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Producing Radio Plays on the XO Laptop
A Teachersʼ Manual to integrate Radio Production in the Classroom von Thomas Staubitz Berlin, 10.05.2011 HTW Berlin Fachbereich 4 Wirtschaftswissenschaften II Internationaler Studiengang Medieninformatik Erstgutachterin! Prof. Dr. Debora Weber-Wulff Zweitgutachter! Prof. Dr. Carsten Busch
Dedicated to Ruth Hilmer, Niki Floyd, and Charlotte
Producing Radio Plays on the XO Laptop
The present work deals with the possibilities of radio production on the OLPC XO laptop (better known as the $100 laptop). The production of radio content is a beneﬁcial option to integrate the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into education. A basic introduction to the recent discussion of ICT for education (ICT4ed) and ICT for development (ICT4dev) will be provided. The focus will be on the OLPC project. The core of the paper delineates the outcomes of a one-week workshop to create a radio play on the XO at the Anna-Lindh-School in Berlin-Wedding. Besides the radio play, these outcomes comprise a survey of usability and user interaction issues of the XO, which have been detected during the workshop. Proposals are made to remedy these deﬁciencies. Furthermore, a manual has been created, which will enable teachers to produce radio plays in project-based instruction. Such a radio play production can either be designed as a stand-alone workshop, preferably in collaboration with a local community radio, or as a joined effort of teachers, embedded into a variety of subjects, over a longer period.
Hörspielproduktion mit dem XO Laptop
Die vorliegende Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit den Möglichkeiten der Radioproduktion auf dem OLPC XO Laptop (besser bekannt als das 100 $ Laptop). Die Produktion von Radioinhalten wird als eine sinnvolle Variante zur Integration von Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie (ICT) in den Unterricht gesehen. Zunächst wird eine Einführung in die aktuelle Diskussion über den Einsatz von ICT im Bildungs- und Entwicklungsbereich gegeben, der Schwerpunkt liegt hierbei auf dem OLPC Projekt. Das Kernstück der Arbeit beschreibt die Ergebnisse eines einwöchigen Workshops zur Erstellung eines Radiohörspiels an der Anna-Lindh-Schule in Berlin-Wedding. Neben dem eigentlichen Hörspiel werden besonders zwei weitere Resultate hervorgehoben: Zum Einen eine Liste von Mängeln in Usability und User Interaction Design des XO. Es werden Vorschläge zur Behebung dieser Mängel unterbreitet. Des Weiteren wurde ein Handbuch erstellt, der es Lehrern ermöglichen soll, Hörspiele in projektbasiertem Unterricht zu produzieren. Solch eine Hörspielproduktion kann entweder in einem Workshop, bestenfalls unter Beteiligung ortsansässiger Community Radios, gestaltet werden oder aber als ein längerfristiges, fächerübergreifendes Projekt.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction!............................................................................................1 2 Objective!................................................................................................3 3 OLPC and the XO ! ..................................................................................4
3.1 History and Objectives of OLPC !........................................................................4 3.2 Fundamental Dilemmas!...................................................................................11 3.3 Special Features!..............................................................................................14 3.4 Problematic Developments!..............................................................................18
4 Economical and Political Context!.........................................................20 5 Related ICT4ed and ICT4dev Projects!................................................36
5.1 Indiaʼs Simputer!...............................................................................................36 5.2 Hole in the Wall!................................................................................................38
6 Radijojo!................................................................................................43 7 Motivation to Produce a Radio Play!.....................................................44 8 Workshop Preproduction!.....................................................................47
8.1 Story!................................................................................................................47 8.2 Tool Evaluation! .................................................................................................48 8.3. Establishing Contacts to Schools in Developing Countries!............................53
9.1 Anna-Lindh-School! ...........................................................................................55 9.2 The Workshop !.................................................................................................57 9.3 Activities!...........................................................................................................64
10 Suggested UI Improvements!.............................................................73
10.1 Record!...........................................................................................................73 10.2 Journal!...........................................................................................................76 10.3 Etoys, Scratch!................................................................................................79 10.4 Command Queue!..........................................................................................81 10.5 JAMedia, JukeBox!.........................................................................................81 10.5 Labyrinth!........................................................................................................83 10.6 Documentation!...............................................................................................84
11 Teachersʼ Manual!...............................................................................86 12 Summary!............................................................................................93 Glossary!.....................................................................................................i Bibliography! ..............................................................................................iv Images!...................................................................................................xxii Notes! .....................................................................................................xxiii
When I ﬁrst heard about the OLPC XO— better known as the $100 laptop, an initiative to ameliorate the world’s educational situation by Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the MediaLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)— and its almost mythical abilities to solve the educational problems of the world, one memory rushed into my mind: The Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer in Neil Stephenson’s Diamond Age . An illegal copy of this interactive book (The Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer), designed and engineered by John Percival Hackworth to educate Elizabeth, the most privileged young Lady1 of the tribe of the new Victorians, somehow gets into the hands of Nell, a 4-year-old girl, living on the streets in the worst part of Shanghai in a ﬁctive future. Dr. X and Judge Fang recognize the book’s potential to solve their educational dilemma: 200.000 4-year-old girls abandoned by their Chinese parents, owed to economic reasons. Dr. X had saved these girls from starvation and had given them a new home in a couple of huge ships, ﬂoating off the coast of Shanghai. While the original copies of The Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer require so called ractors— actors in interactive movies— to interact online with the book, it is not possible to implement this feature to the 200.000 copies to be bootlegged for the girls on the ships. They are just too many, the available infrastructure would not be able to support it. Dr. X and Judge Fang blackmail Hackworth to reengineer the primer so that it works completely automated without these ractors. Today many of the world’s educational systems have been navigated towards an analogous situation . Good teachers are rare. Unsurprisingly the dilemma is worse in poor areas than in rich areas. It is worse in remote rural areas than in urban areas. As so often technology is propagated as the solution to these problems. Technologists are claiming that the question is not if but how  Information and Communication Technology for Education (ICT4ed) is best deployed in schools. Actually, they are claiming this at least since twenty-ﬁve years; even longer if previous educational media hypes, such as television, radio, or movies for the classrooms, are taken into account. Larry Cuban stated back in 1986: “[…] and most researchers seldom ask whether computers should be used in schools for instructional use. They ask only how computers should be used.” [4, p.83] The ﬁrst part of the present work includes some background information on the OLPC project and provides a survey on the educational situation in selected developing countries. Chapters three and four will cover these topics. Chapter ﬁve introduces a selection of other initiatives that have propagated technological approaches to ameliorate education in developing countries. The most noteworthy and promising approach is Sugata Mitra’s Hole in the
She is 4 years old and Lord Finkle-McGrawʼs granddaughter.
Wall project; and particularly, the Granny Cloud, which will be introduced in section 2 of chapter ﬁve. The core topic of this work is the feasibility of media production with the OLPC XO. In cooperation with Radijojo2, a one-week workshop to produce a radio play with twenty-four nine-year-olds, has been conducted at the Anna-Lindh-School in BerlinWedding. Chapters six and seven will introduce Radijojo and the reasons for the determination to produce a radio play. The workshop and its outcomes will be discussed in detail in chapter eight and nine. During the workshop, a couple of usability and user interaction issues on the XO have been detected. Proposals to solve these issues will be offered in chapter ten. Most of the detected issues have been ﬁled as bugs to Sugar’s/OLPC’s bug-tracking systems and have been published on my blog3 to provide the OLPC developers with a direct feedback. Finally, chapter eleven introduces the teachers’ manual to produce radio plays, which has been developed as one of the outcomes of this project.
I am not involved with OLPC except for having received an XO laptop out of their developers’ program and ﬁve XOs from OLPC-Switzerland for my research. I conducted another research related to the XO in 2010 4; as a result of this work, the contact to OLPC-Switzerland and Radijojo has been established. I have not contributed anything to OLPC except for some bug reports and a couple of complaints. In general, I prefer to work with software that works out of the box than with software that I can easily ﬁx, which disqualiﬁes me as a hardcore open source software user. Next to the radio workshop, I am currently standing-in for Simon Schampijer5, teaching his Sugar class at the Grundschule am Planetarium 6. I’ve been teaching classes related to computer science since 2007 at SAE Berlin7, and since 2009 at HTW Berlin8.
Radijojo is Berlinʼs ﬁrst 100% non-commercial, award-winning childrenʼs radio: http://www.radijojo.de (Accessed:
http://www.ﬂatlandfarm.de/blog/ (Accessed: 03/24/2011) http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Processing, http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OpenFrameworks (Accessed: 03/24/2011)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/37891134/ICW-Processing-BlueJ (Accessed: 06/05/2011)
Simon Schampijer is a developer working for the OLPC Association. An elementary school at Berlin. Four children, two nine-year old fourth-graders and two ten-year old ﬁfth-
graders, are attending this class.
This paper’s primary goal is to promote the production of radio plays as a useful application for Information and Communication Technology in the classroom. The production of radio content is neither limited to the XO laptops— other hardware platforms offer better solutions to do this— nor is it limited to one-to-one laptop programs. As a wide variety of, not only computer related, tasks have to be tackled, and the students are working in teams, it is sufﬁcient to have a few computers available. While I am not convinced that ICT necessarily needs to be applied at all in primary schools, I am convinced that— now that much money has been spent to purchase these devices— useful and signiﬁcant ways to integrate these devices in the classroom are urgently required. An example for such an approach is Sdenka Zobeida Salas Pilco’s book La Laptop XO en el Aula , which has been a great inspiration for the teachers’ manual that has been produced as a part of this work. Producing media is considered to be one of the more useful applications for ICT in class, next to programming, and some aspects of mathematics. It trains teamwork and other social skills. It can serve as a vehicle to teach language, literature, physics, biology, music, history, politics, etc. It teaches using applications as a tool to achieve certain goals. It teaches to decide when it makes sense to use the available technology, or if there are possibly better results to be achieved by using more traditional tools. Especially in the context of developing countries, radio still is a very important medium. Next to mobile phones it is often the only source of information available in remote areas. It is cheap, radio receivers are available for about eight euros, including batteries , and community radio projects exist throughout the world .
3 OLPC and the XO
This chapter will provide background information about the OLPC project, the XO laptop’s hardware and the S u g a r s o ftw a re .
3.1 History and Objectives of OLPC
OLPC was invented approximately 2005 by Nicholas Negroponte, one of the founders and former director of the MIT Media Lab. OLPC’s primary objective is to provide every child in the world’s developing countries with her own laptop. The project’s ﬁve principles are 1. Child ownership, the child owns the laptop and takes it home, 2. Low ages, children from 6 - 12 years old, 3. Saturation, every child in a certain context 9 has her own laptop, 4. All the laptops are connected to each other, so that the children can communicate, 5. Only free and open source software is installed on the laptops.  Negroponte had started various smaller efforts to supply the schools of the developing world with ICT before. In 1982, he and Seymour Papert10 directed the deployment of Apple][ computers, equipped with the LOGO programming language, to Dakar in Senegal— Le Centre Mondial pour l’Informatique et Ressource Humaine. The project was a failure and had to be closed after just one year . The MIT’s Technology Review magazine wrote in 1983 (found on  11): “Naturally, it failed. […] By the end of the Center's ﬁrst year, Papert had quit, so had American experts Nicholas Negroponte and Bob Lawler. It had become a battleﬁeld, scarred by clashes of management style, personality, and political conviction. It never really recovered. The new French government has done the Center a favor in closing it down.” In 2002 Negroponte provided a school in Cambodia that he, his wife, and Bernie Krisher, a former foreign correspondent for Newsweek, had founded in 1999 with laptops and internet
Originally, this context was supposed to be a country. Due to several reasons that will be explained on the fol-
lowing pages, the context has been redeﬁned as a city, or at least a school later on.
Co-founder of the MIT Artiﬁcial Intelligence Lab, founding faculty member of the MIT Media Lab , inventor of
the LOGO programming language.
Bob Lawler, a co-worker of Papert and Negroponte in Dakar, claims the Datamation magazine to be the source
of the quote .
access . Realizing the impact it had on the children’s life, the idea was born to do something similar on a larger scale basis . To facilitate this, the construction of an inexpensive laptop was required as the commercial laptop manufacturers have not seen a proﬁtable market in cheap laptops until then . The idea of the $100 laptop was presented to the public at the World Summit of Information Technology in 2005 . Two years later in 2007, the deployment of these laptops to participating countries began . The project started successfully as Negroponte was able to convince big companies— amongst others Google, Quanta, and AMD— to cooperate. Koﬁ Annan, then United Nations Secretary-general, embraced the idea of OLPC as a means to implement the Millenium Development Goal12 of universal primary education, which has been scheduled to be achieved by 2015 . When the idea was introduced by Nicholas Negroponte and Koﬁ Annan in Tunis, it was well received . Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, committed to order one million laptops. Other countries where pilots were supposed to be launched were Brazil, China, Egypt, and Thailand . Altogether, OLPC had received tentative commitments for three million laptops. Negroponte expected to reach ﬁve million commitments by mid-2007 , but soon problems emerged. Nigeria withdrew its orders; a Nigerian company even started a lawsuit against OLPC, claiming copyright infringements . The other original pilot countries never deployed considerable amounts of laptops . Wayan Vota 13 wrote on OLPCNews in 2007: “I think that the OLPC Leadership confused Presidents loving the populist idea of a laptop for every child with Ministers of Education or Technology investing $150 $176 million dollars on untested hardware, laptops that don't even have an implementation plan14 .”  Microsoft and Intel15, being afraid to lose future markets 16, started torpedoing the project  . In 2010, Nicholas Negroponte delineated the issue in a Spanish online magazine:
Millenium Development Goals: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/ (Accessed: 03/24/2011) Wayan Vota is the founder of OLPCNews, an independent blog providing critical coverage about the OLPC
project. He himself is not undisputed, owed to alleged connections to Intel (see: http://www.0xdeadbeef.com/weblog/2006/12/conspracy-theories-about-olpcnews/ (Accessed: 03/24/2011)) and his sometimes rather provocative style of writing.
This statement has been acknowledged by Nicholas Negroponte in the New York Times about half a year later:
“I have to some degree underestimated the difference between shaking the hand of a head of state and having a check written.” 
Intel originally was involved with OLPC but left in 2008 when quarrels about their own Classmate project, which
targeted similar audiences as OLPC, evolved .
The XO-1 has been equipped with an AMD chip and a Linux based operating system.
“Sí. Cuando empezamos con el proyecto yo pensaba en nosotros mismos como la Madre Teresa […] Pero la realidad es que Microsoft o Intel no nos ven así. No es que no les gustemos nosotros; es que no les gusta el software de código abierto que instalamos ni nuestros procesadores. […] Es una competencia de la peor clase, destructiva. Hemos distribuido dos millones de ordenadores, pero si Intel o Microsoft hubieran colaborado la cifra podría haber sido mayor.”17  Today Uruguay is the only country that de facto has managed to deploy one laptop per child, having distributed a total of about 420,00018 laptops. Another 90,000 XO-HS, the high school variant of the XO, have been ordered yet . In Peru, 290,000 XOs have been deployed19. Another 580,000 XO-1.5s have been ordered 20. To reach a 1:1 ratio, about 8,5 million XOs would be needed, however   . Other countries or cities with high deployment rates are Rwanda, Argentina, Mexico, Birmingham (Alabama), Haiti, and Mongolia . In 2007 and 2008, OLPC started two G1G1 (Give one Get one) campaigns 21. The ﬁrst of these was successful, selling almost 80,000 laptops, while the second one completely failed, selling no more than 6,000 laptops . In 2008, Nicholas Negroponte changed directions and tried to get Microsoft involved by “thinking out loud” about running only22 Windows XP on the XOs . Prominent members of the open source community, having seen OLPC not only as an educational project but also exploited it as a vehicle on their crusade against Microsoft, were shocked. Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation declared:
Analogous translation: When we started, I thought we are like Mother Theresa. But the reality is, that Intel and
Microsoft do not see us like that. It is not that they do not like us. It is the open source software that we are installing and the processors that we are using that they do not like. It is a competition of the worst type: destructive. We distributed two million laptops, but if Intel and Microsoft had joined us the number might be bigger.
This and the following numbers are based on the OLPC wikiʼs deployments page . Other OLPC wiki pages
show slightly varying numbers. A discussion about the correctness of currently published numbers starts here: http://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg10949.html (Accessed: 03/24/2011)
Deployed does not necessarily mean that they are in the hands of children. According to Christoph Derndorfer
(co-editor of OLPCNews, and OLPC Austria volunteer who has visited the OLPC deployments in South America in 2010), 40,000 of them are still sitting in a warehouse in Lima. http://email@example.com/msg10966.html (Accessed: 03/24/2011)
Christoph Derndorfer mentions 300,000 instead of 580,000 additionally ordered laptops for Peru . Except for a developer program, this was the only way to get hold of an XO in the industrialized world. You had
to buy two laptops. One of those was donated to a deployment in those places where the government would not start a nationwide program.
In 2006, Speaking at Red Hat's annual user event he still had claimed that, “if I am annoying Microsoft and Intel
then I ﬁgure I am doing something right.” In 2007, the direction had been slightly corrected: “It would be hard for OLPC to say it was 'open' and then be closed to Microsoft. Open means open.” 
“Teaching children to use a proprietary (non-free) system such as Windows does not make the world a better place, because it puts them under the power of the system's developer -- perhaps permanently. You might as well introduce the children to an addictive drug.”  Ivan Krstić, former OLPC Chief of Security commented this appropriately drastic: “Oh, for fuck's sake. You really just employed a simile comparing a proprietary OS to addictive drugs? You know, ones causing actual bodily harm and possibly death? […] The problem is that Stallman doesn't appear to actually give an acrobatic shit about learning, and sees OLPC as a vehicle for furthering his political agenda.”  A more serious effect of the announcement to switch from Sugar to Windows, was the resignation of Walter Bender23
who left OLPC to start SugarLabs . Originally Sugar was
used as the name for both, the XO’s graphical user interface, which will be introduced in some more detail in chapter 3.3.1, and the entire operating system consisting of a modiﬁed Fedora Linux and the Sugar GUI . This improper usage of the name Sugar led to complications as Negroponte, who according to Ivan Krstić demonstrated little knowledge about his own product, started to blame the Sugar UI for emerging architectural problems on the XO . The real culprits, according to Krstić, were those who decided to buy certain faulty hardware components with closed-source ﬁrmware that could not be ﬁxed by the developers . According to Warschauer and Ames25, large numbers of XO’s are rendered unusable during the ﬁrst two years owed to XO-1 speciﬁc hardware problems [36, p.43]. Whether Negroponte’s decision to philander with Microsoft was driven by his dissatisfaction with OLPC sales as it has been claimed by Edward Cherlin , or Negroponte’s dissatisfaction with Sugar  is of secondary importance as the plan did not work anyway. Most of the customers preferred to buy XOs running Sugar than those that came with Windows . The relationship between OLPC and SugarLabs was severely damaged, however. While OLPC concentrated on the hardware, SugarLabs developed Sugar for a wider variety of hardware platforms and operating systems. The split of OLPC and SugarLabs, which could have been a possibly good solution, giving both organizations more freedom of choice, turned out to be weakening both organizations. OLPC was left with few developers, and had
Walter Bender was Nicholas Negroponteʼs successor as the director of the MIT media lab and a cofounder of
OLPC . He was OLPCʼs President of Software and Content until 2008, and from then on President of Deployment. As President of Software he was responsible for the development of Sugar  .
According to Wayan Vota, the author of the quoted article (dated April 21, 2008), Bender claimed not to know
about any Microsoft plans. Two days later (April 23, 2008), these plans were made “semi-ofﬁcial” by Nicholas Negroponte .
