development of local support resources. I was sent this link on their development and even had a video of their pilot test session.

So the progress from 2017 into 2018 has been good. It will be 5 years since Basecamp2013@Malacca was organised. We were lucky to attract participants from all over the world. Will there be a Basecamp 2018? I have sketched of what could be possible dates in August for synergy in Hong Kong or/and Malaysia. It has been a tiring 5 years but rewarding when you see children and kids getting the opportunities. For basecamp2018, this is a vapour idea more than a month away. If it happens it happens! 

 Will love to hear from any of you as comments or by e-mail (

by T.K. Kang ( at July 09, 2018 10:47 AM

June 27, 2018

Ghana Together

"Meat and potatoes" at AGSHS

Our last News Update was so satisfying for us---Graduations! Missions accomplished! Young people launching the next phase of their lives!
This one is more prosaic…but we want to share it anyway because it’s just so great in its own way…J

First a bit of background:

In 2009. Axim started its Axim GirlsSenior High School with 23 students, after years of work and the support of Chief Awulae, Member of Parliament Catherine Afeku, Founding Headmistress Mrs. Bonku, businessman and Western Heritage Home Chairman James Kainyiah, and so many other local leaders. As Chief Awulae said so many times:

 “Educate a woman and you educate a family.”

AGSHS became “certified” as an accredited senior high in 2012. We published a News Update about it back then:

We’ve helped the school a bit over the years---some science resources, scientific calculators, “Science News” magazines, internet-in-a-boxes, a few scholarships, renovated a building to be an assembly/dining/meeting hall, and repaired the damaged school bus. The Tullow Oil Company came through with 2 classroom buildings, a 200-bed dormitory, and two computer labs.

By September of 2016, the Axim Girls Senior High School had 88 new first-year students. Each student paid hefty fees for tuition, books, lab fees, supplies, and room and board….beyond most families economically…especially for daughters.

Then…WHAT A CHANGE! The newly-elected Ghanaian government implemented the long-held national dream/promise to focus on education—for sons AND daughters. It started funding “free” academic senior high school for newly incoming freshman---even including room and board if needed.

What a change! AGSHS had 210 new first-year incoming students in September 2017!
The “free” SHS has now extended to all three years. So, when Maryanne Ward visited the school in May 2018, there were just over 350 students in the entire school. More than 500 are expected in September 2018! We are hoping/praying that Ghana can somehow keep this all going…not easy.

What a challenge for Principal Madame Theodora Appiah and her staff! To go from 23 students to more than 500 in not quite 10 years! 

When Maryanne asked what she needed, Madame smiled. 

---How about a new dorm for 500 girls? Completely furnished! And yes, with modern toilets, showers… and please throw in a completely reliable source of water
---Always-on electricity would certainly be welcome! 
---And, oh, could you throw in a complete, fully-equipped science lab so the girls don’t have to take the bus to Nsein Senior High School, a half-hour ride each way at least, way over in the next town, for once-in-a-while physics and chemistry labs…since, of course (!), they are deeply into “STEM”--- teaching those girls science and technology and math... 
--- and, oh, for sure…we need an assembly/dining hall that’s at least 3 times as big…and…
Well, all that was a bit beyond our bank account, but we did settle on Mrs. Appiah’s TOP PRIORITY…a...PHOTOCOPIER/PRINTING MACHINE

Yes! That we could manage, so...our Ghanaian Western Heritage Home Operations Manager Evans Arloo traveled to some schools to check on their machines, and to the city of Takoradi, and here we time for the September start of the 2018-2019 school year!
How does this thing work, anyway??

Wow! 21st Century Technology Coming to good old Axim!!

Principal Theodora Appiah and Her New Machine! Thanks you all!

And, well, if you know someone who can help her with all the other stuff, you know who to contact!

Ghana Together

by Ghana Together ( at June 27, 2018 05:30 PM

June 23, 2018

Hands of Charity XO Project | Kenya

Story The Greedy Frog


Written by Subeta

There were those days when frogs were the most beautiful reptiles on earth. There voices were so sweet and they had also smooth shiny skin and strong graceful legs. These made other animals liked them. They also liked singing to other animals.


There lived one frog called Lende. Lende had such a nice voice that all animals gathered at her hut, after every morning’s work for songs and stories.


However, in those days good things never missed there bed side. Lende was very greedy for food, This made her hate other animals. She had a fellow greedy friend called Kaza.

Kaza could not leave Lende ́s home without eating. She always made long  unending stories in order to wait for food.

    One day Kaza decided to pay her long time friend Lende a visit to hear her beautiful stories and songs. She was also hungry as she had not eaten for the past three days. She had timed her arrival at lunch time when she was very sure that Lende has prepared food. She drew closer to her friends house. The sweet smell of boiling pumpkins filled her stomach.

    I will use all tricks to get that greedy friend of mine to give me food. Kaza said to herself and knocked at the Lende’s door before it could be opened. She peeped through the hole in the wall and saw her friend hiding food. No sooner had she began, than he said! Oh! my friend, the God of the earth and sky has just saved me!


