Monday, May 23, 2011

Paso de los Toros

Today was my school visit in Paso de los Toros. The students' preparation and the response from the principal and teachers was fantastic:




Also it was great to visit the school alongside the experienced teacher-trainers from Tacuarembó. I want to share their insights with Plan Ceibal and the Sugar/activity developer community. These are the people who see how an activity works in the wild, and their support for an activity can make or break its use in the curriculum. They also confirmed numbers we heard at the conference - rural and impoverished schools are using the laptops more than urban ones. They say a similar trend exists for eToys and TurtleArt. This was part of our larger discussion about programming, which was an encouraging look at how teachers could move their curriculum in that direction. A major issue here was the rapidly changing interface, and how on Olidata, programs such as TurtleArt have too little actual workspace.

I did a demo of the new Uruguay Map activity, Memorize with Sensors, and a new version of the Browse-Hack activity. The general consensus is that the new Uruguayan Map activity fills the need for creativity in their current geography activity, Conozco Uruguay. The group was most interested in expanding the Memorize activity - asking for some source code and hardware diagrams ASAP.

This experience is making me re-think the discussions we had about putting libraries on the schools' local servers. While the Plan Ceibal organization is considering ideologies of education and privacy while considering a wiki, teachers are already making wikis and blogging with their classes, online. The experts specifically talked about WikiSpaces.

Travel photos included in newly-posted photos




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