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Back from olpc deployments in Samoa

17/08/2010 Leave a comment

I returned from two weeks volunteering for olpc (one laptop per child) in Samoa yesterday. It was full on. We visited two primary schools and worked with year 4 to year 6 students. They had used the laptops for 3 months before we arrived and we went to install a school server at each school and wireless access points, as well as to provide training for the teachers and students. The two schools were quite different and one school was extremely under resourced with practically no books to teach from or for students to read and not really any posters on the walls.

Arriving in Apia we went to the government first.

Samoa government building, Apia

This is where we stayed when we first arrived in Apia

Seipepa, Alamagoto, Apia, Samoa

We met with parents in the schools to make sure they got to know us and had an opportunity to ask us questions. We then invited the children to show the parents what they can do with their laptops.

Meeting with parents

There was some resting on the trip too, we did take a little time to relax on the beach and do some snorkelling, but as is evident in the photo, our laptops were always close as we kept working to get everything done before we left.

Relaxing at La Lagoto Resort, Manase, Savaii, Samoa

Anyone is welcome to talk to me about the trip and ask questions. I will be writing up more information soon.

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Going to Samoa

30/07/2010 Leave a comment

Tom and I are off to Samoa to visit two one laptop per child deployments for two weeks.

It’s like the night before Christmas here with all the excitement of our trip to tomorrow. Except, this time we are the elves trying to create and then wrap all the gifts to make the delivery run.

We have 2 Asus EeeBox PC 1021 (Atom 330, 2GB ram, 250GB harddrive) machines for servers, 6 Ubiquiti Networks PicoStation, 2 switches and loads of bits and pieces to connect it all.

We have setup the servers with the school server image and been preparing it for the Samoa requirements, running around madly trying to get the translation finished, collected ebooks and learning objects, and put lots of XO activities onto the servers. We have printed resources and stationery to give the schools.

The bags are packed with our clothes and we are just doing the last few preparation things. We know we are going to run out of time, but doing our best.

We are really looking forward to meeting everyone and hearing what they have been doing so far. The schools don’t have internet, so I will write up about the trip on our return.

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