What happened to you my friend? Lende asked in disbelief. I almost got a snake bite! A snake, as long as from this place where I am seated to that hot pot under your bed, just crossed my way as I made the last stride away from it. Kaza replied, pointing at the food Lende had hidden.

    “You must be lucky,” replied disappointed Lende. In a flash Kaza got up from his seat and quickly walked to the pot of pumpkins as he demonstrated how long the snake was.

    Oh! my friend, this pot is so hot , what is it that you are cooking under the bed? “, Kaza asked.

Lende was so disappointed and embarrassed that she brought out the food and they all ate together . Kaza ate as fast as she could and even faster than her friend. After the food was all finished she stood up pretending to be going for a short call.


Once outside she hurriedly left for home. The following day, another friend also decided to march in without knocking the door. Lende had prepared porridge and potatoes for lunch. My friend saw that porridge seems sweet.  The visitor said, “it is so sweet that we don’t even need sugar to make it sweeter”, she added.

    Lende tried hiding the porridge but she slid and burned her soft and smooth skin. The visitor was so hungry that she had never allowed the porridge to go like that. She bent over Lende and with her long and rough tongue, cleared all the porridge on her friends skin each time removing with it the skin and part of Lende’s flesh.

    Mr. Hare was another problem to Lende because he could smell food from far and walk into his house talking about it.

    “Ooh! what a delicious meal for you have cooked” said the hare. I will come with my children to help you eat the food. Lende got fed up with her friends and decided to swallow hot stone to spoil the sweet voice brought so many visitors. As the stone rolled down her throat it burned her that she could not bear with the pain any more. She jumped near by pool of water to drink some water to cool her pain that had gotten worse by now. However, she tried getting out of water the pain got worse that even breathing was a problem. She therefore, decided to stay permanently in water to keep cooling her throat and so to avoid many visitors. That is why up to now frogs have very rough voice, skin and also stays in water.


    LESSON learned from the story:

Greedy does not pay but instead can give a permanent body harm.

The story helps as to mentor ourselves and fit in the current society of 21st century.



We should not be selfish instead be kind to others.


written by Subeda wanjala from Bukokholo RC Primary school grade 8, 2018   

by smallsolutionsbigideas at June 23, 2018 07:42 PM

Sustainable Agriculture Case Studies



Hi everyone, my name is Hellen Watiti a grade eight student of Butonge primary school Bungoma Kenya.Welcome participants. OUR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE GOAL

Our main goal of practicing sustainable agriculture is to meet society’s food and textile needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generation starting from our current generation to meet our own needs.

Being practitioners of sustainable agriculture, we seek to integrate three main objectives in our farm work as follows;

A). A healthy environment

B). Economic profitability and

C). Social economic equity

Therefore, I call upon all countries under OPEN especially schools to be involved in the food system – growers, food processors, distributors, retailers, consumers and waste managers to play a role in ensuring a sustainable agricultural system.

As students of Butonge primary school Bungoma Kenya, our major practice in sustainable agriculture will be to promote soil health, minimize water use and lower pollution levels on our farms.

Thank you,



My name is Metrine Wekesa grade eight of Butonge primary school Bungoma Kenya and am to present over our preparation. Preparation that we are trying to put in place,

Through the school management board, we have been given part of our school land that we will use to practice sustainable agriculture demo plots. In that part of land we are going to divide it into four small plots measuring 6m by 6m or 18ft by 18ft.

We intend to start with two crops i.e beans and sweet potatoes early August this year 2018

Between now to August we are looking forward to do soil sampling to know our school’s soil PH before we prepare for planting.

Thank you,  Metrine.


My name is Emmanuel Wafula of Butonge primary school – Bungoma Kenya

After knowing the soil PH, as a school team, we will to collect organic manure (compost manure).

Out of 100 students who will participate in our sustainable agriculture demo plots, especially bean plot, we have resolved each student to come along with two kgs of compost manure and prepare it for planting beans on the plot that we will be doing conservation farming and on a control plot we will use inorganic fertilizer as we continue to study our soil fertility improvement in next planting season.

Not only shall we be monitoring soil fertility improvement, but also see crop production performance.

In our preparation we are seeking technical advice from agricultural experts especially agronomist and agricultural extension offices to inform us more about spacing, pest and disease control among other farming basic technical requirements.

Thank you,



  • Is it proper to eat sweet potatoes with their skin (without peeling)?SustainableAfriMeeting
  • How can we control potato weevils?
  • Why sometimes bean leaves change color to yellow prematurely?


by smallsolutionsbigideas at June 23, 2018 07:39 PM

Honduras: The Owen Project


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,


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 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

by Ghana Together ( at June 11, 2018 10:13 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.


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,


by mkeddal at June 05, 2018 05:56 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

by Ghana Together ( at May 30, 2018 10:45 PM

Hands of Charity XO Project | Kenya

Brighton on Corruption

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.






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

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


「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

April 18, 2018


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:
Aaron Borden:


by sverma at April 18, 2018 01:59 AM

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


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

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


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)


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 ( at February 16, 2018 10:52 AM

February 12, 2018

Jim Gettys

The Blind Men and the Elephant


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.


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!


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


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


by Ghana Together ( 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:
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


by Ghana Together ( 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 –

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 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.


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.


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

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