Mark Warschauer is a professor at the Department of Education and the Department of Informatics at the Uni-
versity of California, Irvine. Morgan Ames is a PhD candidate at Stanford University  .
to release software for its new XO-1.5 that was built on a shaky foundation. Fedora 11 and Sugar 0.84 were almost outdated before the XO-1.5 was released. OLPC still had the contacts to the deployments but was incapable to react to their feedback. SugarLabs had a bigger developer base but was left without an audience . Yioryos Asprobounitis (mavrothal)26 posted on the OLPCNews Forum in 2009: “The development is proceeding with no real life feedback simply because they are separated from their user-base. […] As a result there is a race for the ‘next Sugar release’ with the new and improved features, with no idea how the old features worked and who (other than the developers) needs these new features. […]Sugar developers will tell you in desperation ‘but why these people do not send us any feed back?’ Simple. They are OLPC XO-1 deployments!”  In 2009, OLPC, had to layoff half of its remaining staff. This was owed to the failure of the second G1G1 program; also some of OLPC’s biggest corporate sponsors dropped their support, due to their own ﬁnancial problems [43, p.2]. The OLPC Foundation also was restructured. According to Chuck Kane27, “the visionary project” was “converted into a business.” The support for the large Latin American customers was spun out of the OLPC Foundation and adopted by the newly founded OLPC Associa-
Figure 1: OLPC and SugarLabs
Yioryos Asprobounitis is developing Puppy linux for the XO. Chief Operations Ofﬁcer of the OLPC Foundation 2008-2009 .
tion, Inc. 28 The OLPC Association moved to Miami to be closer to its customers [43, p.2]. The situation in OLPC’s and Sugar’s development improved in 2010 when SugarLabs and the OLPC Association started collaborating again . Besides the ﬁnancial problems, OLPC had some severe customer support and community management problems in the past. OLPC’s wiki was (and still is) a mess . Marketing and public relations were neglected [47, comment by Sean Daly]. Nobody responded to customer requests as there was no particular person with this responsibility [47, comments by Wayan Vota and Yama Ploskonka]. The developers, on the other hand, were embarrassed as many requests were addressed directly to them and disturbed their workﬂow. Particularly, the G1G1 customers, which for some time were the largest user group, were not even considered a “core ‘client’, end user, [or] ‘constituency’.” [47, comment by Martin Langhoff] Supporters and Volunteers, were turned off by OLPC executives’ policy to keep them at distance [47, comment by Yama Ploskonka]. Since then, the community relations have improved a lot. Adam Holt is doing a great job as OLPC’s community support manager29. He is also bridging the (non-digital) gap to Sugar Labs, where he is a member of the oversight board . The customer support for the large deployments in Uruguay and Peru was even worse than for the G1G1 customers. Ivan Krstić states that, “there was no one hired to work on deployment[…], with Uruguay's and Peru's combined 360,000 laptop rollout in progress.” In the end, he himself, not having the slightest idea about deployment, was sent to Uruguay and Peru: alone. Later, Walter Bender was demoted to “‘director of deployment,’ a position where he directed his expansive team of— himself.” Finally, Walter Bender quit and OLPC had “half a million laptops in the wild, with no one even pretending to be ofﬁcially in charge of deployment.”  Krstić had warned OLPC in an internal memo a couple of months before: “We have multiple concurrent rollouts of differing scale in progress — Uruguay with eight thousand machines, G1G1 with potentially a quarter million — and with at least Peru and Mongolia on the horizon within a month from now. We have no real support infrastructure for these rollouts, our development process is not allocating any time for dealing with critical deployment issues that (will inevitably) come up, and we have no process for managing the crises that will ensue. I wish I could say this is the bulk of our problems, but I mention these ﬁrst simply because I predict it's these deployments that
Currently, Chuck Kane is the Director of the OLPC Association. As far as I can judge it. See also:
http://www.olpcnews.com/countries/rwanda/olpc_job_opportunities_point_to_the_future.html (Accessed: 03/24/ 2011) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg10216.html (Accessed: 03/24/2011) http://email@example.com/msg17155.html (Accessed: 03/24/2011)
will impose the heaviest burden on this organization in the coming months — a burden we're presently entirely unprepared to handle.”  The reason that the project has not turned into a “into a historical information technology fuckup unparalleled in scale”  is that both Uruguay and Peru managed to take control of these issues themselves, and that the G1G1 programs by far did not sell the number of laptops that had been expected. Figure 2 highlights OLPC’s hardware development30. The hand-crank that still was featured by an early design study has soon been abandoned. The XO-1 is currently the model with the highest distribution rate. The XO-2, also known as XOXO, which had been announced as the next generation OLPC laptop in 2008, never was released and was ofﬁcially cancelled in 2009 . Instead, the XO-1.75 and the XO-3 were announced , and the XO-1.5— basically an XO-1 with more power and storage, a working trackpad, and a different wireless chip— was released. The XO-1.75, which also will be optically identical to the XO-1, has been announced for 2011 . The basic difference to the XO-1.5 will be its ARM processor. ARM processors
Figure 2: Approximated timeline of XO models
are Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) processors; they are particularly power efﬁcient and therefore often have been used in handheld devices . OLPC claims that the new processor “will enable 2x the speed at 1/4 the power.”  According to Ed McNierney31, this will provide twice the battery life as it is currently available, 8 hours instead of 4 hours . The XO-3, ﬁnally, will be a tablet PC and has been announced for 2012. It will pick up
The dates have been approximated by comparing several news pages      . An unofﬁcial
timeline produced by OLPC-France has been helpful as well . The actual dates are slightly differing in most of the sources.
OLPCʼs Chief Technology Ofﬁcer .
the technology that is used in the XO-1.75, and ﬁnally will be the ﬁrst real $100 laptop by OLPC. The price of the other models varies between $150 and $200 32 .
3.2 Fundamental Dilemmas
“The goal for any country is a creative society, one that fosters achievement and collaboration and has a high quality of life, measured by the happiness and education of its people more than the volume and nature of its exports.” 
“Those who don’t love me do not deserve to live, it will be hell for them […] defeat and kill those who are protesting.”  These quotes illustrate one of OLPC’s basic dilemmas. Deﬁnitely, Nicholas Negroponte is right when he is claiming that a creative society should be each country’s goal. Unfortunately, it is not the reality on this planet.33 For certain, Muammar al-Gaddaﬁ is not the role model for all countries’ leaders; however, he was one of the Presidents that were originally targeted to be OLPC customers. Negroponte met him in a desert tent in 2006 ; Gaddaﬁ signed a Memorandum of Understanding  to provide all Libyan children with an XO 34, “because it ﬁt into his political agenda of creating a more open Libya.” (Nicholas Negroponte quoted by John Markoff in the New York Times ) In general, it can be stated that, particularly in those areas that are primarily targeted by the OLPC Foundation, a creative society is often not topping the list of the governments’ goals. 35 36 Due to organizational issues, OLPC refused to collaborate with NGOs in the beginning and focused on Ministries of Education. Later on this practice has been eased  .
At the time when the ﬁrst XOs were released, this price still was unique. Today there are other computers avail-
able in this price range. Negroponteʼs attitude towards competition has changed completely in the recent years. While he accused Intel of “undermining” OLPCʼs efforts in 2007 , he welcomed other manufacturers to compete with the XO in 2009 .
Buckminster Fuller stated yet in 1962 that, “one of the great mistakes that society has been demonstrating in
our last century has been that of leaving the most important problems to the men who are bankrupt in creative thinking ability.” [69, p.81]
Finally, he ordered 150,000 Classmate PCs, however . According to Ashraf Ghani, former treasury secretary of Afghanistan: “Most of the globe, experiences the state
as suppressive.” 
This statement is addressing some African countries more than the large deployments in South America as will
be shown in chapter four. In Paraguay (a rather small OLPC deployment), for example, there even is a dedicated plan to achieve this goal (at least on paper): “In November 2007 the Ministry of Education, in conjunction with the Council for the National Integrity System (CISNI), proposed a national plan intended to develop a citizenry that is critical, capable of exercising its rights and active in issues of national interest.” [72, p. 204]
OLPC’s second dilemma is the discrepancy between desire and reality in terms of the learning goals and learning method. One of OLPC’s declared goals is to introduce constructionist learning in schools . In chapter four it will be shown that the educational tradition in many developing37 countries is directly conﬂicting with this goal, and thus caused the failure of at least one early OLPC deployment 38 39. Scott Kipp 40 stated on EduTechDebate41: “I’ve worked with and observed OLPC initiatives in Harlem, Haiti, Peru and Mozambique, each having their own merits, challenges and approaches. I’ve seen very scant evidence of constructionism in practice. […] in most places the projects are very far from those scenarios of the ‘radical reorientation’ of the classroom the constructionists envisioned.”  Larry Cuban predicted this in 2006: “However, if part of their [OLPC’s] rationale is that it will revolutionize education in various countries, I don’t think it will happen, and they are naïve and innocent about the reality of formal schooling.”  The third dilemma is that the OLPC project is an attempt to square the circle. On one hand, it is supposed to ameliorate the educational situation in the most remote and poor places  where no teachers are available42 [31, comment by Oscar Becerra]; on the other, hand it requires internet, electricity, and teachers that are trained in ICT . Warschauer and Ames state that, in contrary to Negroponte’s statements about bringing laptops to the poorest and remotest children  more than 80% of the deployed XOs have gone to high or uppermiddle income countries [36, p.36]. While Nicholas Negroponte is indefatigably traveling around the world to promote the idea that you just have to give laptops to children and they will be miraculously educating themselves  , Walter Bender is rather unhappy with these statements:
The same applies to many industrialized countries as well. The term industrialized country will be used
throughout this text to differentiate these countries from developing countries. It is not intended to state, however, that industrialization is necessarily the position to which developing countries should be developing.
Why OLPC Ethiopia is considered a failure will be discussed in chapter four. According to Steve Hamm of Bloomberg Businessweek, this is also one of the reasons why China and India
rejected the OLPC program .
40 41 42
A researcher working for the Inter-American Development Bank. http://www.edutechdebate.org According to Wade Davis, an anthropologist working for National Geographic, the wording remote region itself
is ﬂawed: “And ﬁnally, in the end I think it is pretty obvious, at least to all of us who have traveled in these remote regions of the planet, to realize that they are not remote at all. They are homelands of somebody.” 
“Since the early days of One Laptop per Child I spent a lot of energy combating the accusations that OLPC's plan is to give hardware to children, sit back, and wait for miracles to happen. The sustained efforts of the Sugar community and the enormous investment in support made by the various deployment teams around the world are tangible evidence that we do not waiting for miracles – rather we are doing the hard work to ensure that the opportunity to learn is made available to every child. It is therefore disheartening to hear Nicholas Negroponte once again say "You can, you actually can" [give a kid a laptop connected to the Internet and walk away].”  The OLPC project was started based on a couple of rather idealistic assumptions. Warschauer and Ames even state that the assumptions are fundamentally ﬂawed [36, p.34]. None of these assumptions had been proved by previous research  (see also ). In contrary, there existed research projects that showed that the bulk of computer programs, including 1:1 laptop programs, did not necessarily have a positive impact on learning  . Only those programs were successful that were embedded into an overall educational reform [36, p.35]. Kentaro Toyama, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, delineated this modus operandi as a general pattern in ICT4D : “Believers jump to address the scale of global problems before conﬁrming the value of the solution. They equate technology penetration with progress.“  The circumstances under which some of the OLPC deployments were started also were not optimal. Political reasons were often more important than educational reasons for the way that the deployments were rolled out. Chapter four will discuss these topics in more detail. Finally, the basic assumption about the connection between learning and programming is at least debatable. Nicholas Negroponte stated, e.g. in 2007 during a TED Talk: “This is teaching children thinking. Kids who write computer programs understand things differently, and when they debug the programs, they come the closest to learning about learning.”  Seymour Papert, advisor to OLPC , has been claiming this since the 1960s [85, p.1]. He is undoubtedly right when he argues that to “learn how to learn” is a more valuable skill than memorization . It is doubted, however, that: 1. Learning how to learn can be reduced to the application of computer programming, 2. Computer programming is the ideal medium to transport this ability for all children.
Waldorf 43 teachers, for example, even discourage exposure to computers until the eighth grade; as, in their opinion, computers suggest that achievements can be made without effort 44. Instead, they encourage activities such as woodcarving, which, according to them, is teaching that only those are rewarded that commit a certain amount of diligence and emotional effort to their activities. The traditional Montessori45 46 environment also discourages the use of computers. 
3.3 Special Features
This section will highlight two of the most prominent features of the XO, the Sugar user interface and the XO’s mesh networking abilities.
3.3.1 The Sugar UI
Sugar, the GUI was particularly designed to be intuitively usable for children. Sugar breaks with the conventional Desktop metaphor, instead it features a zooming metaphor. Similar concepts have been delineated, e.g., by Jef Raskin . Children can either zoom out to their neighborhood of classmates and friends or in to a certain activity. Sugar also supports a different type of storage organization. There is no hierarchical directory structure to store the ﬁles. Generally, ﬁles and applications are not separated but bundled in so called activities. Some activities are able to export ﬁles into other formats. These activities are stored in chronological order in the Journal, which replaces the classical ﬁle system. The children’s data is always saved automatically. From the beginning, it had to face much criticism from
The Waldorf method was invented by Rudolf Steiner, when he was asked to built a school for the children of the
workers of the Waldorf cigarette company in Stuttgart shortly after the end of World War I . Academics such as grades, competitive sports, and scientiﬁc subjects are omitted during the early years while arts, music, and fairy tales are emphasized strongly. The children are surrounded with beautiful things, and it is advocated to send them to school a year later than usual. The Waldorf method is said to produce students with an inner motivation to learn, strong conﬁdence, and self-esteem .
Probably they never have modeled a Polygon model in a 3D modeling program of choice. Otherwise they
would know better.
The term Montessori is not patented. So everybody can (and does) use it as a label for a wide variety of con-
Maria Montessori had been working with children in the slums of Rome and in her Indian exile during World
War II. The Montessori method emphasizes on respecting the differences and the individuality of children. The children are encouraged to take responsibility for real world duties at an early age to strengthen their self-esteem. Teachers are observing the child and are suggesting tasks, which might ﬁt the interests of the child. The children are allowed to concentrate on their work, and interruptions are avoided. The children are not separated by age; classrooms are multi-aged and multi-graded. Children are not forced to attend lessons or to accomplish tasks. Despite this “lack of discipline” Montessori schools show a constantly high level of academic achievement .
various directions. Some members of the original XO developer team, Ivan Krstić for example, found it too hard for a small team to build a complete new GUI platform, and silly to discard the achievements that have been made by earlier GUIs 47 . Walter Bender, however, was convinced that Sugar is indispensable: “Just giving kids a traditional desktop, whether it's a Linux desktop or a Windows desktop or a Mac desktop, that's inadequate.”  A couple of user experience designers criticized its usability, often without taking the special needs of the XO’s target group into account. Fran Toolan48 completely missed the point that Sugar had been developed for children in developing countries when he stated that Sugar is “not intuitive for the hardcore windows and mac users.” He probably was right, however, when he stated that “it is clear that it was built by developers for developers.”  Adam Greenﬁeld 49 stated that Sugar has “some innovative and useful features,” but found “the operating system poorly integrated with applications.”  Christopher Fahey50 noticed an “idealistic and haphazard usage of language-agnostic iconography, which falls apart at every turn whenever words become unavoidable, defeating the whole point of using icons,” and “frequent lapses into a menagerie of half-baked and crappy open source user interfaces.”  Harry Brignull51 even stated that “the whole ‘breaking away from the desktop’ smacks heavily of academics who have ﬁnally found an outlet for their wacky ideas.”  He asked: “What will a traditional UI seem like to kids who grew up with the Sugar UI? Weirdly upside down? […] What kind of foundation are we giving these kids when they eventually get faced with a ‘normal’ desktop?”  This question is discussed controversial elsewhere, and will not be discussed here as it is purely speculative in many concerns. As Christoph Derndorfer pointed out in a private email: Sugar is intended to be used by six-year-olds. No one knows what a normal desktop interface will look like when they are sixteen. 52
According to Sascha Silbe, Senior Developer at SugarLabs,  the number of bugs to be ﬁxed in the current
Sugar versions is approaching one thousand yet. The requirement to completely rework Sugar and its user interaction design due to the XO-3ʼs multitouch screen, might pose quantitative problems to the Sugar developer community . 48 Founder and President of Firebrand Technologies http://www.ﬁrebrandtech.com/community/ﬁrebrand-team.php (Accessed: 03/24/2011) 49 Founder of Urbanscale, previously Nokiaʼs head of design direction for service and user interface http://urbanscale.org/about-urbanscale/ (Accessed: 03/24/2011) 50 User Experience Director at Behavior - http://behaviordesign.com/ (Accessed: 03/24/2011)
Senior User Experience designer at Clearleft - http://clearleft.com/is/harrybrignull/ (Accessed: 03/24/2011) Free translation of the German original, which is attached in the appendix (1).
Many people were astonished, even upset that there has not been any user testing at all before Sugar had been released. Usability guru Jacob Nielsen himself said: “It’s always dangerous to release any product without the safeguard of user testing. But it’s outright reckless in a case like this.”  The Sugar development team defended their approach as being based on the MIT Media Lab principle “demo or die.”  John Maeda, head of the MIT Computing and Aesthetics Lab, backed the Sugar team: “They're using the Steve Jobs method, you don't use focus groups. You just do it right."  As even Steve Jobs did not do everything right 53, Sugar also has not been perfect from the start. On a more detailed level as the criticism mentioned above, Cameron Moll54 pointed out that, the tiny scrollbars are ignoring Fitts’ Law, and the two button Trackpad is not easy to understand for children  (see also .) A related issue was observed by Jeff Patzer, a former OLPC intern in Peru. According to him, most children there had problems to ”properly utilize the shift, alt gr, hand, and other modiﬁer keys.”  An evaluation done by the Graz University of Technology in cooperation with the University of Teacher Education Styria in 2009 concentrates on the activities that are delivered with the XOs. It states that the teachers that have been using the XOs during this research “were faroff being satisﬁed with the software contained in the OLPC standard distribution.” These teachers were well accustomed to ICT and had special trainings in didactics of e-learning. They formulated precise requirements based on ”well-established principles in didactics of mathematics in primary education,” which have been documented as a collaborative project of students of the universities mentioned above [101, p.3ff]. They particularly missed software for training reading, calculating, and typewriting [101, p.7]. Although a couple of XO deployments have been evaluated, large scale user acceptance tests have not been encountered, so far. 55 56 The feedback from the deployments, which might be the most valuable resource, still has not reached a substantial height.57 The close ties between Sugar and the XO have been loosened by separating SugarLabs from OLPC. Sugar is currently available as a learning environment on a multitude of operating systems, including various Linux Distributions as well as Windows and Mac OS. Recently,
53 54 55
See, for example, http://lowendmac.com/coventry/06/apple-project-bigmac.html (Accessed: 03/24/2011) Web Designer, Author of the book CSS Mastery. The recently founded commercial company Activity Central, http://activitycentral.com/, is currently trying to ﬁll
this gap .
David Farning, the founder of Activity Central, complained about SugarLabs missing awareness for usability
issues in 2010: “Any problems with Sugar are because the user, teacher, or deployment is not smart or motivated enough. What are the usability concerns of users, teachers, and deployments? How are those concerns being addressed?” 
Source: Personal conversations with Simon Schampijer. (January 11, 2011 and January 25, 2011)
the XO comes with a preinstalled dual boot of Sugar and Gnome, a conventional Linux desktop UI. During the time of this research the three latest builds of the XO’s operating system (767, 852, and 860) have been used. Albeit it is still far from being perfect , Sugar’s quality has improved from build to build.
3.3.2 The Mesh Network
The OLPC XOs automatically connect to each other, thus generating a network. Some of the XO’s activities are using this feature to enable the children to share “things.” The Browse activity lets the children share bookmarks, the Write activity enables them to collectively edit documents, similar to GoogleDocs. This might be a useful feature if it really enabled children that are unable to be physically present in the classroom to connect to school from home, attending class via chat, etc. A research by Rastogi, et al. determined an average distance of about sixty meters in line of sight as the maximal distance between two XOs for practical use58 [105, p.2]. I also conducted an experiment connecting two XOs in my ﬂat. One of the laptops stayed in my ofﬁce (ﬁgure 3-➊), the other one was moved from the living-room (ﬁgure 3-➌) to the kitchen, and from there to the balcony (ﬁgure 3-➋). The
Figure 3: Experimenting with the range of the XOʼs network capabilities
distance between these locations did not differ signiﬁcantly, but the step to the balcony added another closed door. While it was
possible to connect the laptops at any places inside of the ﬂat, the connection dropped at a distance of about ten or twelve meters as soon as the balcony door was closed. Assumed that, in a majority of cases, the children will not be able to connect to the internet from home, this leaves little more use cases than in-classroom or so called under-a-tree  scenarios to apply this feature for collaborative learning59
Simple pings were possible up to a distance of 150m It will be discussed in chapter 5.2 why a technological solution is not considered to be appropriate in these sce-
see also http://www.zdnet.com/blog/ou/why-olpc-mesh-wireless-networking-wont-work/777 and
3.4 Problematic Developments
In 2010, an activity called juegos_ﬂash-2 had been published on SugarLabs by a couple of 13year-old children  . This activity contained a couple of Flash games, which they had found on the internet. One of the games taught to mix cocktails, another was called “Smack your ex.”  Apart from the dubious content, the games were not copyright free. Obviously, the children had done exactly what they were supposed to do: learning by themselves. Nobody had taught them about the legal and moral implications; or they just did not care. Owed, to a functioning community monitoring, the games were removed before harm was done.  A more problematic development is the growing interest that large international companies such as Nestlé are showing in the XO as an advertisement platform. In March 2011, a game specially developed for the XO, which is undisguisedly promoting Nestlé Vascolet was proudly presented on the OLPC SUR mailing-list 61 . Vascolet is a program to educate children and parents about the importance of calcium. Uruguay’s National Public Health authorities are concerned that
Figure 4: The XO, Nestléʼs Trojan horse? Screenshot from http://www.nestle.com.uy/vascolet/
high percentages of children in this country do not consume sufﬁcient amounts of calcium to fulﬁll the daily requirements . It
should not be forgot though that in the 1970s Nestlé was famous for its ruthless promotion of its products in developing countries which was considered to be the reason for the starvation of many babies by some NGOs 62  . OLPC France is currently working on a similar project with Danone . A critical discussion of the indoctrination of children by multinational corporations through educational material did not happen yet on the relevant mailinglists  .
The game was developed by a commercial company, Batovi Games Studio, in Montevideo An NGO in Switzerland had republished a study by a British NGO. The British study was titled “The Baby Killer;”
this was translated into “Nestlé tötet Babys.” (Nestlé kills Babies) Nestlé sued the NGO for publishing defamatory statements, such as the title of the study, the statement that Nestlé was responsible for the death of thousands of babies, the statement that Nestléʼs behavior was unethical, and the statement that Nestléʼs sales staff was disguised as nurses. The judges only imposed a symbolic penalty to the authors for the title of the study. Nestlé had to withdraw the rest of the charges. Since then a lot has improved, but still in 2002 it became public that Nestlé had distributed free samples of newborn nutrition in Togo and Burkina Faso, a practice, which is prohibited by the WHO codex  .
The OLPC project had a brilliant start in 2005, but soon had to face severe problems when it hit the ground of reality. It almost ended in a failure, which would have been a ﬁnancial and educational catastrophe for the involved developing countries. Having been completely restructured in 2009, OLPC currently is well on its way from a utopian idea to a sound business. Having deployed about two million laptops worldwide, the goals in sales, which had been set by OLPC itself, have been missed so far. Objectively speaking, these goals have to be considered unrealistic anyway. More important than absolute sales ﬁgures, however, is OLPC’s effect on the world’s consciousness about the topic of ICT and education in developing countries. Other initiatives have existed before OLPC, some of them will be discussed in chapter ﬁve, but none of them reached the scale of distribution and made it to the headlines in the way that OLPC did. Albeit that the early hype about OLPC has faded, the discussion about the topic in general deﬁnitely gained traction. The ﬁrst generation of XOs suffered from severe hardware problems; these are often the price that had to be paid for inventing the future . Or to put it with Sir Ken Robinson63 : “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with something original.”  The application of more tests before mass deployment could have avoided that these issues were distributed to almost 2 million children in the world. Most certainly, Sugar was not “just done right” in the beginning. It is also far from being perfect at the moment, but it has been improved a lot in the recent years, and constantly is being improved by a small, but very devoted community of developers. The decision not to use a standard system, be it Windows or Linux, has to be paid with a high toll, as it impedes the usage of standard components or applications, and the developers constantly have to catch up with new developments and a growing number of bugs.
