Monday, September 28, 2009

School Holiday

The children of St. Mary's and Holy Cross are currently on school holiday and will be back working on the laptops on 5 October!

Finally! Pictures!

That's right everybody...we finally made a site with (most of our) pictures!!

Here it is:

Many more to come...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rain Rain, Go Away...

The past week Rhodes University was on holiday, but the children were not! So going into the week with no volunteers, I assumed that half of the kids would play outside, or do art, while I could work with a few of the children on the laptops...

But then the rain came...and it came hard...

So, since the children couldn't play outside, approx. all 60 children got out their XO laptops! I was a tad nervous...I mean, how was I going to control all of the children, ranging in age, and at all different laptop skill levels?!

This rainy day happened to be one of the best days so far! As hectic as it could have been, I saw something amazing. The children were helping each other out...without me saying anything, or asking. When one of the younger kids was struggling, without hesitation, the older, more experienced children would go over and explain how to, for example, add a character in the game "Scratch" or quit "Maze."

The younger kids respected the older ones and the older ones didn't act "too cool and tough" for the younger ones. I finally got to see this community of children come together, work together, and improve together. These laptops have encouraged the children to want to do well on activities and see their peers succeed as well. It truly was an amazing sight!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

XO Workshop...Success!

This past Saturday, Drew, Steph and I arranged an XO laptop workshop with the St. Mary's volunteers. Approximately 15 volunteers arrived and were eager to play and understand the laptops!

After going over the laptop basics, Drew lead an "XO Scavenger Hunt" which allowed the volunteers to explore the laptops...they had to find ways to calculate 798/347, paint the South African flag, and have the computer say "hello." Everyone had fun and picked up the laptops quickly. This activity was also used today at St. Mary's with the kids. This increased confidence in the kids of how well they actually know their laptops!

This was a great success and because of this workshop, now the volunteers will be able to help with the children, so more kids can use the laptops daily. Volunteers are going to help with learning projects and activities with the laptops are really getting a kick!

Not only will the volunteers be able to help out in the present, but (sadly) when Drew, Steph and I have to leave, the volunteers can continue to work with the laptops and teach new volunteers how they about sustainability!