OLPC-logo

OLPC-4.0
Check out OLPC XO-4.

I would hate to add to the speculation that OLPC is dead because it’s not.  Wayan Wota has been calling OLPC dead for 5 years. This is not news. He has not been involved with the project in a long time. His article is about the XO-1, apparently he doesn’t even know the XO-4 was officially introduced at this year’s CES, alongside the tablet.

If you really want to know what’s going on with current OLPC community projects see Adam Holt’s http://www.unleashkids.org/

Full OLPC Statement (from: http://gizmodo.com/one-laptop-per-child-isnt-quite-dead-yet-1541430670):

OLPC’s mission to empower the world’s children through education is far from over. OLPC is thriving and making more inroads at bringing education to those who can’t easily access it. OLPC recently formed a strategic alliance with the Zamora Teran family through many of their enterprises and their philanthropic foundation, the “Fundación Zamora Teran to deliver XO laptops not only to Central and South America, but also to Africa.

Aside from distributing more laptops in several schools in Costa Rica, Uruguay is receiving its first 50k units of the XO-4 Touch (running Android) in a few weeks’ time. In addition, the XO Tablet is currently available directly through governments and NGOs, as well as in Europe and Canada and through all major retail outlets in the United States including Walmart, Amazon, Toys ‘R Us among the others.

OLPC also has outsourced many of the software and development units because the organization is becoming more hardware and OS agnostic, concentrating on its core values – education. As an example, we’ve partnered with the Smithsonian Museum to bring feature-rich, interactive and more targeted content to our young learners.

We have more exciting things planned in the horizon including the implementation of very large scale projects in several regions of the world, so be sure to stay tuned.

OLPC is a concept, it is a movement, it is a community and it is about helping children.  Sure the grand vision may be delayed, but the benefits of education and technology, of improving the human condition is not dead.  We all knew that it’s not profitable to teach third world children.  Still,  no one thought that companies would compete against OLPC.  Countries opted for different technologies for hardware but never matched the promise or the vision of the software.  Had the world united around this platform children would have benefited and the world today would be a better place as we develop together and stamp out ignorance.  There is nothing like education to improve the world and that mission is not dead.  OLPC is evolving, finding new ways to reach more children, making more with less, and finding ways to make a real difference in the world.

Support OLPC!  Long Live the vision.

Etoys-iii

Don’t miss the new Etoys book: http://wiki.squeakland.org/index.php/LearningWithEtoysI3.

Etoys is:

  • an educational tool for teaching children powerful ideas in compelling ways
  • a media-rich authoring environment and visual programming system
  • a free software program that works on almost all personal computers

All school children should have the opportunity to engage with computers in the most meaningful way. Learning to think and using the computer to discover and work with powerful ideas is the knowledge of true value. The community of Etoys users is working toward the dream of having all students become computer literate. This book only covers a small portion of those items. As you and your students learn some of the basic techniques, you will find more and more uses for them. The process of learning Etoys is just that, a process; the learning is on-going even though projects are begun and finished. Students will enjoy becoming experts and sharing their knowledge with others in the classroom.

Imagine this: A group of learners want to visualize what they Imagine so they go to Etoys to Invent their dreams and Inspire each other by building on their various Etoys projects. Today’s learners need this kind of experience to be prepared for the future.

For more information about Etoys visit www.squeakland.org

The German Squeak Association (Squeak e. V.) had its annual meeting on May 17. For the second time, the meeting was hosted by the Software Architecture Group at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut in Potsdam. Before the official part, attendees of the meeting were given the opportunity to demonstrate their Squeak projects.

First, Tobias Pape and Arian Treffer, students of HPI, demonstrated SwaLint, a source code checker for Squeak. SwaLint is intended as a successor to SmallLint and, thanks to its flexible plug-in architecture, supports running SmallLint checks seamlessly. SwaLint can be configured in great detail: thresholds for all kinds of values can be set, and output can be filtered. Users can easily implement their own plug-ins for the tool.

Next, Michael Haupt (HPI) gave a brief demonstration of SqueakFS, which was implemented by Johan Björk and Eskil Andréen from Stockholm University, Sweden. SqueakFS makes the contents of a running Squeak image available as part of the file system. Currently, it is limited to read-only access, but the image can already be viewed from three perspectives: all classes as a flat collection, assorted by category, and by class hierarchy.

Robert Krahn presented SqueakSVN, which is an ongoing development effort in the Software Architecture Group at HPI. The purpose of SqueakSVN is to make Subversion version control available to Squeak developers; it is able to import Monticello projects. SqueakSVN will be released in June.

Martin Beck is currently working on his MSc thesis in the HPI Software Architecture Group. His work is dedicated to implementing NXTalk, a Smalltalk virtual machine for the Lego Mindstorms NXT platform. Development of NXTalk application takes place in a Squeak image, and assembled NXTalk images are transferred to the NXT for execution by the dedicated NXTalk VM. In the current state, simple images can be assembled and run: Martin demonstrated a program that can be used to steer a simple NXT bestowed with two motors.

The popular introduction to the Seaside web application framework that was produced at HPI was briefly presented by David Tibbe, one of its co-authors.

Robert Krahn had another appearance presenting the collection of games for the XO laptop developed by HPI students. All of the games are available for download as project or SAR files.

Finally, Carl Friedrich Bolz (Düsseldorf University), Adrian Kuhn (University of Bern), and Toon Verwaest (University of Bern) presented SPy, their ongoing effort to implement the Squeak VM in Python using the sophisticated PyPy tool chain. SPy is currently lacking GUI  and other I/O support, but is able to load images and run the tinyBenchmarks. Right after the Squeak association meeting, a PyPy development sprint in Berlin will, amongst others, bring new improvements.

After the official part of the association meeting, special guest Dan Ingalls gave a demonstration of Lively, his current project at Sun Labs. It looks and feels, admittedly, a bit like Squeak in disguise, but in Dan’s opinion, there is nothing bad about building the “same” system several times if it’s cool. That is certainly true for Lively.

WavePlace

WavePlace 2

Hi everyone,
We’ve just posted two new videos from the St John Waveplace pilot, which concluded three weeks ago. The first shows mentoring during the pilot. The second shows students presenting their Etoys storybooks.
1) Scenes from the St John pilot (4 minutes)
2) The St John Storybook Awards (8 minutes)
We will be posting the actual storybooks to our website soon so you can see them for yourself.
In other news, the Haiti pilot will resume next week, since things have calmed down in Port-Au-Prince. The kids and teachers are well.
As always, if you’d like to hear more from us, please subscribe to our newsletter or donate money on our website to help with our courseware and pilots.
Take care,
Tim
Timothy Falconer
Waveplace Foundation
610-797-3100

Randal Schwartz and Leo

Don’t miss this fun new video from Randal Schwartz and Leo about Squeak, EToys and OLPC.  Randal builds a very nice car demo.

XO in the US Virgin Islands

12 February, 2008

Waveplace XO Day

Great video of the Waveplace XO Laptop Day.