Advisor to the governments of the UK and Singapore, Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of
4 Economical and Political Context
“ I n o rd e r to re a lly u n d e r s tan d w h a t is go ing o n, w e ha ve to a b a ndo n s ta r ting w ith pa r ts , a nd we must work instead from the whole to the particulars.” Buckminster Fuller [69, p.29]
The educational systems in many countries world wide are facing severe problems as they have to adapt to new societal circumstances, caused by globalization and the ongoing transformation of the industrial society into an information society [82, p.5]. The situation is especially hard for developing countries, as the quality of their teachers’ education is often less than sufﬁcient , their infrastructure is often very poor; some schools are not even connected to roads  , not to speak about electricity or even internet, they generally lack money, and they often have corrupt or dictatorial political systems . To divide between developed and developing countries is a little too simplistic, however. A variety of aspects have to be contemplated. In the United States, for example, there are huge discrepancies concerning the educational situation according to the Socioeconomic Status (SES) of the students and their parents. Since the most recent crisis, the situation is rapidly worsening. About 40 Million people in the US are currently reliant on food donations, the rate of homeless juveniles living on the streets of the cities or in camps in the woods is dramatically augmenting . America’s Youngest Outcasts, a report by the National Center on Family Homelessness, reports about 1.5 million— one out of ﬁfty— homeless children in the United States [122, p.i]. High school diplomas are hardly achieved by homeless children, as poverty and homelessness are strongly correlated with educational outcomes [122, p.27f]. According to the most recent PISA study the situation in Germany is also problematic; especially children with migrant backgrounds are disadvantaged . The city of Wismar in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has a dropout rate of 24%. Even twelve year old children are refusing to go to school . Comparable problems also exist, e.g., for Spain’s Gypsy community . A report by the Unesco Institute for statistics from 2010, states that many countries will face a teacher shortage by 2015. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan are facing the worst problems64. But, also the United States, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Saudi-Arabia, and a couple of former Soviet Republics are missing teachers . Signiﬁcant differences exist between the circumstances in developing countries as well. The following paragraphs will provide information about the context of selected OLPC deployments in Uruguay, Peru, India, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Rwanda.
Addendum: According to a UNESCO report the situation in many sub-Saharan African countries had improved
tremendously in the past decade. Many countries in this region were able to spend more money on education due to their economic growth. The progress is slowed down by the international ﬁnancial crisis and the rapid growth of population in the region. 
Figure 5: Timeline of the selected OLPC Deployments
Uruguay is a country with a high literacy rate (99%)  and a rather good infrastructure. Most of the people (92%) live in its capital Montevideo or other cities , Spanish is the only ofﬁcial language . 98% of the primary schools have internet access . The world bank lists Uruguay as an upper-middle-income economy . Uruguay currently is the only country65 world wide that actually has met the goal of a one-to-one XO ratio for all primary school children  . In 2010, the project has been expanded to secondary schools as well . It is debatable if Plan Ceibal66 — Uruguay’s one-to-one OLPC laptop project— was reasonable at the beginning. In 2007 Uruguay’s then president Tabaré Vazquez decided to provide each of the country’s primary school students with a laptop of her own. The rollout of the deployment had to be run in a kick-and-rush fashion, as elections were approaching, and it was Vazquez’ will to make the laptop program his political legacy  (see also ). Plan Ceibal has been technically implemented by the Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay (LATU). A subdivision of LATU, called Centro para la Inclusión Tecnológica y Social (CITS) is coordinating the educational activities around Plan Ceibal. For example, Canal Ceibal, a TV program that is presenting ways to include the XO into the classroom. The videos produced by this program are also available on YouTube.  Next to those semipublic organizations several networks of volunteers have emerged. Flor de Ceibo, a project that was started at the Universidad de la República in Montevideo is working on getting students involved with Plan Ceibal to enable new forms of collaboration between the universities and the society. An NGO called ceibalJam is focussed on producing software and educational content. Finally, RAP Cei-
Except for Niue, an Island in the Paciﬁc Ocean with only 500 children enrolled in school [36, p.36]. CEIBAL is an acronym for Conectividad Educativa de Informática Básica para el Aprendizaje en Línea – Basic
educational connectivity for online learning. Ceibo is also the name of a typical Uruguayan ﬂower .
bal67, a network of volunteers, supports Plan Ceibal with repairing the XOs or compiling surveys about the state and use of the XOs . For example, the local RAP Ceibal of San José, a town near Montevideo, evaluated the state of the XO project in their community. They visited about 11.000 households and asked about the state of the machines, who is using them, and the knowledge of the parents about the support networks. They found out that only 68% of the laptops were still working. Out of the broken XOs, only 8% were in repair. As for the reasons why the laptops were not subjected to a service 26% claimed not to have the money, 40% lacked the time, and 20% did not know the process. 70% of the households did not know about the existence of RAP Ceibal. 75% of the queried households stated that Plan Ceibal is very good, 22% still stated it is good [131, p.2ff]. From the point of view of community integration and general acceptance in public, Plan Ceibal has to be considered a successful project. Another interesting number is the amount of teachers that are actively participating in the project. As an attempt to evaluate this number, the participants of the OLPC SUR mailing-list have been counted. OLPC SUR is the mailing-list “para usuarios, docentes, voluntarios, y administradores” in Latin America. About 55 people are actively, but not necessarily regularly, using this list 68, these are not only teachers and not only Uruguayans. Counting the participants on a mailing-list, naturally, can only give a very vague notion about the actual acceptance of the program amongst teachers. Neither does it prove that those that are posting are using the laptops in class, nor does it prove that those that are not posting are not using the laptops. To set this number in context: the number of primary school teachers in Uruguay has been raised from 19,000 in 2007 to 23,000 in 2008 . An evaluation by Plan Ceibal states that only 21.5% of the teachers are using the XOs regularly. 54.5% are using them once or twice a week [133, p.9].
Peru is the other large government sponsored OLPC deployment in Latin America. The situation here is substantially worse than in Uruguay. Due to organizational problems, no one knows how many laptops are working, or even where they are at all69 . Peru‘s geographical conditions are challenging— ranging from the high mountainous regions of the Andes to
Red de Apoyo al Plan Ceibal - Support Network for Plan Ceibal  This number has been manually counted from the mailing-list trafﬁc between September 2010 and March 2011.
There might be more passive subscribers.
The source of this information was a personal conversation on January 15, 2011 with Antje Breitkopf, a re-
searcher at the University of Hamburg who spent one year in Peru to study the impact of the OLPC program at schools in the regions of Puno (Andes) and Madre de Dios (Amazonian jungle). She stated that some of the schools she has visited have not received any XOs while they were listed as recipients from the Ministry of Education. Another school that previously had received a computer lab had also received XOs and now had more computers than children.
the Amazonian rainforest . Only 1.5% of the schools that have received the laptops have internet access, 4.8% do not have electricity  (see also ). If a school has electricity, an insufﬁcient number of power outlets is often problematic70 . Taking a broken laptop to a place where it can be repaired and getting it back, can take a couple of weeks 71 [31, comment by Oscar Becerra]. Peru’s educational situation also is challenging: the available teachers often are poorly educated. An evaluation in 2007 showed that 62% of the teachers were below primary school level in reading comprehension, and even 92% were below primary school level in Math reasoning [31, comment by Oscar Becerra] . “Peru's student-teacher ratio is about 50% higher than Uruguay's” [31, comment by Robert Fadel]. Since 2007, the Peruvian Ministry of Education has spent $300 million in teacher reeducation. According to Oscar Becerra 72, it has been estimated that it will take at least another ten years of continuous efforts to reeducate the teachers in Peru’s public schools [31, comment by Oscar Becerra] . Hoping to bridge this process, 300,000 OLPC XOs have been purchased and distributed to the country’s poorest and remotest regions . In doing so, the Peruvian Ministry of Education followed Nicholas Negroponte’s argumentation: “When a nation lacks schools and lacks teachers, the short term solution is not necessarily to build buildings and train teachers. That takes too long. An alternative is to leverage the children themselves or, as Koﬁ Annan said in 2005: ‘Children can become more active in their own learning. They can learn by doing, not just through instruction or rote memorisation. Moreover, they can open a new front in their education: peer-topeer learning.’ In short, children can be teachers.”  A report by the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) shows that the XOs are received rather well by students, teachers, and parents [135, p.6f]. It shows also that the interest in the XOs and their pedagogical use decreases as soon as the novelty factor is gone [135, p.9]. According to the observations of Antje Breitkopf, only very few teachers are using the laptops on a daily basis, the average use is one to three times a week . This might be resulting from the inadequate teacher training that has been reported by Derndorfer and Breitkopf  . Oscar Becerra commented on this: “It is the lack of quality teacher education that results in teachers inadequately prepared to face a classroom, and this structural problem will not be ﬁxed by training them to use computers.” [31, comment by Oscar Becerra]
This is a problem that is not restricted to remote areas, however. We encountered a similar situation in the mid-
dle of Berlin during our workshop.
This is due to the extreme remoteness of these areas and not speciﬁc to the OLPC program. Chief Educational Technology Ofﬁcer at the Ministry of Education of Peru, in charge with the OLPC deployment
In contrary to Uruguay, the NGOs to assist with the implementation of the program are not very well embedded. Somos Azúcar, Peru’s local SugarLabs, has only ﬁve members . The communication and coordination of the Ministry of Education with this group and other organizations that are interested to collaborate is suboptimal [31, comments by laura, icarito, Rafael Ortiz, and Christoph Derndorfer]. Besides these issues, Peru faces the difﬁculty that next to Spanish there are other languages spoken: Aymara and Quechua. Particularly in the remote and poor regions, Spanish is not the mother tongue of most children .
Where the aspect of multiple ofﬁcial languages is concerned, no other country can beat India. Twenty-one ofﬁcial languages , and a variety of alphabets, not to mention all the dialects. Another particularity of India’s situation are the enormous discrepancies between its regions. Ranging from educational well-equipped high-tech hotspots, such as Bangalore or Chennai [81, p.60], to the complete absence of teachers and schools in parts of rural Bihar, for example   (see also [81, p.68]). OLPC and India had a rather special relationship from the beginning. Indian ofﬁcials still are disenchanted about the failure of Media Lab India, and are connecting this failure to the person of Nicholas Negroponte73 . India did not engage in a large scale OLPC deployment. Several Indian states have been interested to order XOs, but the process keeps being delayed by the central government . Currently, a total of only 750 laptops is deployed at several pilots throughout India. More impressing is the number of Indian developers who are working on Sugar activities. According to Manu Sheel Gupta, the founder and CEO of SEETA— an Indian educational software company— it will reach around 1,000 by November 2011 . One hundred of these developers will be “working on the use-cases decided by the initial roll out team of educators at Teach for India.”  Teach for India’s goal is to “reform education in India” and to “to seek an innovative solution to end educational inequity in the country.”  Teach for India sends volunteering undergraduate and graduate students, as well as young professionals to teach at underprivileged schools for two years, and provides training for these teachers . India also has its own, homegrown ICT4ed initiatives. Two of these, the Simputer and the Hole in the wall will be discussed in chapter ﬁve.
I had the honor to translate Negroponteʼs open letter to India, welcoming the Indian effort to produce a $35
educational tablet. I often had a feeling that though his offer to share knowledge was very kind and honorable, the letter had a somehow paternalistic undertone.
In Ethiopia, only 60% of students are enrolled in school. The average teacher-student ratio is one to seventy-two . The educational tradition is based on rote-learning. Most of the teachers themselves have been taught in this fashion. “Exceptionally high importance is placed on the established hierarchy of authority from the teacher and the subordination of the student.” [146, p.4] An attempt to change this system by imposing constructionist technology on top, without reeducating the teachers and changing the complete school system was doomed to failure . Students who are discovering information on their own or teaching themselves are an educational nightmare for Ethiopian teachers. It is perceived that the students would not have to do that if the teachers would do their job properly. The average Ethiopian student would not do anything more than asked “out of politeness and respect towards the teacher.”  As this entry in the OLPC wiki shows, the situation was misinterpreted by OLPC: “[…] It is also obvious that most schools in Ethiopia do not have additional reference materials which the kids can use as reference materials [sic]. […] as a consequence the kids do not develop learning by them selves[sic], exploring and experimenting.”  Despite the less than optimal prerequisites, Nicholas Negroponte had convinced Romano Prodi, then the Italian Prime Minister, to buy 50,000 XO laptops for Ethiopia . The Ethiopian government was talked into “taking ownership” of these laptops. A pilot was started in a couple of schools, and everybody was allegedly very enthusiastic. In the meantime Prodi lost his job as Prime Minister due to a government crisis, and the bubble burst. Finally the city of Brescia donated 5,000 XOs to Ethiopia in the context of a Give One, Get One “G1G1” program [148, p.19ff]. Soon the teachers found the laptops to be distracting. They also feared losing their authority and their acceptance as the source of knowledge. In the end, the laptops were banned from the classrooms by the teachers .
Afghanistan and Rwanda ﬁnally have been selected as examples of countries that are recovering from social catastrophes. In 1994, the world idly eyeballed  a genocide that had been carefully prepared by the former Rwandan government . The whole region faced many military conﬂicts during the following ten years . Since 2009, Rwanda’s capital
Kigali hosts the OLPC Learning Team . Rwanda’s current President Paul Kagame’s74 economical and educational objective is to apply information technology as the main strategy to transform the country to a medium-level income economy by 2020. As a means to achieve this goal, he has planned to bring computer literacy to primary school students . Currently, Rwanda is considered one of Africa’s economically most successful countries. According to Richard Grant of the Telegraph, “there is a national health system, 19 out of 20 children are now in school, and rural Rwanda, while still in severe poverty, has better internet service than rural Britain, and a good network of immaculately paved roads.”  The country is still heavily dependent on foreign aid, however . In 2009, half of its national budget has been foreign aid mostly by Britain and the US75 . According to OLPC, Rwanda will spent 20% of its education budget on laptops. 2.2 million children are supposed to receive an XO until 2012 . Ames and Warschauer contrast this with some other num-
Rwandaʼs current President Paul Kagame has a rather ambivalent record. He has been accused of war crimes
by French courts in 2006 , and by Spanish courts in 2008 . He has been called the “godfather of the illegal exploitation of natural resources” and was made responsible for the “continuation of the conﬂict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo” by a UN report . The accusations are heavily disputed  as he had stopped the 1994 genocide by invading Rwanda with his RPF (The Rwandan Patriotic Front was part of the regular Ugandan military. Its members were exiled Rwandans.). On the other hand, there is also evidence that he is responsible for having provided the occasion to start the genocide by shooting down the plane of former President Habyarimana . (See also http://cryptome.org/us-africa-wm.htm (Accessed: 02/27/2011) and http://michael-balter.blogspot.com/2008/04/romeo-dallaire-bill-clinton-and-rwanda.html (Accessed: 02/27/2011) for a discussion of the role of the Clinton administration in the Rwandan genocide.) Kagameʼs “election victory in 2003 was the result of ruthless manipulation.”  Kagame unsurprisingly won the elections in 2010 with about 96% (the number speaks for itself) of the votes. Two of his prominent opponents were killed, and another survived a shooting . Victoire Ingabire, the leader of an oppositional party was put under house arrest and therefore was unable to register as a candidate . Kagame is supported by western governments, particularly by the United States and Great Britain, as he guarantees political stability in this region. In 2009, he received the Clinton Global Citizen Award “for leading Rwanda ʻthrough an unparalleled transformationʼ and for having ʻforged a strong, uniﬁed and growing nation with the potential to become a model for the rest of the worldʼ . Recently, Kagame ordered that a US law professor was to be brought back to Rwanda: “dead or alive”. Peter Erlinder, the said law professor, worked as a lawyer at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and had leaked a draft UN report (http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net (Accessed: 02/27/2011)) accusing Kagameʼs troops of committing genocide in the Congo  . Erlinder stated that "UN documents in evidence at the UN Tribunal show Kagame is responsible for the Rwandan Genocide already and RPF culpability for 6-million deaths in the Congo is now public too."  To further discuss the moral integrity of OLPCʼs most recent customer would exceed the scope of this paper. It is not necessarily intended to state that OLPC should not cooperate with states such as Rwanda owed to the crimes of their political elite. Finally, it is not the childrenʼs fault. It is doubted, however, that verbalizations such as the “Honorable President Paul Kagame” on the OLPC wikiʼs page on Rwanda  are really adequate. A little more critical distance would be appreciated.
Sweden and the Netherlands, for example, had immediately stopped their help when they learned about the
connection between foreign aid and Rwandaʼs war in Congo .
bers. According to them, only 7% of the Rwandan households have electricity; the purchased or donated XOs are sufﬁcient for less than 5% of primary school children. Not all of them have been distributed yet [36, p.36]. Members of the OLPC Corps who were working on the Rwandan pilots reported about a situation similar to the one in Ethiopia: “[…] the primary method of learning is route[sic] memorization, i.e. the teacher copies material to the board and students write it down in notebooks. This is obviously a method which constructionism directly challenges: the laptops open up many opportunities for individualized exploration.”  According to an article in the Irish Times, laptops were stolen, lost, or sold by the children for a few dollars. There is no ofﬁcial plan who will be responsible for replacing them in such a case. Most Rwandans would not have the slightest chance to do that as the laptop’s value represents their wages for about half a year’s work . In some schools the children therefore were not allowed to take the laptops home. Another reason for this was the reluctance of many parents that did not like to see their children getting “entranced by the computers.”  “The parents ﬁnd the laptops are becoming an obsession. The kids don’t take time to eat, they stay up late and it becomes a distraction from their chores.”  It looks like this will become another issue for the Rwandan OLPC program: “How can the teachers use the laptops constructively when dealing with classes of more than 50 students and the demand of the national curriculum? In this context, OLPC’s insistence on preserving the ability of the students to take the XOs home makes sense. Entirely transforming educational systems would require more time and resources than just giving XO [sic] to every child. But, if the students can take the XOs home, then they can explore and learn independently.”  The number of currently distributed laptops in Rwanda is still being discussed and differs from 15,000 to 110,000 .
Afghanistan’s infrastructure has been destroyed during decades of war and ﬁnally the Taliban’s terror regime . Not only girls and women had not been allowed to go to school or to study; education, which did not adhere to the Sharia, had been considered to be the devil’s
work 76. Schools have been closed or burned, teachers have been killed . This resulted in an illiteracy rate amongst teachers in Afghanistan of about 25% in 2009 . In 2001, 800,000 children attended school. In 2010, this number has reached 7 million . Still, 40% of the children in Afghanistan— 50% of the girls— do not attend school . The schools are operating in shifts; therefore, each child receives about 2.5 hours of education per day, at a student teacher ratio of 1:50-75. OLPC has estimated that it would take 10-15 years to solve the problem by training more teachers, and building more schools . Currently 5000 XOs are deployed in about ﬁve or six schools . To provide all 4.7 million Afghan school children with their own laptop would cost about $940 million, which equivalents the current US expenditure in Afghanistan of 3.2 days 77 . Notwithstanding particularities in each of the countries, their regions can be divided to the following categories, based on the possibility of improving the educational situation by improving the teachers’ quality: Must ﬁx, might ﬁx, won’t ﬁx . Obviously, this is only a very simpliﬁed model of a rather complex reality. • Won’t ﬁx: There are no teachers available at all or teachers are only available during a very restricted timespan. • Must ﬁx: The educational system is based on restrictive learning methods, teachers are insufﬁciently educated. • Might ﬁx: Teachers are well educated and open for new methods of learning. The population in general is willing to engage. In the classic triage technique of bug-ﬁxing, the ﬁrst and the last category would not receive an immediate treatment. Concerning the usefulness or success of ICT in education it seems to be exactly the other way round. Those areas where there is not the slightest hope for another solution to the dilemma in the near future, the won’t-ﬁx-category, areas such as rural India, Afghanistan, and rural Peru, might be suitable candidates for an ICT solution; however, not for a one-to-one laptop program. Even if there was a way to ameliorate the quality of teachers’ education in a reasonable amount of time; in these cases it would not solve the problem but worsens the situation, as the better-educated teachers either ﬁnd better (paid) jobs in different professions , or at least leave the worst equipped remote parts of the country to ﬁnd easier teaching jobs in the cities . In the worst cases there are no teachers whose education could be improved. Training enough new teachers would take too much time
The Taliban were not alone in their ﬁght against science. See also the discussion in the US on evolution, crea-
tionism, and intelligent design, including death threats against evolutionary biologists http://membracid.wordpress.com/2007/07/12/weekly-wtf-more-threats-by-creationists/ (Accessed: 03/26/2011)
Warschauer and Ames report about 8,080 XOs that were bought from the US government to be donated to
Iraq. Half of them were sold for a couple of dollars by some businessman, the others have disappeared [36, p.36].
. Sugata Mitra’s Granny Cloud, which will be discussed in more detail in chapter ﬁve, is regarded to be the most auspicious model for these contexts. One-to-one laptop programs are not considered suitable for those places as they are too expensive and require not-available, well-trained teachers to be effective   [81, p.32]. An IDB report about a pre-pilot XO camp in Haiti states that 40% of the students experienced a ceiling effect while exploring the XOs without guidance. Instead of ﬁguring out how to solve a problem, they avoided the more complicated activities and constrained themselves to the things that were easy to handle78 [172, p.37f]. Even assumed, that Nicholas Negroponte was right that children can teach themselves with a laptop and internet access, there is yet another point that has to be considered. According to Bertrand Russell, “education, viewed from a social standpoint, must be something more positive than a mere opportunity for growth. It must of course provide this, but it must also provide a mental and moral equipment which children cannot acquire entirely for themselves.” [173, p.204] For the regions in the must-ﬁx-category other instruments than ICT to ameliorate their educational system are regarded superior. Instruments that are often not only cheaper but also promise better results. Instruments such as revamped curricula, teacher education, better infrastructure, or a better administration. Sometimes very simple things might improve the situation a lot. Kentaro Toyama 79, for example, reports about deworming medication’s signiﬁcant effect on school attendance rates 80 . Finally in the might-ﬁx-category, the basic requirements for more successful ICT programs are given. The currently best example seems to be Uruguay. According to Warschauer, “ICT does not exist as an external variable to be injected from outside,” but “rather is woven in a complex manner into social systems and processes.” [81, p.8] The effort to embed the OLPC program into a wider societal and educational context, might not have fully succeeded yet but at least is on a good way. Concerning its infrastructure, Rwanda might have similarities to Uruguay. A dictatorial system, such as the one that has been installed by Kagame, cannot afford, however, to allow the societal liberties, which are necessary to provide a sustainable basis for a constructionist learning program. A comment by a user called Roland on OLPCNews delineates the dilemma,
This is corresponding to the observations that have been made during the workshop at the Anna-Lindh-School
and during the Sugar classes at the Grundschule am Planetarium. To some extend, similar observations have been made during ﬁrst and second semester computer labs at HTW Berlin.
A researcher in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley Raising the school attendance rates is one of the positive effects that are claimed by OLPC as well.
“[…] already creating higher numbers of independent thinkers is uncomfortable for many authorities […]. Yes, they should learn to use computers and to solve complex problems but they should not necessarily learn to ask difﬁcult questions to their authorities let alone ﬁnding their own solutions to those questions.”  While in industrialized countries, ICT4ed projects that focus on primary education are rather rare81, it is often the other way round in developing countries . The superﬁcial reason is that most children in these countries will not attend secondary school and thus would not proﬁt of an ICT program there. Nicholas Negroponte claims that “the reason [OLPC] chose primary [...][is] if you mess up primary education, then all subsequent education really suffers, and very often you can’t recover.”  It still has to be proved, however, that working with laptops in primary school really does improve, and not mess up, education. A more plausible reason has been ﬁgured out by David Hollow: “Many ICT4ED in Africa are focussed on primary, because the smaller the child the better the photo opportunity.”  Better education for very small children is better to sell in industrialized countries as the small children do no immediately threaten the jobs of the people there.
General Criticism of the Public School System
Even if governments pretend so, the will to restructure the school systems is not really existent in most (developing or not) countries. Next to the inherent reluctance of the educational systems as delineated by Larry Cuban , there is a general averse to well-educated masses that are able to think for themselves throughout all political systems [176, p.x]. For example, in Berlin the school system is at risk to deteriorate into a two-class system for a well-educated elite, paying for private (primary) schools, on one hand, and the underprivileged masses attending public schools, which are hardly able to accomplish their educational task, on the other hand. This is not the fault of the schools and the teachers but a result of politics . In 2004, two public schools had to be closed because there have not been enough children, while new private schools opened at the same area at the same time. 
Some scientists have been proposing to change this since the 1960s. Seymour Papert has been the most ac-
tive advocate for such programs, in 2002/2006 he ﬁnally succeeded to convince the governor of Maine to provide every seventh and eighth grader in Maine with a laptop . Buckminster Fuller also proposed in 1968 yet, as a reply to a report by the Presidentʼs Science Advisory Committee that recommended to give every American college student access to a computer by 1971, “I suggest that we give every preschooler access ﬁrst!” [69, p.118] Fuller refers to the work of Jerome Bruner, Jean Piaget, Omar Khayyam Moore, and others [69, p.110ff]. Papert had worked with Piaget in the 1950s and 1960s .
John Taylor Gatto, an American author, who himself worked as a teacher in public schools for thirty years, writes about the American public school system: “Ordinary people send their children to school to get smart, but what modern schooling teaches is dumbness. It’s a religious idea gone out of control. You don’t have to accept that, though, to realize this kind of economy would be jeopardized by too many smart people who understand too much.” [180, p.6] Gatto is convinced that the American schooling system deliberately has been designed with the hidden curriculum to produce enough dumb people to do the economies dirty work: “The shocking possibility that dumb people don’t exist in sufﬁcient numbers to warrant the careers devoted to tending to them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my proposition: Mass dumbness ﬁrst had to be imagined; it isn’t real. […] [180, p.6] what has happened to our schools was inherent in the original design for a planned economy and a planned society laid down so proudly at the end of the nineteenth century.” [180, p.8] Gatto, therefore, promotes unschooling, a particular form of homeschooling that has been introduced by John Caldwell Holt in the 1970s . Unschooling has some commonalities with Constructionism, Montessori schools, and the Free School movement . The children themselves are deciding what to learn when, the teachers are guiding them through that process. Classes or learning groups are mixed age. Children have extended rights, but also more duties. These solutions are mostly available in industrialized countries82 for betteroff people. Private schools are expensive, public schools rarely follow these principles. Home schooling is only an option for people who are educated enough themselves and can afford to stay home. Similar to John Taylor Gatto, Sir Ken Robinson promotes a change of paradigms in education. He also states that public schooling as it currently exists is a product of the late nineteenth century, and has been designed for the economic needs of industrialism. It has an inherent assembly line mentality, which becomes evident, for example, in the practice of grouping children by age instead of their abilities and strengths, and dividing certain topics into subjects instead of applying project-based learning . According to Robinson all countries on earth have realized the problem and are reforming their educational system; however, not necessarily in a good way. Except for standardization and raising the standards, nothing is changed. “They are trying to meet the future by doing what they did in the past.”  Many children do not see any purpose in school anymore; the old formula “work hard, do well, get a college degree == get a job“ is not valid anymore, and the children have
There are few examples in developing countries as well, such as the Rishi valley school founded by Krishna-
murti, http://www.rishivalley.org/school/overview.htm (Accessed: 03/26/2011) The fees for this school, however, exceed the possibilities of many middle class Indians, not even to mention the poor, http://www.rishivalley.org/school/admissions.htm (Accessed: 03/26/2011)
realized that yet . ICT does not solve this problem. Mark Warschauer states that an achievable goal that is worth to learn for is substantially inﬂuencing the success or failure of laptop programs in school [82, p.100].
Criticism of ICT in Education and Development
Around 2007, some schools in the US stopped their laptop programs due to increasing problems. The children learned too much of the wrong abilities 83 84 on their own, while the expected impact on student achievement completely failed to materialize  (see also ). Bill Gates, besides his company’s quarrel with OLPC, has questioned if bringing laptops to schools in developing countries is anything good at all and not just imposing western solutions to developing countries . William Easterly, Professor of Economics at New York University, even accused OLPC of cultural imperialism. He stated that “You can’t just stampede into a country’s education system and say, ‘Here’s the way to do it.’ ”  Guido van Rossum, the inventor of the Python scripting language, which serves as the basis for most applications on the XO including Sugar, even stated that “the mentality from which it [OLPC] springs is the same mentality which in past centuries created the missionary programs.”  The biggest problem with all kinds of educational technology programs since the early twentieth century, is that the teachers are not included in the decision process. Technologists, politicians, and administrators are deciding these issues. Too often, the result is that the expensive technology is rotting in some attic or storage room as it is not being used by the teachers . If the teachers are not trained how to integrate the technology into their classrooms, the results of their students will not be very encouraging . Bethel et al. stated that “Students quickly become frustrated when new technologies are forced into the same old pedagogy.”  The teachers have to be supported and must be stakeholders in the process of adopting the innovative technologies into schools . The handbook for Monitoring and Evaluation of ICT in Education Projects by the world bank from 2005 states that there is the necessity to bring technology to schools, but also that evidence has shown that it often fails to have the desired educational outcomes [187, p.1]. For example, in Senegal parents were willing to pay for ICT technology in their children’s schools, teacher’s were oppos83
Hacking school servers to get the test questions, etc. Thinking the philosophy of OLPC a step further these
children were doing exactly what they were supposed to do. They refused to memorize their course materials and preferred to learn how to learn innovative techniques that lead them to the best possible results. The reduction of education to a means to provide the societiesʼ economies with acceptably trained junior staff, provides the moral basis for not caring at all about the admonitions not to cheat. See also: the discussion here: http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/cheating-at-central-ﬂorida/ (Accessed: 03/26/2011)
Honestly, watching nowadaysʼ news and witnessing how far you can go if you have a good name or the right
job, and get away with it, is not nurturing honesty and morality, either. This is not meant to excuse this behavior. Finally, every human being always has the freedom of choice whether she wants to be part of the problem or part of the solution .
ing to work in schools with insufﬁcient ICT support; yet, they were reluctant to use it to improve their own teaching [187, p.6]. To improve the situation, the educational system as a whole needs to be reformed; the use of ICT can only be part of this reform [187, p.7].
Just supposed that all educational problems were solved and everybody on earth had received an equally excellent education. Without changing the current political and economical system, which is dependent not only on well educated but at least to the same amount on very poorly educated people (especially in developing countries) nothing will be won. Even worse (from the point of view of capitalistic governments and multinational corporations), well-educated people are far less easily exploited. Steven Colbert, interviewing Nicholas Negroponte, came as close to the point as only a comedy host with his reputation can do in this context: “If kids in third-world countries are getting these computers— and they are learning and improving themselves— who's gonna make our cheap clothing and dig our blood diamonds?” Negroponte’s answer: “Robots!”  This thought is nothing new. Since the beginning of the 20th century social reformers, visionaries, and economists— such as Bertrand Russell, C.H. Douglas, Juliet Rhys-Williams, Milton Friedman, Robert Theobald, and, some years later, Buckminster Fuller, or Robert Wilson— have been spinning theories how to exploit the automation of work in to enable all of humanity to live a life of pleasure and idleness   [176, p.145ff] . Most of them had envisioned the classic Greek style of pleasure and idleness— slaves being replaced by robots— leading to enhancements in science, arts, and philosophy. Meanwhile, a distorted version of these utopias has turned into reality. The workforce of many people has been replaced by machines; unfortunately for them, the economic system did not take that into account. So, instead of being able to enjoy their idle time, educating themselves, living of their share of the fairly distributed resources, as suggested by the above mentioned economists, they are stuck in a rather miserable situation, living of the goodwill85 of the better off parts of society. If at all, they have hardly enough money for living and, thanks to their pre-
Regulated by the government or not
vious (lack of) education, prefer to watch TV all day86
[176, p.145ff] As long as it is not
possible to reestablish education as a value of its own, not as something that is required in one form or another by the current economic system to provide people with jobs to make a living, all attempts to reform public education are only treating the symptoms but not the problem89 . Neither does better education for all entail full employment for all , nor will a better education alone improve the daily life of, e.g., a farmer in the Peruvian Andes. Other measures will have to follow, the most important being improvements in communication and information, such as access90 to devices, network services, and valuable content in the people’s native languages [81, p.58ff]. A mobile phone service in Kerala, India that provides ﬁshermen with “real-time” local market prices so that they can decide which of the nearby markets they will head for with their catch, to maximize their proﬁt, is an example for such an improvement [193, p. 891ff]. If these changes do not happen, the children that are growing up in rural areas will either not be able to proﬁt from their education or even more of them will leave their homes and end up in the bigger cities, where also only very little is to be won for most of them.
There are no technological solutions to political, cultural, or societal problems. Neither in industrialized nor in developing countries. Laptop programs— OLPC or conventional— are only promising to be successful if the teachers are well trained to use the laptops, and their mindset allows them to admit that they are not the only source of knowledge. The sum of these requirements, basically, disqualiﬁes most of OLPC’s targeted countries to take full advantage of the XOs without reforming their educational system and improving their infrastructure. Implementing constructionist theories in the classroom has to be done by the teachers; otherwise, it will not happen.
Wilson, therefore, proposes a massive investment in adult education [176, p.148] Fuller proposed that, “we as a economic society are going to have to pay our whole population to go to school
and pay it to stay at school.” [69, p.71]
The UN Millenium Goals Target 1B is deﬁned as “Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for
all, including women and young people.”  Wilson, in contrary proposes “that unemployment is not a disease, but the natural, healthy functioning of an advanced technological society.” Radically different approaches to the problem are necessary [176, p.145].
Unfortunately, Fuller was wrong when he predicted in 1962 that, “that problem of ʻhow we are going to earn a
living?ʼ is going out of the historical window, forever, in the next decade, and education is going to be disembarrassed of the unseen ʻpracticalʼ priority bogeyman.” [69, p.69]
This includes affordability
OLPC’s approach to exploit ICT as a Trojan horse91 to sneak constructionist teaching into the world’s classrooms has to be considered a failure. Large scale laptop programs are only sustainable if they are well embedded into the community, providing a nationwide support and maintenance network. Uruguay seems to be on the right track to tackle these issues. If it really makes sense to work with laptops in primary schools on a regular basis is still at least questionable. Nonetheless, almost two million XO laptops and an unknown number of other computers have been deployed to primary schools throughout the world. No matter if the decision to acquire them was reasonable or not in the ﬁrst place, they have to be used now. Beginning with chapter seven, it will be shown that the production a radio play is a valuable opportunity to use the XO, or any other computer, as a vehicle for project-based, interdisciplinary learning; providing enough facets to engage students in all age groups. In order to encourage teachers to approach this task with their students, a manual has been produced that provides information to get started.
The Trojan horse metaphor is quite popular in connection to OLPC:
“The OLPC Trojan horse is the ebook and the soldiers inside the horse are children and teachers with laptops.”  “If we get Sugar ported to Windows, then Sugar will become a Trojan Horse that Microsoft will promote to developing nations, and much of our work is done for us.”  “It appears gently as a textbook and then at night the kids come out and use it as a laptop. That's the Trojan horse approach with sort of a book story as we've thought about it.” (Nicholas Negroponte)  “This is in some ways a Trojan Horse. Governments are buying into this because this looks like a terriﬁc way of creating a computer savvy workforce, ﬁghting brain drain, essentially bursting into the 21st century. But what it also is is a backdoor into overhauling the entire education system of a lot of the countries that we are talking about.” (Walter Bender)  “OLPC was the Trojan Horse to Open Source for Professor Stephen Jacobs, director of RITʼs Lab for Technological Literacy (LTL)”  “These days, OLPCers don't twist people's arms to accept Constructionism as their new religion. They see the XO as something of a Trojan Horse. If they can get countries to buy it as an e-book reader, maybe at night, at their homes, kids will use the machine more creatively.” 
5 Related ICT4ed and ICT4dev Projects
The following sections introduce a predecessor, and a “competitor” of the OLPC project. Other prog ra m s, s u ch as B r az il’s Co mp u tad or Po pula r, Pla yPo w e r, a nd s e ve r a l pro gr a ms b a s e d o n mo bi l e p h on e s h a d to b e o mitte d a s the y a re b e yo nd the s co pe o f this pa pe r 92 .
5.1 Indiaʼs Simputer
In 1999 an ambitious project was started at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore: the Simputer— a Simple, inexpensive, multilingual, people’s computer . It was specially designed to bring the advantages of the internet to India’s poor rural population. It was Linux based, could be operated with regular AA batteries and featured a speaker, microphone, touchscreen, ﬂash memory storage, and a smartcard slot.   With its price of about 200€ it was still way too expensive for a family with an average yearly income of
For further information see:
http://playpower.org/blog/ http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/03/12-computers-ba/ http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~joyojeet/Simputer-CP.doc http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTINFORMATIONANDCOMMUNICATIONANDTECHN OLOGIES/EXTEDEVELOPMENT/0,,contentMDK:22280730~menuPK:559467~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~th eSitePK:559460,00.html http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2009/dec/17/digital-media-mobilephone-usage-africa-leapfroging-ushahidi-s wift-river http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTEDUCATION/0,,contentMDK:22267518~pagePK:148 956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:282386,00.html http://edutechdebate.org/meducation-initiatives/learning-british-english-for-the-cost-of-a-cup-of-bangladesh-tea/ http://edutechdebate.org/meducation-initiatives/bridgeit-empowering-teachers-with-video-via-mobile-phones/ http://edutechdebate.org/meducation-initiatives/yoza-excites-african-teenagers-to-love-reading-using-mobile-phon es/ http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-05-pc.html (All accessed: 06/05/2011)
about 350€. Therefore, the Simputer featured a multiuser modus, with a smartcard storing the personal information, so that it could be rented out by local shop owners, or purchased by village administrations for collective use . As the developers did not have the infrastructure to manufacture the hardware themselves, they licensed the
Figure 6: Indiaʼs Simputer.
product to two Indian companies: Encore software and PicoPeta Simputers . This
was done using a OpenHardware license which follows analogous principles as its software pendants. The most interesting feature of the Simputer was its software. It featured special educational applications, applications that supported several Indian languages, and applications that enabled illiterate people to use the devices. This was realized with text-to speech and speechrecognition systems  . A correspondent approach as it is followed nowadays by the W3C’s Mobile Web for Social Development Group (MW4D) and VoiceXML . The Simputer’s production had been delayed until 2002, the batteries had to be replaced with rechargeable accumulators, promised tax privileges have never been implemented. Finally, the Simputer could not be established on the world market against the competition of PDAs, which steadily had added computing power while constantly getting cheaper. In 2004 the project has been reported to have failed . Today in 2010, Simputers do not seem to be produced any more. The Simputer website93 still exists (last entry: March 26, 2004) but both of the manufacturers’ websites are down. Pal et al. list it as discontinued since 2007 [202, p.51]. Worldwide, not more than 2000-4000 units have been sold. Some of these ended up in Malaysia serving as tools for waiters to place orders . Others served the police to issue trafﬁc tickets or were deployed at the Mahindra car factory to diagnose engines . Its ﬁrst ﬁeld application has been an ICT4ed project in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh   [205, p.3]. Comparing the OLPC XO to the Simputer I would not go as far as ML "Mickey" Hayes: “OLPC is what you get when you let someone take your ball and play with it in their yard.” , but the similarities are undeniable.
http://www.simputer.org/ (Accessed: 12/19/2010)
In 2010, the Indian government announced a new ICT4ed project. A tablet PC with a 7” touchscreen. It is running Linux, offers WLAN, and has 2GB built-in memory. Initially, it will cost 25€, but the price is said to fall to 10€. The Indian government claims that 8500 Colleges are interested in the tablets. The production has not begun yet. The future has to show if the price target can really be hit .
5.2 Hole in the Wall
One of the people that take the Give-them-a-computer-with-internet-access-and-walk-away to a radical approach is Sugata Mitra. His work is based on two assumptions: 1. There are places where good teachers don’t go… 2. A teacher that can be replaced by a machine, should be…  He has been thinking about unsupervised computer training since the early eighties and ﬁnally in 1999 started the ﬁrst Hole-in-the-wall project in a slum in New Delhi . Children were given unsupervised access to a computer (monitor and joystick) through a hole in the wall of the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT), where he was working then. According to his conjecture of minimal invasive education (MIE) , they were given no guidance or any other type of help. He claims that within a couple of days the children could use the computer effectively, and had taught themselves basic English and Mathematics. [210, p.673] Mark Warschauer doubts the value of this experiment: “However, visits to the computer kiosk indicated a somewhat different reality. The Internet access was of little use because it seldom functioned. No special education programs had been made available, and no special content was provided in Hindi, the only language the children knew. Children did learn to manipulate the joysticks and buttons, but almost all their time was spent drawing with paint programs or playing computer games.” [81, p.2]
Having repeated these experiments under varying settings in different Indian locations— currently several hundred units are installed throughout India, Cambodia, and several African countries , he discovered that the children achieved better results when the process of learning was mediated. He employed slightly older adolescents who were trusted by the children but did not necessarily have to be literate with the task that the children had been appointed to. Their primary task was to encourage the
Figure 7: Hole in the wall.
children: “you’re doing good…, how did you do that…”  Mitra realized that
there will always be children who cannot afford to pay for their education, while somewhere else there will always be people who have time, ability, and willingness to mediate these children’s learning efforts for free. The challenge is to create an environment that enables both groups to connect to each other. He and his team created 12 so-called Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs); in the meantime a cloud of hundreds of mediators, the Self Organised Mediation Environment (SOME)94 emerged that started to interact with these SOLEs.  A more catchy name for the SOME is the Granny Cloud, referring to the circumstance that the cloud consists to a big deal of retired teachers. They are connecting to the SOLEs via Skype, thus being available for the children for a certain amount of time per day [210, p.672]. It is questionable, however, if this model would be able to scale so that it could be a solution for all children that are living under such circumstances. According to his data the projects have a very high acceptance in the communities, and the academic performance of the children improves dramatically.  Self-organizing groups of children emerge with experts, connectors, and novices. To Sugata Mitra it is this group learning that makes the students successful: "It doesn't work if you give them each a computer individually."  As opposed to Negroponte and OLPC Mitra favors a 4:1 child:computer ratio. This ratio leads to a more natural way of collaboration between the children than the technically en-
Remember the ractors?
Figure 8: Classroom collaboration in Mongolia
hanced collaboration model as it is promoted by OLPC. The XO’s built-in networking model only allows same time - same place scenarios, for other scenarios additional hardware is required. In these scenarios communication, which is considered to be the core part of collaboration, does not need to be technically enhanced, the children might as well talk to each other. In contrary, adding an unnecessary technical layer to communication processes might rather disturb communication than improve it. Besides that, evaluations in Uruguay and Peru have shown that the collaboration feature is used rather infrequently in schools [133, p.9] [135, p.6]. A core ability of collaboration or team work is the ability to solve conﬂicts― for example, about restricted resources― by communicating. OLPC’s approach to solve these problems by avoiding them95 , is not considered to be the best solution96 . The pictures in ﬁgure eight have been borrowed from the OLPC wiki’s page about the Mongolian deployment . Of course, they do not prove anything, but at least they give a hint about how collaboration between children looks like in reality. During our workFigure 9: Classroom collaboration in Berlin
shop similar scenarios have been observed. Figure nine shows three children “collabo-
E.g., by providing one laptop per child It is also a very American solution. See, e.g. the concept of One Car Per American instead of a working public
rating” on the Maze activity. Due to our restricted resources they had to ﬁgure out how they can use different buttons to play the game together on one machine. An IDB report about a pre-pilot XO camp in Haiti, where a 2:1 child:laptop ratio had to be employed owed to logistics problems, revealed that most of the children perceived that the laptop was unequally shared. Only those who were accused by their partners of dominating the laptops had a different impression [172, p.33f]. We encountered similar situations during the workshop. It is strongly perceived, though, that once the novelty factor of the new toy is gone, these problems can be easily resolved. At least it would be desirable if the children would learn that97. Mitra’s target group are those children that are living in places which are avoided by those teachers who are qualiﬁed enough that they can afford it. In his opinion there is no use in investing the money in a better teacher education, as the ﬁrst thing better-educated teachers will do is to leave these desperate places and ﬁnd work under better circumstances . According to Oscar Becerra this is exactly what has happened in Peru some years ago: “During 1988 and 1989 a group of 200 public school teachers were given sabbatical time, to attend a program developed between the Ministry of Education and the National University of Engineering. As in most programs, the results were never evaluated or published. From the original 200, just 50 teachers concluded the program. It is very probable most of them are now working as computer programmers, since that was the emphasis of the whole program.”  Replacing bad teachers with machines that not only encourage and enable self-organized learning but also connect the children to a worldwide network of experts who on the other hand, ﬁnd a new mission or purpose for themselves is nothing but logical. Mitra sees his approach in the tradition of Aurobindo, Vygotsky, Piaget, and Montessori . In the 1920s Vygotsky, a soviet psychologist of the early twentieth century [215, p.1] developed a theory of learning which suggests that each child has two levels of development; he calls them the “actual developmental level,” [215, p.85] and the “zone of proximal development.” [215, p.86] While the actual developmental level delineates which tasks a child is able to solve on her own, the zone of proximal development delineates the steps that the child will be able to achieve “under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers.“ [215, p.86] According to Vygotsky, children, who are on the same actual developmental level might differ
According to the American architect and thinker Buckminster Fuller, the technical progress in lots of areas dis-
penses with the necessity of disputing about unequally shared resources. He stated in 1981: “It no longer has to be you or me. Selﬁshness is unnecessary and henceforth unrationalizable as mandated by survival.” [191, p.xxv] Unfortunately, the reality of 2011 seems to be closer to Thomas Malthus, a former professor of political economics at the British East India Company College who stated in 1810: “Pray all you want, it will do you no good. There is no more.” [191, p.xxii]
essentially in their proximal zone of development. [215, p.86] Mitra’s model of adolescent mentors and the Granny Cloud is built upon this theory. In 2010, Mitra proposed a model that is combining his ideas with OLPC’s: OLF4C, one laptop for four children. He proposed to invest the cost savings into a built-in micro-projector, to facilitate that all the children can see what is happening on the screen .
This chapter provides some background information on Radijojo, the initiator of the OLPC XO radio pla y pro je ct.
Radijojo is Berlin’s ﬁrst noncommercial children’s radio. It broadcasts online98 and has a slot 99 in Radio Alex’100 (88.4 MHz and 90.7 MHz) program schedule. It also offers productions to educational organizations and partner stations in Germany, Italy, Austria, Poland and China . Radijojo has been founded by Thomas Röhlinger and his, then 6 years old, son Jonathan in 2003 . Radijojo does not only produce and broadcast radio shows for children, it motivates children to produce shows on their own. A special emphasis is devoted to encourage international communication amongst children; for example, a Skype conference between children in Uganda, Russia, and Germany about the topic of equal rights for boys and girls has been organized in 2010 . Radijojo is 100% noncommercial and ﬁnanced by donations, endowments, and public funds. Radijojo is a member of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) . In 2010, Radijojo received a couple of awards for their programs, such as the ICDB-Award  by UNICEF101 , the Medienpreis Entwicklungspolitik, awarded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) , and the Pädi Gütesiegel , awarded by Studio im Netz e.V102 103. Radijojo is one of the featured projects in the United Nations' Decade of Education for Sustainable Development .
http://www.radijojo.de Currently each Monday at 13:00 Offener Kanal Berlin International childrenʼs day of broadcasting, http://www.unicef.org/videoaudio/video_38486.html (Accessed:
http://www.sin-net.de/paedi.htm (Accessed: 06/05/2011) Find the complete list of awards here:
http://www.radijojo.de/WCN_neu/page/unten.php?but=auszeichnung&audioname=Auszeichnung&pl=Auszeichnu ng (Accessed: 06/05/2011)
7 Motivation to Produce a Radio Play
“ T h e re a lm of s ou n d is the k ingdo m o f ima gina tio n.” [225, p.256]
Next to mathematics and science, media production is considered to be a fortitude of computers in schools. Apart from programming, it is the only topic that cannot be taught at all without the use of computers104. As the skills to be taught are not the use of certain applications, but more general skills, such as the approach to a topic, teamwork and collaboration, certain aspects of physics, history, arts, or biology, it does not really matter what kind of media will be produced. Radio is a perfect medium to start with as there are plenty of noncommercial community radios around the world. Next to cell phones, radios often are the only available devices in remote places . As radio productions are reduced to the sense of hearing, they leave plenty of space for the listener’s imagination and creativity. For the same reason, a great deal of abstraction and creativity is required from those who are producing the content, while simultaneously the production can be kept simple and cheap, compared with cinema or television [225, p.256]. “Radio drama is sound at its most creative […]” [225, p.255] From all the possible formats of radio shows, the radio play or radio drama is the supreme discipline. Its reception has been different in various cultures. While in Germany it always has been an accepted literary genre, in English speaking countries it has been tending towards a more popular culture [227, p.182]. Radio drama had reached its zenith in the 1950s [225, p.256], since then radio, and especially radio drama, often has been declared dead. In the 1950s and 60s it was said to be swept off the market by the rise of television [227, p.14], later on it was the internet that was supposed to erase radio. Radio’s shortcoming— the lack of visuals— also has proved to be its killer feature. You can listen to radio while you are in your car, at work, in the subway, etc. In many situations, when the eyes are required to fulﬁll other tasks [227, p.16]. Besides that, internet and radio turned out to be the perfect match. Many radio stations are available online. In the music sector, a completely new hybrid medium has emerged in the form of services such as last.fm or pandora.com. The recent success of audio books seems to bear out Himan Brown, the producer of the Mystery Theater (CBS radio show 1974-1983), who stated that the show was canceled due to CBS politics only, and that there still is a desire amongst the public for radio plays [225, p.257]. From a technical point of view, the production of radio drama is a perfect project to start with, as it requires the students to deal with all aspects of radio production [225, p.258]. As it is hardly impossible to produce a radio drama on your own, it is predestined to train team
Set aside that, according to Dijkstra, computers are not necessary for computer scientists, and the production
of media could also be accomplished with more traditional technologies such as tape recorders etc.
work and related social skills, which are becoming ever more important in todays society. The following examples are not necessarily designed for children, but they illustrate the current state of radio drama in intercultural contexts. In 2011, the BBC and the British Council are inviting authors to a biennial playwriting competition for the twelfth time now. It is split in two categories, one for writers who are native English speakers, the other for writers with English as a second language. The winners receive a prize of ₤2,500 and are invited to London to see their play produced. In 2009, more than 1,100 entries were received . In 2003, the Fundación ProPetén105 has started a bilingual radio novela program entitled Entre Dos Caminos (At the Crossroads)106. Later on, in 2007, the Maya Area Cultural Heritage Initiative (MACHI) has joined this effort and until 2008, forty episodes were recorded and broadcast in Spanish as well as in Q’ueqchi‘ Maya, an indigenous language that is spoken in Guatemala and Belize. In 2010, the cultural heritage episodes of the radio novela have been adapted for the classroom, twenty schools participated in a pilot project to integrate these episodes in a variety of subjects, ranging from mathematics to social science, of the public school curriculum  . In the 1990s, Quechua people from Bolivia and Northern Quebec natives have been visiting each other, conducting radio production workshops adapted to the needs of native communities. This process has been captured by Garry Beitel in a TV documentary called Radio Novelas . Expanding the realm of sound, is the format called Digital Storytelling107 , where pictures, comics, or video are used to visually enhance the audio part. Still, the audio needs to be able to stand for its own. The work of Gary Marsden and his colleagues at the University of Cape Town, to bring the ability of digital story production to the mobile phone, is particularly interesting in this context. Mobile phones are one of the few modern communication technologies that are almost ubiquitous in developing countries, especially in Africa . According to Breitkopf, it is important to provide a context for the usage of the laptops, and not only to “use the laptop just to use it.”  According to Warschauer the ability to produce audiovisual media will be the literacy of the future [81, p.27]. Producing visually enhanced radio plays provides a context for the usage of the laptops, trains the children in the
105 106 107
A Guatemalan environmental organization, http://www.propeten.org/home.html (Accessed: 06/05/2011) http://www.propeten.org/pg030.html (Accessed: 06/05/2011) See also: http://storiesforchange.net/, http://www.storycenter.org/stories/, http://voicethread.com/ (All ac-
production of audiovisual media and provides a vehicle to embed a variety of related topics into an engaging project.
8 Workshop Preproduction
This chapter delineates the efforts that have been made to prepare the workshop. The story and the d og ma’s for fu t u re e p is od e s , t h e e v alu ation of the s oftw are to be u tilize d, the atte mpts to e s tablis h contacts to schools in developing countries.
Sandra Babing developed a plan for a whole series of radio plays, each one based on one of the topics of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children. She wrote the script for the series’ pilot, which is about two siblings, brother and sister, living in the year 2068. All intentions and resolutions, such as the millennium goals have failed. The whole world degenerated to a place where people live under the worst conditions and children’s rights are neglected. The siblings try to fathom one of the children’s rights in each episode. The pilot’s topic is child labor108 and the children’s right to education109 . The siblings’ only friend is a radio host who sends out his reporters to investigate the current episode’s topic around the world. Following are the dogmas for further episodes: 1. The script of an episode should be about ﬁve to ten pages long. Each episode consists of ﬁve scenes. 2. Each episode features the main characters: The siblings, the radio host, the computer voice 3. According to the producing country, the names of the characters may change but the characters remain the same. 4. Additional characters may be chosen from the pool of additional characters or they may be invented (and added to the pool of additional characters) 5. Each episode is about one of the topics of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children or the Millennium Goals 6. Each episode starts with a summary of the previous episode. 7. The episode ends with the dilemma being solved by uniting the children’s voices.
As deﬁned e.g. in the United Nations Global Compact (Principle No.5)
http://www.unglobalcompact.org/aboutthegc/thetenprinciples/principle5.html and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 32) http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm (All accessed: 06/05/2011)
As deﬁned in the UN Millenium Development Goals (Target 2.A)
http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/education.shtml and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 28) http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm
8. The episodes feature the title song which may be orchestrated according to the producers’ possibilities, also the lyrics may differ from one episode to another. 9. Each episode features contributions of children from other countries that comment on the topic from different points of view.
8.2 Tool Evaluation
During the evaluation phase, a list of potential software candidates has been tested. The software to be used had to sufﬁce the following criteria: it is free, it can produce, or contribute to, a ﬁnal product of some form that can be published on Radijojo’s webpage, and it can be easily installed on the XO by an average teacher. Software that would have had to be compiled from source or would have required many dependencies has not been taken into account, for this reason. Software running under Sugar has been preferred. Software running under Gnome has been taken into account if there was no alternative available under Sugar. The evaluation was conducted in beginning of November 2010, software updates since then are not reﬂected here but will be discussed to some extent in chapter ten. Bugs that have not been encountered during the evaluation phase also will not be discussed here, but in chapter nine or ten.
Hardware — XO Specs
The XO-1 is equipped with a 450 MHz AMD Geode Processor, 256 MiB RAM, 1,024 MiB Mass Storage (NAND Flash memory, no hard disk). The XO-1.5 is equipped with a 1 GHz VIA C7 Processor, 512 MiByte to 1 GiByte RAM and 4 GiByte Mass Storage (NAND Flash memory, no hard disk ). During both, the evaluation phase and the workshop phase, the then available newest system— Build 852, Sugar 0.84.16, Gnome, and Fedora 11— was installed on all laptops. Build 860 has been installed at some point during the post-production. Build 767 or earlier had been installed on most of the laptops when we received them but has been updated before the evaluation started.
Recording and Audio Editing Software
Etoys is an educational tool for children, it provides a media authoring environment and a visual programming system. It is free and available for most computer platforms. Etoys has originally been developed by Alan Kay and is based on SmallTalk. It provides the ability to record and edit sound. Recorded sounds can even be attached to the keys of a piFigure 10: Etoys sound compression
ano keyboard so they can be played as an instrument. It is also possible to create so called books. Books are similar to presentations as in Keynote or PowerPoint. Recorded audio, drawings, anima-
tions, mini-movies, and even scripted objects can be added to each of the pages. The problematic part of Etoys is the missing export function. Even if the ﬁnished product does not require interactivity, it is not possible to export it as a simple movie or animation. The recorded audio ﬁles cannot be exported from Etoys either. Theoretically Etoys projects can be embedded into HTML pages and can be played directly in the browser; supposed that the user has installed Etoys. The vast majority of Radijojo’s users, however, won’t even know that Etoys exists, let alone having it installed. Even if it is installed, it is still not guaranteed that projects can be played in the browser. In Safari, on Mac OSX Snow Leopard, for example, it does not work at all. A suggested workaround110 did not help either. On the XO-1.5, Etoys’ audio recorder was broken. Having recorded a couple seconds, the audio recorder crashed. It did not even turn off the microphone so that it was blocked for other activities. The
Figure 11: Etoys sound recorder and editor
audio recorder worked ﬁne on the XO-1. Etoys offers various audio compressions,
which differ in quality. The mp3 format is not supported on the XO owed to licensing reasons. Only the formats Vorbis and uncompressed, provide a satisfactory sound quality. Record captures audio snippets of a maximum of 6 minutes. These snippets are stored as .ogg ﬁles in the journal and thus can be directly accessed and edited in other programs. There is no possibility to adjust the input level, which is generally very low, so the recordings need to be normalized and noises have to be removed later on. It is urgently recommended not to use the built-in but an external microphone to ameliorate the quality of sound. Using an external microphone also will provide ergonomic advantages for the actors. Recordings start with loud click sound, which will have to be removed later on. This is not a bug, but a privacy related feature; the microphone is not turned on before the user had enough time to notice that the microphone’s control LED is on . Record’s strong points are capturing
Run Safari in 32-bit mode (click the Safari icon in the Applications folder and open the Get Info window)", sug-
gested by Bert Freudenberg (Etoys developer) in a private email.
photos and video; audio recording has been a little neglected. Its UI for audio capturing is not really useful as it doesn’t display the recorded sound but the capturing of the camera (see also the screenshots in chapter ten). The Measure activity can be used to visualize the input level. The slider on the right only adjusts the display of the curve not the input level. The slider’s sensitivity differs signiﬁcantly between the XO-1 and the XO-1.5. OurStories111 is an activity that has been developed for a project of the same name, which has been founded by Unicef, OLPC, and Google  to collect and share stories recorded by children throughout the world . The OurStories activity’s audio recording feature is broken. It produces noise only. The goal of the project was to have captured and shared ﬁve million stories online by 2010 . Currently there are about hundred recordings available online, none of the recordings on the project’s homepage are longer than 4 seconds, mostly consisting of silence and an occasional “hello” . No Information has been found yet if the project has ended as a failure or if it is still a work in progress. Audacity is the only available tool on the XO that is not only able to record, but also
Figure 12: The Measure Activity. The sensitivity of the curve display differs strongly between the XO-1.5 (top) and the XO-1 (middle and bottom). The marked areas show occurrences of digital distortion.
to edit sound ﬁles. Its UI on the XO under Sugar is best characterized as unusable. Texts often do not ﬁt in their boxes and either protrude or are cropped, in other cases they are extremely small. In all cases, they are hardly readable. Besides that, Audacity is also considered to be too complex to be used by smaller children. Jokosher112 is a more simple multi-track
Figure 13: Cropped and protruding labels in Audacity
audio recorder and audio editing tool; it would have been perfect for our purposes.
Unfortunately, packages are available for Ubuntu and Suse Linux only. According to Jokosher’s website, it has to be built from source and all dependencies have to be installed manually . As one of the requirements was that the average teacher or student is able to install the software on her computer, it has been decided not to consider Jokosher for the workshop. During post-production, an experiment was made that provided encouraging results. In contrary to the guidelines on the website, Jokosher can be easily installed using yum, Fedora’s package manager113 . Jokosher looks rather good, even under Sugar, very few of the text displays need to be adjusted. Recording does not work, however. Neither under Sugar nor under Gnome. The symptom is very similar to the one that has been delineated for Etoys on the XO-1.5. Recording starts but is interrupted after a few seconds. FileMix can mix up to four sounds. A user interface is not really existing. MIDI mixers are addressed in ﬁrst place. Instead of a MIDI mixer the ASCII keyboard can be used, but it is almost unusable as no visual feedback is provided. The process to add ﬁles is currently somehow awkward, the developer is working on this issue, howFigure 14: FileMixʼ UI
ever. It is neither possible to move recordings on a timeline nor is it possible to save
http://www.jokosher.org/ https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Yum (Accessed: 06/05/2011)
the mixed sounds, which turns the activity somewhat pointless for our needs.
8.2.3 Audio Players
All the audio players that have been evaluated on the XO were a little buggy. JukeBox plays .ogg ﬁles. It does allow to select a new ﬁle before the previously selected one has ﬁnished playing. It features a visualizer that seems to consume much of the XO’s resources. It is running rather dilatory, and the activity is somewhat unresponsive. JAMedia is the successor of CeibalRadio. It is developed in Uruguay and is currently available in Spanish only. This should not be much of an obstacle, however, as it is easy enough to use. JAMedia plays .wma, .ogg,
Figure 15: Recording TamTam by connecting two XOs via headphone out -> microphone in.
.wav, and .mp3 ﬁles. It also offers a list of preselected online radio stations, which can be played directly from within the activity.
The ﬁle chooser doesn’t show the Journal but the underlying ﬁle system which is somehow inconsistent for a Sugar activity. JAMedia also plays videos. Radio is supposed to play online radio and .mp3s. Attempts to open a variety of ﬁle formats have been made. Radio was not able to open any of these ﬁles. Most of the time it just quit without a further notice.
8.2.4 Music Synthesizers
TamTamMini, TamTamJam, TamTamSynthlab provide various possibilities to generate sounds. TamTamMini offers a wide variety of predeﬁned musical instruments, which can be played with the XO’s keyboard. TamTamEdit offers the possibility to create loops with these instruments. TamTamSynthlab enables the user to create her own synthesizer by combining a variety of sound sources, and modiﬁers. If the generated sounds shall be recorded directly, this can be done by connecting the headphone output of the XO that is running TamTam to the
microphone input of a second XO running Record 114. The recording level again can be measured with Measure and adjusted via the volume key of the XO running TamTam.
As the radio play was not only to be broadcasted on air, but also to be published on the Radijojo website, it was decided to illustrate the story. Paint offers a basic tool set to create drawings and to edit images. Scratch and Etoys offer possibilities to create animations. Neither in Etoys nor in Scratch, these animations can be created on a timeline basis. In Scratch animations will have to be scripted, Etoys offers components such as the Holder and the Book. A Holder is an Etoys element that allows to add several images, and to play them in a sequence. A Book is an Etoys element that allows to create slideshows. It can contain all other elements of Etoys, including audio players and animations. Etoys also allows scripting. Scratch and Etoys lack the possibility to easily export a common web format. Neither for interactive applications nor for simple movies or sound ﬁles. For more details see also chapters nine and ten.
8.3. Establishing Contacts to Schools in Developing Countries
Several people at Radijojo have been trying to establish contacts to schools and teachers in a variety of countries. The project also was announced at the SugarLabs IAEP 115 and OLPC SUR116 mailing-lists. Contacts have been established to teachers in Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, Birmingham(Alabama), Brazil, and Rwanda. The teachers have been invited to contribute recorded statements of their students about the current state and the history of child labor in their countries; they were also invited to contribute drawings or animations to illustrate the topic. These statements and visualizations were to be included in the radio play or the radio plays website. Some teachers committed to let their students contribute to the play. Despite our and the children’s efforts, a collaboration with other schools could not be established. Down to the present day no data from other schools has been received.
In TamTamEdit it is also possible to edit the conﬁg ﬁle
/home/olpc/Activities/TamTamEdit.activity/common/Conﬁg.py and replace “FEATURES_OGG = None” by “FEATURES_OGG = True”. This will add a save as .ogg button to TamTamEditʼs menu. Thanks to Gonzalo Odiard for pointing this out to me.
IAEP - Itʼs An Education Project, English speaking list for teachers. SUR - South American Spanish speaking list for users, administrators, and teachers.
Albeit, there is a variety of software available for the XO to record, generate, play, or edit sound ﬁles, none of these tools are completely convincing. They are either too complex, too simplistic, or just too buggy. A tool to create timeline based animations to illustrate the radio play on the website is not available at all. Scratch and Etoys provide mechanisms to achieve this goal in a different way, based on scripting. Both lack the ability to easily export the resulting product in a format that can be published to a webpage of choice. For our production it has been decided to use Record for the recordings, Paint and Etoys for the Animations. Owed to the lack of time, the age of the children, and the lack of a proper tool it was decided not to let the children do the mix-down. Concerning the question of additional microphones it was decided not to use the professional radio equipment. Instead, a couple of cheap microphones from private sources have been borrowed to simulate a situation as close as possible to the reality in schools.
This chapter introduces the Anna-Lindh-School and its context, the team that conducted the works h o p , a n d t h e o b s e r v a t i o n s a n d f i n d i n g s t h a t h a v e b e e n e n c o u n t e re d d u r i n g t h e w o r k s h o p .
School and District
A one week workshop to produce the radio play on the OLPC XO was conducted in November 2010 at the Anna-Lindh-School in Berlin-Wedding. Berlin-Wedding is one of the so called “problem districts” of Berlin. A great percentage of its current inhabitants have a migration background (33% compared to 14% in Berlin) or are in a socially and ﬁnancially underprivileged situation, being unemployed or receiving welfare (16% compared to 12.8% in Berlin and 7% in Germany)   . Like all elementary schools in Berlin, it offers classes from ﬁrst to sixth grade. In this aspect Berlin’s school system differs from the rest of Germany’s school system, where elementary school ends with the fourth grade and children with their parents and teachers have to decide for one of the different levels of Germany’s secondary educational system which differ in length and quality of graduation. As the decision which school a child will be attending is ﬁrmly connected to the registered address of the parents, an unfortunate type of gentriﬁcation process was started: Parents who can afford it, often are moving to better-off parts of town when their children are enrolled to
Figure 16: Classroom at Anna-Lindh-School
school. Alternatively, better-off parents send their children to private schools . Therefore, some schools in Berlin in areas
such as Kreuzberg, Neukölln, and Wedding have a signiﬁcantly higher rate of migrants and children from a low SES background than the population of these districts in general. The report “Schule im sozialen Brennpunkt” lists 90% non-German natives at E.O.Plauen Grundschule (Kreuzberg) in 2001 [241, p.17], the “Nürtingen Grundschule” mentions 86% non-German natives . As an integration of migrant children into German society is impossible under these circumstances, some schools have tried to improve this ratio by offering special programs. This is the only way to enable and encourage parents from other parts of town to send their children to these schools. The “Nürtingen Grundschule” in Kreuzberg, for example, was reorganized according to the principles of Maria Montessori to achieve that goal. The Anna-Lindh-School’s approach to this
Figure 17: Classroom at Anna-Lindh-School
problem was offering special support programs for children with special abilities, highly talented children, but also for chil-
dren with social deﬁciencies and deﬁciencies in reading, writing, mathematics and the German language 117. The Anna-Lindh-School also offers an option for computer based learning , albeit this is varying according to the preferences of the classes’ teachers. Representatives of each class form a children’s parliament, which scheduled to meet once a week . The Anna-Lindh-School certainly cannot be compared to most schools in developing countries as it is very well equipped with smart boards, in-classroom libraries, and a computer room. It does not offer a one to one laptop program.
The Children and the Classroom
During the workshop we worked with twenty-four nine-year-old children attending a fourth grade, coming from a wide variety of social and cultural backgrounds. All the children had computer knowledge from home, mostly playing games, listening to music, and surﬁng the internet. Most of the children were used to Windows, some to Linux (Ubuntu) and very few
According to Anne Lotte Voelkel, one of the childrenʼs class teachers.
to Macs118. This class did not use computers very often at school, however, as their class teachers are not too much into technology119. The classroom provided one computer, connected to a smart board and the school server. It also offered many books and even some easy chairs: A mini library.
9.2 The Workshop
Radijojo sent an international team of ten people to the Anna-Lindh-School to conduct the workshop. Six teams of children were formed covering the various tasks of creating a radio play. The children’s names have been anonymized using single letters.
Figure 18: Radijojo team
• Sandra, the author and director of the play worked with the Actors Team. (A, B, D, K) • Bun and Irina worked with the Sound Effects Team. (I, N, Q, Y) • Katharina worked with the International Team, trying to establish contacts to other children throughout the world. (E, H, L, S) • Auge, a professional trick ﬁlm animator and comic creator, worked with the Visuals Team, producing visuals to accompany the radio play on Radijojo’s website. (G, M, O, W)
This statement is based on interviews that have been conducted with the children. This statement is based on interviews that have been conducted with the children and their teachers.
• Marko, a sound engineer, worked with the Production Team (F, T, U, P), recording the actors and musicians, editing and mixing the materials. • David, Emily, and Bob worked with the Music Team(C, R, V, X). Writing, rehearsing, and performing the title song. My task has been to troubleshoot problems with the XOs and to document the project with the aim to write a teachers’ manual to XO radio play production. The photographs on the following pages have been shot without a ﬂash, with a small digital camera, in order to avoid that the children will notice that they are photographed. The focus has been on obtaining authentic photographs. The price to achieve this goal was the quality of the pictures. Some of the pictures therefore had to be digitally edited. Furthermore, the children’s faces have been anonymized. Resulting from the restricted time we had 120, many things that otherwise could be produced by or with the children had to be prepared in advance. The story and the title song were ready to be rehearsed and recorded, some alterations were done in collaboration with the children. Besides the time restrictions, we did not have internet access with the XOs at school, so some research had to be done by the team mentors as well that otherwise could be done by the children themselves. The software to be used also had to be evaluated upfront. As we ﬁnally had decided to restrict ourselves to use only XOs operating under Sugar, the variety of available software was not very broad anyway. Some parts of this chapter might appear to be redundant to the previous chapter. In contrary to the previous chapter, which delineated the ﬁndings of the software evaluation phase’s laboratory conditions, this chapter delineates the behavior of the XOs, Sugar, and some activities “in the wild.” Despite Record’s restrictions, it has been decided to have the Production Team use it. The lack of a proper visualization of the audio input, and the missing features for basic editing was not only problematic from the usability perspective, but also from the educational perspective. The International Team used Write - to prepare the emails to the international collaborators, Record - to take some photos and record greetings, and Paint - to do drawings of their school. They also wrote letters on plain paper, which have been send by snail-mail to partners in Argentina and Rwanda. Albeit contacts had been established to teachers in Uruguay, Alabama, Haiti, Rwanda, Peru, and Brazil, the attempt to arrange a dialog during the workshop failed.
5 days à 4 hours, Monday to Friday 8:00-13:00
To some part, this was owed to the holiday schedules in some of the countries. Also, none of the teachers who had expressed interest in participating, has sent any material so far121 . The Sound Effects Team used Record to record the sounds they produced; they did not encounter signiﬁcant problems. Bun also always took the laptop home over night which spared his group from the battery problems that the other groups encountered. Bun and Irina prepared the sessions by searching for instructions how to produce certain sound effects on the internet. With more time available, the children could have done this research themselves. However, this was not always necessary, as the children often enough came up with creative ideas of their own. The Music Team originally had intended to use TamTamJam or TamTamMini but ﬁnally came up with better results just having the children sing and clap and snip ﬁngers. One of the children played the violin. David one of the mentors played the guitar. Letting children sing along with music played with whatever TamTam, requires at least some additional speakers, as the built in speakers of the XO deﬁnitely cannot compete with singing children. Besides the Production Team, the Visuals Team encountered the most severe problems. Drawing in Paint was no difﬁculty, but animating the drawings, as it had been intended by Auge, did not work the way he expected. Being used to timeline based animation tools he was not very happy about the way Etoys and Scratch handle Animation. Particularly, it turned out that the children have not been able at all to ﬁnd their way into either of the tools. To get them started properly more time would have been necessary. Another difﬁculty was the restricted attention span of the children. Often, they turned to playing Maze or made Speak say stupid things, thus disturbing the others as well. This issue will be described in more detail on the following pages. The Actors Team ﬁnally did not use any laptops at all. In a more long term setting they could have used Record, however, to control and optimize their acting. A couple of suggestions to do this have been delineated in the teachers’ manual. Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Weber-Wulff of HTW Berlin, Ulf Lerch of OLPC Switzerland and the OLPC contributors program we had a total of seven XOs at our disposal, one of them being an XO-1.5. First, we had been thinking about adding some additional laptops running Sugar on a stick but ﬁnally decided against it. In the end, it turned out that we rather had too
My original plan for teaching Sugar, while standing in for Simon Schampijer at the Grundschule am Planetar-
ium, was to let the children illustrate the radio play. This plan had to be cancelled though, as I have experienced that it is very hard to motivate the children to contribute content to such a project if they are not directly involved in it.
much than not enough laptops. During the workshop’s ﬁrst day the children received an introduction about Radijojo, OLPC, and radio plays in general. At the end of the day, the teams were formed. On day two, the laptops were introduced, and the children were encouraged to explore them in groups of 4. Other than some grownups, they did not have any problems opening or starting
Figure 19: The calm before the storm. Five of our seven XOs are waiting for the children.
the laptop. They also found out in seconds how to turn the screen, etc. When they were told to start the laptops, most of them were
already playing Maze or painting in Paint. They were given two tasks: taking photographs of each other and recording a sentence (“I don’t want to work anymore, I want to go to school”). Their homework from the previous day had been to translate this sentence in those foreign languages that are spoken by the members of their families. Taking photos was an easy task for the children. Recording audio was more difﬁcult as none of the children realized that Record is the appropriate activity for this task as well. To some extend, this was resulting from Record’s icon, which only hints at visual recordings. Most of the children started one of the activities of the TamTam Suite to record audio and failed. The activities that have been used the most by the children during the workshop, were Maze and Speak. As soon as a task got a little more complicated, or something got stuck, the children’s attention faded away within
Figure 20: A couple of minutes later. Groups of four children are introducing themselves to the XOs
seconds and they started to play122. When the other children who at least had tried to work on their tasks noticed that the others were playing games, their attention was gone as well. Bringing the children back on track did cost much energy and time. Having to spend this time focussing on the playing children, left the still working children alone. They then often started to play as well. Taking these circumstances into account, most of the UI insufﬁciencies and bugs that will be discussed in the following sections cannot be seen as cosmetic problems anymore as it was still possible when the software had been evaluated on the laptop under laboratory conditions. During a personal conversation123 , Antje Breitkopf mentioned that the situation in rural schools in Peru sometimes is analogous. Playing games is not necessarily regarded as a disturbing behavior, however. Especially at the unidocentes―rural schools with one teacher for all classes and mixed age classrooms― teachers occasionally are quite happy when some of the children are occupied with gaming so that they can focus their efforts on either the younger or the older children for a while. The different perception of this behavior is rather owed to the difference in the settings of the tasks― day-in-day-out standard school vs. workshop with limited time resources― than to the differences between the German and the Peruvian school systems. Four major general issues evolved during the workshop, which will be delineated in the following paragraphs.
I made similar experiences at the Sugar class at the Grundschule am Planetarium. Of course there are chil-
dren that have a natural inquisitiveness, which are able to concentrate on a task even if things get a little hairy. I do not think that this applies for the majority of the children, however. During our workshop, it applied for maybe two or three out of twenty-four children. At the Grundschule am Planetarium, it applies for the two older children. According to Warschauer and Ames similar observations have been made in Uruguay, Haiti, Paraguay, and the US. They also state that students with a socially and economically more privileged background are better able to creatively use the laptops than those with a less privileged background. “Thus, independent XO use by children might exacerbate divides rather than overcome them.” [36, p.43f]
First of all, the classrooms did not have enough power outlets to keep all the laptops charged, particularly there have neither been any power outlets available at the place where the laptops had been locked away for the night nor at the places where the children were working. Albeit the battery is good, up to three hours working with Record124, this is an essential point to be considered. Not being able to charge the laptops overnight and starting the day with a fully charged battery inevitably results in running out of power at a critical point of a task of choice. Running out of power and not being able to recharge the battery while continuing to work with the laptop is a severe disturbance. The second issue was the generally insufﬁcient performance of the XOs. Mostly they were reacting so slowly that the children as well as the adults started clicking around. This resulted in XOs getting stuck or even crashing. While they were stuck or needed to be rebooted the children lost interest and their attention needed to be recaptured. The children had been told not to expect too much speed from the devices and to be more patient. The lack of a visual indicator
Figure 21: Distracting technology
that the device is doing something is considered to be a severe usability issue in the
SugarUI. Having to wait for almost a minute that something will start to happen without any visual indicator that the device is working is way too long. The lack of visual feedback is not restricted to the missing “device busy indicator,” but is generally neglected in the SugarUI. The third issue was Sugar’s ﬁle handling and the Journal. Recordings were lost, children never ﬁgured out the distinction between e.g., the Record activity and the actual audio ﬁles
The IDB evaluation of the pre-pilot in Haiti reports about a signiﬁcant loss of charge after about one hour and
stored in the Journal. They also were used to save ﬁles, so Sugar’s auto saving for them was as irritating as for the adults. More details on this topic can be found in section 9.3. Having observed the XOs being stress tested, some assumptions deﬁnitely have to be reconsidered. Removing the distinction between content and application by stufﬁng everything into an activity is considered to be a not-so-brilliant idea. It results in difﬁculties writing about it, misunderstandings evolved even in discussions with the developers on the mailing-list , and worst of all it totally confused the children. Even
Figure 22: Too few power outlets in the classroom
considering that the XO’s target group does not have previous computer experience and
thus is not confused by such a behavior, why should they be trained to work in a completely different way than everybody else? Finally, it is about closing the digital gap, not creating a new one. The fourth difﬁculty ﬁnally was a room problem and was not related to the XOs at all. It turned out to be problematic when different teams had to work in the same room. Almost all tasks were somehow noisy. We were very lucky that the teachers at the Anna-Lindh-School offered their hours and their rooms to enable us to work under the best circumstances. Distributing the children throughout several rooms naturally results in another difﬁculty: If the children are not extremely disciplined 125 at least one teacher or volunteer per room is required to supervise them. Again, we were very lucky that so many people from Radijojo were involved. A lack of rooms and personnel will have to be compensated through a higher amount of time spent on the project. A ﬁfth issue had been ﬁgured out before; therefore, we were able to take measures to avoid this problem. The trackpad on the XO-1 has to be considered as irreparably broken . Not
Fortunately most of them are not.
only does the missing tactile feedback around the edges of the middle trackpad present a usability problem  for users in all stages of proﬁciency, it also often just fails to work and needs to be reset. Resetting only works for a couple of minutes, and then it starts all over again. This is a known problem and has been resolved with the new trackpad of the XO-1.5. Unfortunately the bulk of the currently delivered machines are XO-1s. It is hard to ﬁnd information about this issue from OLPC. While some people suspect the issue to be caused by the students dirty ﬁngers , it apparently is a serious hardware defect. Several voodoo tricks to work around the issue, such as briskly rubbing the hands and touching a large grounded object before touching the
Figure 23: Finally all of the children were awarded with Radijojoʼs researcher “certiﬁcate”
trackpad, or placing some pieces of adhesive tape on the trackpad, are available online. They have been tried, but only pro-
vided temporary success. The only possibility to ﬁnally solve this problem was to use a mouse. During the fourth day of the workshop, some interviews have been conducted with those children that had been working intensively on the XOs. Most of them said that they did not encounter any problems. Which is not very astounding as they started playing Maze each time that a problem arose, waiting for the adults to ﬁx it. They would have preferred a German UI but claimed not to have real problems getting along with the English UI. According to the children, the biggest problem was that Speak sometimes stopped speaking. According to the adults, this is the best feature Speak has to offer.
The following sections delineate the activities that have been used by the teams and the problems that have been encountered while using them. Some ﬁndings may double what has been said in the chapter on software evaluation yet. Others only occurred under the heavyduty conditions of the classroom.
While taking pictures with Record works well, the audio section leaves a lot to be improved. First of all it is essential that it enables the user to adjust the input level in respect to the volume of the recorded sound and the microphone. Generally, the input level is too low. Using an external microphone can improve the quality of recordings, but still the input level is too low. Albeit that using external microphones appends a new layer of technology that might break, it is still regarded to be the best way to go, as an ergonomic and acoustically optimal microphoning will never be possible using the built-in
Figure 24: Input levels of recordings made with the XOs built in microphone. ➊-Four children shouting simultaneously directly into the microphone, ➋-the same sequence, normalized with Audacity. ➌-One child speaking into the microphone, ➍-the same sequence, normalized with Audacity
microphone. At the workshop’s last day we ﬁnally had to call it an emergency and unpack our Plan B— a digital recording device— when suddenly all microphones produced scratching and humming sounds, probably resulting from defective cables. Earlier, one of the XOs had lost the last ses-
sions that had been recorded and time began running short. The reason for the loss of the recordings could not be completely determined. It is assumed that they were lost while copying them from the Journal to a USB stick, due to the missing automatic consecutive ﬁle numbering of the Record activity (see also chapter ten). It is strongly recommended to consider a time buffer in scheduling to deal with such problems. Record lacks both, a UI control element to adjust the input level and a UI element to visualize this level, to enable the user to make an educated guess in which direction to operate the control according to the feedback of the visualization. Instead of these essential displays, Record’s audio recording section currently displays a video of the user. This is not only a waste of resources (CPU, battery, and screen real estate) and completely unnecessary, it also has been irritating the children thus that they do not even recognize that this an audio recording tool.
Maybe audio recording should even be completely separated from Record. The icon that works well for photo and video recording does not work at all for audio recording. None of the children did recognize Record as an audio recording tool during the introductory exercise even though all of them had opened it before to take photographs. None of them had the slightest difﬁculty to recogFigure 25: Having lost a couple of recordings, we had to rerecord some sequences at the workshopʼs last day.
nize Record as a photo taking activity, based on the icon. Some decades ago maybe at least the activities name might have been a clue. Nowadays, as audio is more likely to be burnt than to be recorded, even that does not help. See chapter ten for suggestions to optimize Record’s UI. It often took very long until the recording actually started. Sometimes it just did not start at all. A typical reaction of Record to a user pressing the record button was to display parts of its UI in plain black. These parts normally consisted of the video dis-
Figure 26: As suddenly the microphones started to produce humming sounds and the XO kept collapsing. We had to switch to our high-tech backup system.
play and the recording control. The most irritating issue is the way that Record saves ﬁles to the Journal. Each of them
is labeled “Audio by XO name.” They are not saved to the Journal when they are recorded, but either when the user switches from the activity to the Journal or when the activity is stopped. Thus, they do not only all have the same name but also the same time stamp and cannot be differentiated anymore later on. Recordings should be numbered when they are saved to the Journal, and they should be saved to the Journal at the time they have been recorded. Giving custom names to recorded audio ﬁles from within Record is possible but currently is a rather hidden feature. The attempt to rename the ﬁle in the Journal often ended with Etoys being started. This absolutely disrupted the workﬂow. The actors got distracted, tension arose, an unpleasant experience for all participants.
The approach to wait for the end of the recording session to rename the ﬁles resulted in entire chaos, having dozens of “Audio by XO name.” The chronological order of the Journal did not help either as the ﬁles were not stored to the Journal when they were recorded. So all of them were created “seconds ago.” Some recordings got lost as they have not been saved to the Journal at all126 .
Figure 27: Audacityʼs UI problem
As it has been suspected based on the ﬁndings of the evaluation phase, Audacity turned out to be hardly usable under Sugar. The situation is better under Gnome. Neither the children nor Marko, a trained sound engineer, were able to ﬁnd their way through the program to ﬁnally get some results. This has been expected as the severe usability problems became obvious during the software evaluation phase (see also chapter eight). Audacity pops up a warning during start up that the XO does not provide enough disc space. A USB stick has to be speciﬁed as the alternative location for the tmp/ directory. Recording did not work at all. Neither under Sugar nor under Gnome. Recordings were stopped right afFigure 28: U and F of the Production Team, trying to deal with Audacity
ter they were started. This has been solved with the newest build of Sugar, however. Besides distinctions in behavior to more
professional audio editing software, such as ProTools or Audition, as it is normally used by Marko at his daily work, the major— and not really resolvable— issue is the very small screen size of the XO, which renders mixing tracks on the XO very difﬁcult as much scrolling is necessary. Only one of the four children (U) in the production team would have had
During the Sugar classes at the Grundschule am Planetarium it happened a couple of times that Etoys pro-
jects have not been saved to the Journal. The attempt to save them manually also failed. No feedback at all is provided to the children. The next time they try to continue their work they have to start from scratch.
the mental abilities, combined with the necessary patience and motivation to actually be able to produce results with Audacity.
Write has been used by the International Team to prepare emails to be sent to the potential collaborators throughout the world. Problems have not been encountered while using this tool. As WLAN was not available in the classroom, the emails had to be copied to the classroom computer (Windows). It turned out to be easy enough to do this as Write activities actually are .odt ﬁles, which easily could be opened with OpenOfﬁce on the classroom computer. The International team also produced a conventional handwritten letter which has been translated to Spanish by L’s mother. The children sent emails to schools in Brazil, Rwanda, and Peru. They sent their letter to schools in Chile and Argentina.
Etoys and Scratch
Next to Squeak and Maze, Etoys was the activity that has been started most frequently.
Figure 29: Sometimes some pencils, a piece of paper, and a Spanish speaking mother are superior to any kind of ICT
Mostly this was done accidentally when someone clicked on some ﬁle in the Journal to rename it, or to copy it to a USB stick. Etoys happened to be the activity that had been assigned the task of opening a variety of ﬁles, especially audio ﬁles, photographs, and videos by default. This behavior was extremely irritating, given the fact that a single click on the ﬁle’s icon starts the activity that has been assigned to open the ﬁle per default. Particularly on the XO-1, starting Etoys takes ages, closing it again as well. Another absolutely useless entry is added to the Journal. Etoys even attempted to open
Figure 30: Fighting with Scratch
ﬁles it cannot handle at all, such as videos. This issue has been ﬁled as a bug127 and seems to have been tackled in the newest build 128. The Visuals Team had tried to use Etoys to animate their drawings. Neither the children nor Auge could solve this task. Auge decided to work through some Etoys tutorials and videos in the evening to be better prepared the next day. He ﬁnally managed to create a Holder animation, getting the drawings into the right order turned out to be very exhausting as they all had to be resized to ﬁt the complete animation on the
Figure 31: Auge adding images to a holder in Etoys
screen. The children were unable to do it at all. Often their attempts failed, owed to their motor abilities in combination with the reactivity of the XO. Trying to select the picture they often selected the Holder, or, later on, the Book instead, resizing the wrong object and ﬁnally having to start over again. The concept of animation in Etoys differs basically from the timeline based concept of animation, Auge was used to work with. This is not meant to criticize Etoys, however; it’s just to state that the expectations did not ﬁt here. When it got obvious that the Holder was not the right tool to accomplish the task, Auge
Figure 32: Meanwhile at the other side of the table, the children preferred to fool around with Speak than to ﬁnd out how they could get their animation working in Etoys
gave Etoys a last try using a Book instead. This attempt was more successful but still not what he had been intending to show the children. He then switched to Scratch. Adding the single frames to Scratch was more comfortable than trying to accomplish this task in Etoys. It was also fairly easy to animate the frames using a script. Again, to get this task accomplished by the children, way more time would have been necessary to get them started. In the end, the biggest obstacle with both tools turned out to be exporting and publishing the results. Each day all the teams presented what they had accomplished during the day. The Visuals Team would have loved to show their movie as well. In the end Auge ﬁnally capitulated and cre127 128
http://tracker.squeakland.org/browse/SQ-901 (Accessed: 06/05/2011) For more details see chapter ten.
ated the animation using Flash on his Mac so that the team was enabled to present their results to the other children.
Paint was used by the children of the Visuals Team to create the drawings for a trick ﬁlm. It has also been used by the International Team to create drawings of the school, which were to be attached to the emails to potential collaborators. To this point, it worked ﬂawlessly. Saving the results in a format that can be read by other applications as
Figure 33: Auge ﬁnally gave up and used Flash to create an animation
well, also is possible. The activity itself turned out to be a plain .png ﬁle. During the last day the children of the Visuals Team were supposed to take some photographs of the teams and produce a little “making of,” comic style, photo story. As FotoToon unfortunately was still unable to produce actual output, we told the children to use Paint, and to draw their own speech bubbles. Immediately after importing an image, Paint started to get rather unresponsive. Resizing the imported pictures has been a real pain. Often, the children clicked into the screen
Figure 34: The Visuals Team drawing storyboards on paper and animation frames in Paint.
before resizing, thus losing the selection. Compared to Sugar’s huge mouse pointer, Paint’s microscopic small selection cross
Figure 35: Creating a photo story in Paint failed.
hair is hardly visible129 . The tool selection did not work anymore, undo/redo took ages. Again, no visualization that indicates that something is happening. The children started clicking around. Suddenly the undos kicked in. An attempt to reproduce this behavior at home completely failed. As it has been mentioned before, the behavior of the XOs under laboratory conditions differs a lot from their behavior under stress being maltreated by a group of impatient children. The visualization of a busy system, analogous to, e.g. Apple’s beach-ball, would be a real improvement. It also would be very helpful to stop registering user interaction events when this symbol is shown. This is a general problem in Sugar and is not exclusively related to Paint. Currently, Sugar seems to queue all user interaction while it is being unresponsive, so clicking around in the end leads to an even longer period of unresponsiveness while the system tries to complete all these requests. In such a situation ﬁve clicks on the undo button do not mean that the user wanted to
Figure 36: Recording TamTam
undo ﬁve steps. Often enough, the user just wanted to undo one step but got the im-
pression that nothing is happening and therefore clicked again. It has been observed more than once that this resulted in children losing their work130 .
We ﬁnally perfected the way to record TamTam by using a y-switch to split the output signal of the XO’s headphones to enable listening while recording. This still did not solve the problem that the XOs were supposed to accompany the children while they were singing. Additional speakers to provide an increase in the XOs loudness. Furthermore, the XOs keyboard is, as any other computer keyboard, not very well suited to
Figure 37: It still takes musicians to play music
play music. Finally, we decided not to use TamTam at all. The children had more fun
This also has been ﬁxed in a newer build. The behavior of the Keep Button was another cause for the loss of childrenʼs work. See
http://www.ﬂatlandfarm.de/blog/?p=223 (Accessed: 06/05/2011) for further information.
singing, clapping, stepping, etc. We were in the lucky situation to have a couple of musicians to work with the children; also that one of the children played the violin.
10 Suggested UI Improvements
This chapter suggests solutions for some of the bugs and UI insufficiencies that have been encount ered d urin g th e p re p a r a tio n p h as e , the w o r k s ho p, a nd in s o me a ctivitie s tha t ha ve b e e n e va lua ted i n t h e p o st - p rod u ction p h as e d u r in g th e w o r k o n the ma nua l. The s ugge s te d s o lutio ns a re inte nded t o s e r v e a s t h e b a s i s f o r f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n . T h e p ro b l e m s t h a t e m e rg e d d u r i n g t h e w o r k s h o p h a v e b e e n d et ec t ed b y ob s e r v in g th e ch ild re n in te r a cting w ith the la pto ps , he lping the m to tro ub le s ho o t thei r p ro bl ems , an d in te r v ie w in g th e m. In te r vie w ing the childre n tur ne d o ut to b e a r a the r unre liabl e s ou rc e as t h e y t e n d e d n ot t o re c og n ize the s e de fic ie n c ie s as impor tan t proble ms an d qu ic kly forgot w h a t w a s b o t h e r i n g t h e m . N o n e t h e l e s s t h e o b s e r v a t i o n s s h o u l d n o t b e i g n o re d .
A decent and simple audio recording tool is deﬁnitely missing for the Sugar environment. As has been shown, both available tools— Record and Audacity— are not satisfying. As has been pointed out earlier, Record’s icon does not motivate children to expect an audio recorder. Therefore, it is suggested to separate the photo and video recording part of Record from its audio recording part131. This raises the issue of bestowing the new activities with a name and an icon. It may be awkward, but it is regarded to be the least painful, to keep the old icon for the video and photo
Figure 38: Suggested icon and names
activity while using the name for the new audio recorder. The microphone icon that currently is used within Record to indicate that the audio recorder has been activated, seems to be a good starting point for the new audio recording activities icon. Photo or Shoot might be considered as a new name for the new (old) photo and video shooting activity (see ﬁgure 38). Currently Record displays a video preview, even when it is in audio recording mode (see ﬁgure 39). This has been confusing for
Figure 39: Recordʼs current audio recording interface
many of the children. They had problems recognizing it as an audio recording tool
when they were asked to record their greetings to the children of the world during the work-
James Cameron recently even suggested to split Record into three separate activities: Video, Audio, and
shop’s XO introduction phase. It is suggested to replace the video display with a display of the sound input curve similar to the display in Measure. Other than in Measure, the slider on the right side of the screen should be able to adjust the actual recording level. It is also suggested to add some scales and measures. Before a recording is started, the level can now be adjusted according to the loudness of the source. During adjustment the scale is proposed to be rather wide, so that digital distortion can easily be detected132. Apart from being more easily recognizable as an audio recording tool, the educational value
Figure 40: Adjusting the recording level in Recordʼs suggested new interface
will also be improved. Properties of audio recordings, such as frequency and amplitude, and phenomena such as digital distortion could be explained and examined directly within Record. Finally, the UI now resembles more sophisticated recording tools, such as Audacity, etc. The functionality to provide a custom name for recordings, should be positioned analogous to the photo part of the Record activity. Selecting a recording should directly enable the user to
Figure 41: Recording in Recordʼs suggested new interface
see also chapter 8.2 and http://www.ﬂatlandfarm.de/blog/?p=43 (Accessed: 06/05/2011)
rename it. This feature is currently hidden under a rather obscure info icon at the right bottom of the video display. None of the people involved with the workshop, neither children nor adults, recognized this button as something to click on. So the feature stayed undiscovered. Adding some basic editing functionality such as trimming, copying and pasting, and
Figure 42: Selecting a recording allows to customize its title.
cutting would round out the new recording tool. To serve as an alternative to Audacity, multitrack-recording— four tracks would be
absolutely sufﬁcient— would need to be featured, as well as some basic effects, such as normalizing and noise-reduction. An experiment during the post-production phase revealed that Jokosher might provide an alternative to Audacity (see chapter 8.2) if it was ﬁxed to work on the XO. Therefore it is considered more appropriate to keep Record rather simple. These suggestions have been published133 and ﬁled as enhancements in SugarLabs’ bug-tracking system.134 Recently the process to revamp the Record activity was ofﬁcially started by the developers of the OLPC Association, based on the suggestions that have been made here. (See ﬁgure 43) 135 .
Figure 43: Recordʼs UI is currently being revamped based on these suggestions
133 134 135
http://www.ﬂatlandfarm.de/blog/?p=292 (Accessed: 06/05/2011) http://bugs.sugarlabs.org/ticket/2557 (Accessed: 06/05/2011) Additional information can be found at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Godiard/Record/NewToolbar (Accessed:
Automatic Consecutive Numbers for Files
Record and the screenshot utility are not numbering the ﬁles they are producing when they are written to the Journal. The ﬁles are not stored in the Journal when they are saved to disk, but either when the user switches from the activity to the Journal or when she quits the activity. Therefore, the timestamp of the Journal entry also is of no use to differentiate the ﬁles. The revamped Record activity will ﬁx this problem by addFigure 44: The ﬁles are numbered when they are copied to a USB stick. This bug has been ﬁxed yet.
ing the ﬁles to the Journal when they were recorded. Still, it is suggested to add a consecutive number to these ﬁles per default
when they are added to the Journal. When the ﬁles are copied from the Journal to a USB stick, consecutive numbers are added to their ﬁle name anyway. The bug that messed the numbering of copies on a USB stick, as shown in ﬁgure 44, has been ﬁxed yet; but, this ﬁx only cures the symptoms and does not ﬁx the initial problem. The way capturing waveforms is handled in the Measure activity could serve as the role model here. When these are added to the Journal, consecutive numbers are appended to their ﬁlename. This suggestion is not in opposition to the suggested ameliorated workﬂow of giving audio ﬁles a custom title from within the activity as it was proposed in the previous chapter. The user should have the choice between the two. This suggestion also has been ﬁled on SugarLabs’ bug-tracking system136 .
Accidentally Opening Files from the Journal
“Sugar has clarity of design. There is no need to ‘double click’.” 
http://bugs.sugarlabs.org/ticket/2530 (Accessed: 06/05/2011)
The initial reason that ﬁles are opened so often accidentally while renaming them in the Journal, or copying them to a USB stick is that a single click is sufﬁcient to open a ﬁle. It is suggested to change this behavior so that a double-click is required. Given the motor abilities of smaller children this will reduce the issue to a minimum. They often accidentally lost items during a drag-andFigure 46: The Measure activity shows the way to go
drop operation, or they clicked on the ﬁles to select them. Besides that, most of the children were used to double-clicking. The single click option did not provide clarity of design but was confusing at least those children that previously had contact with other UIs. During our workshop it still was Etoys that served as the default application to open media ﬁles, such as photos, recordings, or video. This often failed as Etoys could not read the format anyway. In any case, it took much time. This bug has been ﬁled137, and was ﬁxed in build 860. ImageViewer and JukeBox are the default activities to open images and audio ﬁles now, Etoys does not attempt to open videos anymore. To further improve the situation, it is suggested to add a Cancel button to the Save-to-Journal dialog. This
Figure 47: The situation has improved a lot since the days of the workshop when Etoys tried to open each type of media ﬁle.
would contribute to keep the Journal free from clutter; however it bears the danger that children always cancel saving their work to the Journal138. Furthermore, it is suggested to add the possibility to quit an activity during its startup animation139.
http://tracker.squeakland.org/browse/SQ-901 (Accessed: 06/05/2011) In my opinion this is the lesser of two evils. Sooner or later they will have to learn that certain actions have
certain consequences anyway.
See also http://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg19318.html (Accessed: 06/05/
It is debatable if all activities really have to be stored in the Journal, anyway. “Sugar maintains a Journal (or diary) of everything you do; it is a place for reﬂection. You do not need to save ﬁles or create folders; Activities automatically save your work to the Journal.”  Does it really make sense to store all the times that I looked at an image with ImageViewer, or would it be more reasonable to just store the occasion when I took, painted, or downloaded that image. Particularly activities such as ImageViewer, that do not even offer the possibility to create or alter something— pure consumer activities— should not display the Save-toJournal dialog at all. This seems to be handled inconsistently within Sugar, and even within some activities. JukeBox and JAMedia do not offer this dialog at all. ImageViewer does not offer the dialog when it has been started by clicking on an image ﬁle in the Journal. It does offer the dialog when it has been started from the Home view, and an image has been opened via ImageViewer’s FileChooser dialog. It is suggested to remove the auto saving feature altogether. Besides improving the consistency of the UI, forcing the children to save their work gives them more responsibility for their actions. They will learn the importance of saving soon and easy enough while they are small. Having to reeducate them later on when they will use other operating systems will be a bigger problem than losing some data in their infancy.
10.3 Etoys, Scratch
As has been stated yet in chapter eight and nine, the missing export functionality in both tools has been experienced to be the main obstacle in producing valuable results. Neither Etoys’ steep learning curve, nor the unfamiliar approach140 of both tools to handle animation would not have prevented the Visuals Team to accomplish the task. The missing export functionality ﬁnally did. What exactly could an export functionality look like? Export to which format? Both tools’ main focus is not to create simple animations but interactive media. So exporting to a movie format would not be a real solution for the majority of projects. Yet, it would be sufﬁcient in some cases141. AcFigure 48: squeakland.org offers a medium to publish Etoys projects, a corresponding website is offered by scratch.mit.edu
cording to the tools’ developers, this option has no priority in the near future . Both tools, Etoys and Scratch allow to publish projects to their respective website142 in a
rather simple way. Concerning Scratch the format can be considered a genuine web format: it’s a Java applet. Viewing an Etoys project on the web is only possible if Etoys is installed on
Unfamiliar from the perspective of Auge, the mentor of the Visuals Team, who was accustomed to a timeline
based approach to animation.
Adobe Flash®, a tool that is comparable to Etoys and Scratch in this respect, also offers the option to export a
see also http://info.scratch.mit.edu/Support/Get_Started and http://www.squeakland.org/showcase/ (All ac-
the client; even then it might be problematic under certain circumstances 143. See ﬁgure 49. Limiting the publishing to these websites is considered to be restrictive. Publishing a working Scratch applet to another website is possible, but somewhat cumbersome. It would be very helpful if there was a oneclick solution to produce the HTML page, the applet, required .jars, and other ﬁles; stuff all this into a directory, et voila 144. Processing145 could act as a role model here.
Figure 49: While Scratch exports a Java applet, which can be considered as a format that can be viewed by a majority of internet users, it is rather inconvenient to view Etoys projects directly in the browser.
Still, the ﬁnal product could not be viewed on a standard XO, as they do not come with Java installed. It could at least be copied, however, to another machine to be presented to the class, or to be published on a
Etoys FAQ claims that it should work in Safari on the Mac (http://www.squeakland.org/about/faq/ (Accessed:
06/05/2011)), which it does not, for example, under a 64-bit Snow Leopard.
A corresponding solution has been suggested by kevin_karplus
http://scratch.mit.edu/forums/viewtopic.php?id=486#23 (Accessed: 06/05/2011)
website of choice. Admittedly, these use cases are rather speciﬁc for projects such as our radio play workshop.
10.4 Command Queue
Maybe the most basic and most severe usability issue of the XOs is the missing visual feedback for a busy system. When an activity is occupied for a longer time with some task, it is considered essential to display some sort of busy symbol. While this symbol is shown, new commands that are triggered by user interaction have to be igFigure 50: Processingʼs export feature enables the user to generate a web compatible output, including the html code and all other necessary ﬁles.
nored. Currently all the commands are just queued up. The XO seems to be unresponsive. The natural reaction, not only, of children is an increased click rate. Since the
commands are queued up, this increases the problem as more and more commands have to be executed in a row, later on146 .
10.5 JAMedia, JukeBox
Removing the resource hungry visual clutter in favor of a simple and easily usable interface would be a plus for both activities. Figure 51 shows JukeBox’ current state. As its visualizer did not show up at the screenshot it is represented by the white donut, ﬁgure 51-➊. The Skip-song buttons, ﬁgure 51-➋, do not work, Fast-forward and backward buttons are missing. The Activity tab, ﬁgure 51-➌, only provides the option to stop
Figure 51: JukeBox
the activity. Clicking on the loudspeaker
See also chapter 9.2 (Paint) for a report on the effects of this behavior during the workshop
icon, ﬁgure 51-➍, displays a slider to adjust the volume. The loudspeaker icon does not visualize the selected volume, though. The Open-ﬁle icon, ﬁgure 51-➎ is not consistent with other activities. Neither JukeBox nor JAMedia display the currently playing song to the user. While JukeBox only offers a ﬁle chooser to select audio ﬁles from the Journal, JAMedia only offers a ﬁle chooser to seFigure 52: Suggestion for a new audio and video player, to be merged from JukeBox and JAMedia
lect audio ﬁles from the underlying Linux ﬁle system. JAMedia also offers the possibility to choose from a list of preselected inter-
net radios. Furthermore, JAMedia does not only play audio ﬁles but also video ﬁles. Figure 52 suggests an optimized interface for a tool to be merged from both existing activities. Considered that both activities regularly crash, and also suffer from a couple of other insufﬁciencies it seems to be a reasonable idea to merge both tools into one147. The red and green icons at the bottom allow the user to choose between the data sources Journal, ﬁle system, usb stick, and internet radio stations. The Play tab has been removed completely as the activity does not require any tabs at all. The Open-ﬁle button also has been removed. Instead, a list of playable ﬁles (or radio stations), as available on the selected data source, is displayed permanently. The currently playing song is indicated by a little loudspeaker icon. The toolbar at the top, now features the player controls— fast forward and backward have been added— the loudspeaker icon to adjust the volume, displays the selected volume now.
Iʼm aware that this might get difﬁcult as both tools are developed by different developers. Another problematic
issue might be that JAMedia is supporting mp3 decoding, which might be raising licensing issues with Thomson or Fraunhofer.
Labyrinth is a mind mapping activity. Boxes with text, drawings and even photos can be created and connected to each other. Its interaction design is a bit quirky. Boxes cannot be moved, according to the developer this is not a bug, but a rather obscure interaction design that has been inherited from the original application that has been ported to Sugar . The boxes can be moved by right-click-drag. Labyrinth has not been used during the radio workshop at the Anna-Lindh-Schule, but it has been used at
Figure 53: The Labyrinth activity.
the Grundschule am Planetarium, where a new attempt was made to visualize Radio
Futura. The ﬁrst step was to listen to the radio play, and collect impressions with Labyrinth. The children were given the task to map the characters and to construct a timeline of actions in the radio play. Besides listening to the pay, they were provided with the script. Apart from having problems with the particularities of the interface, they had problems to understand that each box is added as a child of the currently selected box. The attempt was ﬁnally cancelled as it was not possible to motivate the children to add something to an already ﬁnished project. Two of the children had expressed their lack of interest from the beginning. The others lost interest soon afterwards 148 149.
It also seemed to be intellectually too challenging to abstract the radio play into a timeline of actions for the
children. To me it was an important point, however, to have them reﬂect the story and “reverse-engineer” the storyline, and not just make some random drawings.
Finally, I let the children choose what they want to do. One of the difﬁculties here was to point out to them that
it is important to know ﬁrst what you want to do and then to select the activity that ﬁts best to accomplish the task. Except for a few, their suggestions were: “Letʼs use this or that activity.” We noted the other suggestions on the board and tried to do a few things. Amongst others, we explored TamTamSynthLab. The children generally lost interest after a couple of minutes when they realized that it takes more intellectual effort than to just randomly click around in an activity to accomplish a certain task. At the end of our list, the suggestion to create a game was left. The children called it Blockbreaker, originally it has been developed by Steve Wozniak as Breakout. They all started with great enthusiasm. Three lessons later, when they realized that they actually have to learn something to accomplish the task, their enthusiasm began to shrink again. This time it was easier though to get them back on track, with the argument that the current topic was their own choice.
The screenshots in ﬁgure 54 show the current situation in documentation. The Record activity has been chosen as an example, but the same applies for the other activities as well. There are at least four sources on the web where information about an activity can be found. The SugarLabs wiki, the OLPC wiki, SugarLab’s activity pages, and for some activities the FLOSS manuals150. Finally, there are the old manuals on laptop.org, which are to be replaced by the new manuals on ﬂossmanuals.net. Not all of these resources are linked to each other in a sufﬁcient way. The SugarLabs wiki is a positive exception in this concern, as it just gives the most basic information and links to all other available resources 151. The OLPC wiki, at least, states that the given information might be outdated. It only links to the SugarLabs activities page and to the source code repository. In some cases as, e.g. for JAMedia, the situation is even worse as the developer additionally runs his own webpage to provide information about the activity. Additionally, there are the download pages for the sources, and two, or even three152, concurFigure 54: A little here, a little there, documentation everywhere. From top down: http://laptop.org/8.2.0/manual/ http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Activities/Record http://en.ﬂossmanuals.net/record/ http://git.sugarlabs.org/projects/record http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Record http://activities.sugarlabs.org/en-US/sugar/addon/4081 https://sites.google.com/site/sugaractivities/jam
ring bug tracking systems. Plus a myriad of mailing-lists and a couple of IRC channels. At least non-techies, easily get lost in this information jungle. It takes quite much time and effort to ﬁnd out the differences between OLPC and Sugar, why they have split, that both have a wiki, that the most important information for most users can be
150 151 152
The FLOSS manuals are a project that provides free manuals for free software. http://en.ﬂossmanuals.net/ Some of the links are broken though and need to be ﬁxed. Etoys, for example, features its own bug tracker
found at the Floss Manuals, which is another project non-geeks, such as teachers, will hardly ever have heard of. Especially the OLPC wiki needs more maintenance. For those who are new to the OLPC/Sugar topic, this wiki often is the ﬁrst resource to be consulted. Removing the outdated information is considered superior than just tagging it outdated. A complete list of links to the up-to-date information, particularly to the user guides at ﬂossmanuals.net would be a real improvement.
11 Teachersʼ Manual
Except for the radio play, a teachers’ manual on how to produce radio plays on the XO in class was the major outcome of this project. One of the outcomes of Antje Breitkopf’s research in Peru was that the teachers need good examples of what to do with the laptops. They often do not have the time to develop such concepts on their own . As it has been delineated, producing a radio play is a great tool to get the children involved in a wide variety of topics and activities, and embedding these topics into a practical context. The production of a radio play provides tasks to challenge most of the multiple intelligences that have been outlined by Howard Gardner . It is a highly beneﬁcial tool to implement projectbased learning (PBL). PBL is a more dynamic approach to teaching than the standard 45 minute slices of information separated by subjects. In recent years, it has been chosen by many schools to get students motivated . Students develop cross-curriculum skills while they explore real world challenges in small collaborative groups . They are training skills and competencies such as collaboration, project planning, and time management. Teachers have often noted improvements in attendance and participation. Instead of simulating reality with, e.g., Etoys, PBL connects learning with reality. Students are encouraged to use higher order thinking skills rather than memorizing facts . Radijojo’s objective from the beginning of this project was to encourage the production of a whole series of radio plays to be following the pilot that was produced during the workshop. The manuals original focus, was to enable teachers, where ever they are, to produce further episodes on their own. Therefore, the outlines, or dogmas, for creating new episodes of the series are provided. There is no obligation to adhere to these dogmas, however; teachers are free to decide whether they want to produce another episode of the play or something completely different. The manual evolved to cover a wider range of topics related to radio play production; its core consists of two parts— the modules, and the activities. Part one of the manual covers the core topics of basic microphoning, pronunciation and acting, as well as a wide variety of additional modules. PBL inspires students to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they are studying , the additional modules can serve as a vehicle to guide the children to a variety of directions from which they can select to focus on a certain aspect. Some of the additional modules are predestined for team-based work, others are better suited for independent work. The modules cover a range of ages and, therefore, ﬁt very well for multi-aged and multi-graded classrooms. The modular fashion of the manual enables the teachers to pick those modules that ﬁt the size and duration of the project that they have envisioned. One week workshops can be conducted as well as long term efforts combining a variety of subjects. No matter which model will be chosen, it is considered to be very important to embed the selected modules into a project with a clearly deﬁned beginning and ending.
The manual delineates a couple of examples in more detail to give an impression of the possibilities, and to inspire teachers to add their own ideas. Each of the examples starts with a table providing information about the subjects where the module could be applied, some of the module’s learning objectives, the necessary equipment— in most cases a laptop and ideally an additional microphone are sufﬁcient— and the activities that could be applied to achieve the module’s objective. At the end of each chapter, some literature for further reading has been recommended. Most of the recommended books are a little out of date in their description of the recording technology, as they were written when analogue recording technologies were dominating the radio studios. Still, they provide valuable information about acting, microphoning, composing radio plays, writing, etc. Particularly, Bruce H. Siegel’s book Creative Radio Production , Richard Aspinall’s A manual for training Radio programme production , and Zdenka Sobeida Salas Pilco’s The XO Laptop in the Classroom  have been great sources of inspiration and are highly recommended for further reading. Aspinall153 and Pilco154 are available online for free. The second part of the manual deals with those activities that are recommended to be used in more detail. Their usage is described, and pitfalls are shown where necessary. Activities that have been documented elsewhere yet, have been omitted and links to the places where the documentation can be found have been provided. As it has been shown Sugar and the XO are not necessarily the best-equipped platform to produce radio plays or other audio content; but still, it is possible to do it and it is worth the effort. The production of radio plays is possible on any computer that is equipped with a sound card. The manual, therefore, also suggests alternative free and open source tools for other computer platforms to accomplish the tasks. A one-to-one ratio of laptops to children is not necessary. In general, one laptop for each of the teams is absolutely sufﬁcient. Depending on the selected modules, this ratio can vary in both directions. Digitally visualizing the radio play requires more laptops, building special effect boxes does not require laptops at all. Theoretically, desktop computers could easily be used instead of laptops in most cases, but it is necessary to consider that recording audio is tightly connected to the production of noise. A computer lab will be the worst of all settings, no matter what kind of technology will be used. The possibility of a physical separation of the teams is a core requirement.
http://www.unesco.org/ulis/cgi-bin/ulis.pl?database=&lin=1&futf8=1&ll=1&gp=1&look=default&sc1=1&sc2=1&nl=1 &req=2&au=Aspinall,%20Richard%20P (Accessed: 06/05/2011)
Spanish: http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:La_Laptop_XO_en_el_Aula.pdf (Accessed: 06/05/2011)
English: http://www.scribd.com/doc/22386977/The-XO-Laptop-in-the-Classroom (Accessed: 06/05/2011) French: http://olpc-france.org/docs/L_Ordinateur_XO_dans_la_classe_v1_0.pdf (Accessed: 06/05/2011)
Finally, an (incomplete) list of resources has been added at the end of the document. This list includes recorded radio plays for inspiration, scripts for radio plays, copyright free sound effects and music, as well as links to sources providing further information. Not all the recorded plays and scripts have been evaluated for their appropriateness for children. It is the teachers’ responsibility to decide whether a certain topic is suitable for the age of the children, or the community’s cultural customs. Not all the websites that have been linked to, are providing exclusively copyright free material. It is the teachers’ responsibility to decide, on a case by case basis, whether, and under which conditions, it is possible to use a certain piece of music or sound effect. In general, it is advised to seek the collaboration of a local independent radio station to embed the project into a more tangible reality. Radijojo offers to support the projects remotely, but owed to its limited capacities this will be restricted to publishing the products on its website, etc. Getting in touch with real people from a more nearby radio station, maybe in combination with an excursion to the station, and ﬁnally the option to publish the result on air, is considered to be the optimal experience for the children. Each of the manual‘s sections gives an introduction to the concerned topic. It is detailed enough to conduct classes giving general information about the topics. In most cases, this should be sufﬁcient for the usage in elementary schools. Teachers who want to add more focus on one of the discussed topics either will have additional knowledge in their domain yet or have to get hold of more specialized resources to prepare their classes. The core part of modules is based on experimentation; the teachers are encouraged to provide not more information than is needed to get the children started with their own research. The topics that are discussed, encompass a variety of subjects such as physics, biology, history, arts&crafts, technology, and languages. In the following, the topics that are covered by the manual will be delineated in some detail.
Part One — The Modules
Pronunciation and acting, is the ﬁrst of the two core elements. It could be applied to subjects such as theatre, or language classes, it also might be a suitable for advanced foreign language classes. The children rehearse their pronunciation, record their voices and compare these recordings to reference pronunciations. The Speak activity can be used to provide a reference pronunciation if nothing else is available. Besides the proper pronunciation of foreign languages, the children can train to emphasize their sentences differently to convey different meanings. Another focus is to train the pace, loudness, and pitch of their voices to create a more interesting way of recitation. Having the children record their voices and listen to these recordings will make them see their voices in a different light. It is important, that the chil!
dren are acting their parts instead of reading them. Radio production requires a different acting than acting on a stage though. The usage of recording technology allows a different range of expressions. Whereas whispering on a stage would not work, it can be used in recording without problems [225, p.102ff] [254 p.72ff]. Positioning microphones and basic recording, is the second and last of the core elements. It is training to work with recording technology and more general planning and communication skills. The children that took the role of the technicians have to communicate with the actors and vice versa to produce an optimal result. This section of the manual discusses a couple of simple microphone positioning strategies to create certain effects. Creative writing, is one of the modules that are suitable for older children. It discusses analyzing existing plays, their style and language. Some techniques apply for play writing in general, others such as the compression of time by using SoundFX are particular to radio plays. Fundamentals of sound, could be a topic in a physics course. It discusses basic concepts of sound such as waves, frequency, amplitude, timbre, and envelope. Besides providing background information, this chapter’s focus is on delineating experimentation setups to explore the physical phenomena, using the activities Measure and TamTamSynthLab. This module can be adjusted to ﬁt for a variety of levels from beginners to advanced. The workings of microphones, provides some more advanced information about microphones. While the other module on microphoning is focussing very basically on the topic of positioning microphones, this module discusses the various types of microphones and their characteristics. This topic is rather speciﬁc and might not be of any interest in certain settings. As it is very theoretical as well, it might be suited best as an assignment for some independent research. Title song and background music in radio plays, discusses the topic of music as a component of a radio play. It encourages to discuss about the necessity of background music in a selected scene or the application of background music as a story element, e.g., a radio or a band playing somewhere. Creating soundFX, is a very beneﬁcial topic. Possibly, this is the part that provides most of the fun for the children. Depending on the available time either very basic means to create soundFX can be applied, or more sophisticated effect boxes can be built. Building more advanced boxes trains the children’s mechanical and manual skills. Creating soundFX is a very wide ﬁeld, which also provides the possibility to integrate and engage very young, or otherwise special students. SoundFX do not necessarily have to be produced manually. Libraries of copyright free effects are available online. It would be rather ill-advised, however, to waste this opportunity to train the children’s manual skills and their creativity.
The workings of the human ear, might be assigned as an independent or team research project in biology. The previously gathered knowledge about sound will come in handy here. Historical context. Historical incidents in the countries history are well suited as the basis for a radio play. If enough time is available, the results of the research about such an incident could be used to provide the setting for the story to be developed in the creative writing module. Another advantage of the medium radio play becomes obvious here. While tasks such as producing newspapers or posters, are often accomplished by copying and pasting material from the internet 155, this is not as easy to do with audio contents. They still might begin with copying and pasting material at the beginning of the process. But at some point they have to translate their material into some kind of dramatic form, they have to perform it, and record it. Various levels of transforming the material have to be applied, pure copy and paste is sheer impossible. Mixing the ﬁnal product, is the point where the whole project might become a little hairy. Though it is not impossible on the XO, it is not an easy job to do. Mixing audio ﬁles requires the most technical abilities of all the suggested activities. It also requires a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. The size of the teams should not exceed two students. If more than one team mixes the raw material, a competition will be created about which version to be published. This can be exploited to motivate the children by making the competition public, having a jury, and rewarding the best mix. Alternatively one team could be dedicated to do the mixing. While most of the others might be starting to actively work on the play right away, this team could use the time it takes the others to produce their materials, to get acquainted to, e.g., Audacity, starting their actual work when the others have ﬁnished theirs. This setting obviously requires very careful planning.
Part Two — The Activities
Audacity, is an open source audio editor that is available for a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. On the XO it can be started under Sugar or under Gnome. For reasons that have been delineated in previous sections of this paper, it is not recommended to use Audacity under Sugar. Switching to Gnome is easy enough on the newer builds, and creating a ﬁnal mix of the play is recommended for more advanced users only, anyway. The manual gives a basic introduction to the work with Audacity on the XO, delineates a couple of basic techniques such as cutting, copying, pasting, trimming, and normalizing audio ﬁles. It is also explained how portions of a recording can be moved within the ﬁle and how additional tracks can be generated. These techniques should be sufﬁcient to
At least the children in my class at the Grundschule am Planetarium reported that this is what they do, for ex-
ample at their science classes.
get started to use Audacity on the XO, and to create some basic mixes. For additional information, a link to the Audacity documentation at FLOSS manuals is provided. As has been mentioned earlier, the ﬁnal mix of our radio play has neither been done on the XO, nor has Audacity been used. However, during the production of the teachers’ manual, Audacity has been tested to some extend on the XO. Given that additional storage is provided via a USB stick or an SD card, fundamental issues that might prevent the completion of the ﬁnal mix on an XO have not been encountered. With the new version of Record and the possibility to easily ﬁx Jokosher, the need to use Audacity could be minimized in the near future. FotoToon, is a tool to create comics. Visually enhancing radio plays for their usage on audiovisual media such as the web, is suggested as an additional task if there are more students than necessary to complete the more basic tasks. Instead of visualizing the play, it could also be considered to give the task of documenting the project with their XOs’ cameras and to create a Making of... with FotoToon. JAMedia and Jukebox; both tools are not exactly ideal but there are no better ones available to enable the students to listen to the provided resources. Labyrinth, is a mind-mapping tool with a rather uncommon set of user interaction commands. A basic introduction is provided in the manual. Measure, comes rather handy in a couple of occasions. As Record does not provide an option to visualize the recorded sound, it can be very helpful to adjust the microphones, etc. It is also a great tool to visualize the concepts of frequency, amplitude, etc. As soon as the new version of Record will be released, Measure will become obsolete for these purposes. Record: Although it is less than perfect for audio recording, it still is the lesser of two evils. Despite its insufﬁciencies, the children are much faster able to produce proper recordings with Record than with Audacity. The possibilities of Record will be improved a lot with the new version. At least this section of the manual will need to be reworked when it is released. Speak, the children love it. It is able to speak sentences in a wide variety of languages. The quality of speech is surprisingly good. Naturally, it cannot compete with native speakers, but it is deﬁnitely a serious option to train pronunciation in foreign languages156. TamTamMini, TamTamSynthlab: An introduction is given to these members of the TamTam family. As it has been stated in previous chapters, playing music on the XO is not really satisfying. Neither in terms of loudness nor in terms of fun, the XOs will not be able to compete with more natural instruments such as tin cans, etc. TamTamSynthlab is a valid tool to demon156
While writing this down a reminiscence of my own experience with English teachers in high school ﬂashed
through my mind. In terms of pronunciation, at least one of them could have been easily replaced by Speak to improve the quality of education.
strate certain features of sound, however, and TamTamMini could be used as a reference to train the modulation of the pitch of a voice. For each of the activities, alternative free and open source tools for other operating systems have been suggested. The manual is currently being peer reviewed by the project members of Radijojo. One copy of the manual has been provided to Elaine Negroponte to be tested at a radio production on the topic of child trafﬁcking at her school in rural Cambodia. When the most basic ﬂaws have been detected and removed it will be offered to the OLPC IAEP 157 mailing-list to receive more feedback. Finally, it is planned to publish it on FLOSS manuals158.
Itʼs An Education Project http://en.ﬂossmanuals.net/
While nobody would question the beneﬁts of ICT in current societies, the appliance of ICT in education, and even more in primary education is highly disputed. While in industrialized countries ICT4ed on the one hand is focussed on higher education, and on the other hand several laptop projects were abandoned yet, as they did not produce the desired outcomes, a couple of developing countries have chosen to invest a rather high percentage of their educational budget in one-to-one laptop projects for primary education. Whether the motivation of the politicians who have been in charge for this decision really was the good will to make a change, providing better education for all the children in their country, or just a vehicle to demonstrate their progressiveness in combination with the opportunity to take some promotionally effective photos with happy children for the next elections, is open to question. If the goodwill of an organization such as OLPC will provide a sustainable progress that is accepted within the community of students, parents, and teachers, producing measurable outcomes in improved education will still have to be proved by the future. It is safe to say that just giving laptops to the children, without adjusting some other parameters in the educational systems, and the contexts of living will not be a successful option to improve their situation. Laptop programs can only provide valuable results if they are embedded into a productive environment of engaged teachers, parents, and volunteers. It would be a wasted effort if the teachers do not make use of the laptops in school, the parents do not let the children use the laptops at home, and no network of volunteers is available to repair the broken laptops. Before even thinking about computer programs, the infrastructural problems such as missing electricity or internet have to be solved. The same points apply for Sugata Mitra’s model with some minor variations. Mitra’s Granny Cloud is an invaluable advantage in situations where there are no teachers at all; if it can be scaled to a size that it can satisfy the educational needs of all the neglected places of the world is still doubtable, however. The best argument for one-to-one models such as OLPC’s, is that the children can take their laptops home. This does not only enable the children to use the laptops very ﬂexibly whenever they want, but it also transforms the XO into a multipurpose tool for the whole family, presumed that affordable internet access is available, and that valuable contents and services are available for these people. This is particularly true since the XOs come with an additional Gnome desktop preinstalled. The children’s parents therefore also need to be prepared for, and included in these programs. The ﬁrst generation XO’s hardware problems, such as the trackpad and the insufﬁcient memory and storage, have been solved with the release of the XO-1.5. Most of the currently deployed devices are still XO-1.0s, however; and the teachers will have to deal with these insufﬁciencies. The Sugar GUI and storage system are still far from being perfect. It is very
difﬁcult to judge the usability and user interaction design of the XO measured by the needs of its target group. The few available evaluations by usability experts often do not consider the different realities between children in developing countries and their own. Interviewing the teachers or children themselves, is often similarly unfruitful as they are too enthusiastic about the technology to realize its ﬂaws, or they “might be anxious to please an evaluator [and] provide information in its best light.”  The only way to get valid results is observing the children while they are trying to accomplish their tasks with the XO. Children in developing countries, particularly those which have not been exposed to other technology before, surely have a different approach to the XO, than children in, for example, Germany, which have been surrounded by technology throughout their life. Still, some of our observations can be generalized. The single click issue, for example, that has been delineated in chapter ten is not a cultural problem, but a motor problem. The approach to use icons instead of texts regularly fails at a certain level in most of the activities’ interfaces. It has been observed that it was very easy for the children to get started. They had no problems at all to start activities, and to play with them. Up to this point, it is indeed also possible for illiterate students to get along fairly well. To get beyond a try-and-error scheme using an activity, reading skills are required, however. Furthermore, it is incomprehensible that a tool, which is marketed as the solution to bridge the digital gap, needlessly teaches the children a completely different workﬂow than it is expected by all other operating systems. Especially the automatic saving to the Journal, sometimes, is at least irritating, and, as has been shown, is used inconsistently throughout the system. Even worse is the unreliability of this feature. Data has been lost at several occasions during the workshop at the Anna-Lindh-School and the Sugar class at the Grundschule am Planetarium. Besides these more essential issues in Sugar’s interaction design, there is a variety of smaller issues and bugs that need to be resolved. The problem of Sugar’s and OLPC’s noncommercial open source approach is that there are not enough people that “have an itch to make education with laptops work in the developing world.”  Sugar and OLPC developers are working hard to improve the situation. For most of them, working on Sugar or other aspects of the XO’s software is not their paid daytime job. The developer base is too small to catch up with all the bugs before new technologies, such as the new XO-1.75 tablet, require new solutions from scratch . Taken all into account it probably was not a good idea to reinvent a complete operating system and GUI for the XO. Especially the decision to develop this system in a scripting language (Python) is considered to be at least questionable. A less futuristic but more reliable solution would be preferable for everyday use in schools. Whatever the case may be, the money for the laptops has been spent. To turn this into a valuable investment for the schools, the teachers have to be trained to use these laptops in class, they need enough freedom in their curricula to being able to use them, and ﬁnally they
need inspiration for valuable classroom activities in which the XOs can be integrated. The ﬁrst two points are beyond the scope of this paper, as for the third one it has been shown that the production of radio drama can be a suitable entry point to teach and learn a wide variety of topics in different subjects. Embedding these topics in a project, such as the production of a radio play, adds more relevance to them as the children are easily able to connect them to the real world. The atmosphere that is created by project-based education is also considered to be an extremely important factor. The presence of people that the students normally do not meet in their day to day routine, and the pressure of having an actual deadline, as well as the fact that their product will be published in a real world medium outside of school, is considered to be of importance. The prerequisites that are provided by the XO laptop to produce radio content are not perfect but sufﬁcient. The results will not have professional radio quality, yet they are deﬁnitely presentable. In the future, the manual will have to be rewritten to take the changes in the Record activity, which have been an achievement of this work, into account. Sugarizing Jokosher does not seem too much effort, and would provide a more advanced recording tool for the XO, which would perfectly complement the new Record activity. Currently the manual has been provided to Elaine Negroponte’s school in Cambodia to be “beta tested” in a radio production about child trafﬁcking. Finally, the manual will be published on Floss Manuals. Further workshops to complete the radio play series on the UN millenium goals would be desirable. Ideally, these episodes should be produced by teachers, students, and community radios in the developing world.
A) Activity - Application for the OLPC XO laptop. There is no distinction in the wording between the application itself and the ﬁles that are generated by the application Annan, Koﬁ - former Secretary General of the United Nations Asprobounitis, Yioryos - OLPC developer B) Becerra, Oscar - Chief Educational Technology Ofﬁcer at the Ministry of Education of Peru Beitel, Garry - Canadian ﬁlm-maker Bender, Walter - Sugar’s master mind Bittencourt, Juliano - Brazilian university researcher, Member of the OLPC learning team. Breitkopf, Antje - German researcher, evaluating the usage of OLPC XOs in Peru Brignull, Harry - British User Experience designer Brown, Himan - Radio producer, CBS C) Cameron, James - OLPC developer Colbert, Steven - US Comedian and Talk Show host, Colbert Report D) Davis, Wade - American anthropologist Derndorfer, Christoph - OLPCNews, OLPC Austria E) Etoys - multipurpose education software F) Fahey, Christopher - User Experience Director at Behavior Farning, David - Founder of Activity Central Fitts’ Law - Formula to calculate the usability of an interface element based on its size and the distance between the user’s starting point and the location of the button Fuller, Richard Buckminster - American architect and thinker Freudenberg, Bert - German computer scientist, Etoys developer G) García, Alan - President of Peru Gates, Bill - Founder of Microsoft Gatto, John Taylor - American teacher and author Ghani, Ashraf - Chairman of the Institute of State Effectiveness, former ﬁnance minister of Afghanistan Gnome - Linux Desktop Greenﬁeld, Adam - Founder of Urbanscale, previously Nokia’s head of design direction for service and user interface Pesenti Gritti, Marco - Former Sugar Team Lead GUI - Graphical User Interface Gupta, Manu Sheel - CEO of SEETA, OLPC India H) HTW - Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin Hand crank - Tool to convert human movements into electrical power to charge the XOs batteries. Hollow, David - ICT4D Collective I) ICT - Information and Communication Technology ICT4ed - ICT for education IDGD - Interaction Design Game Design, Program at HTW
K) Kagame, Paul - African dictator Kane, Chuck - Director of the OLPC Association L) Langhoff, Martin - Software Architect - OLPC Lawler, Bob - Coworker of Nicholas Negroponte and Seymour Papert in Dakar Leary, Timothy - American psychologist M) Madsen, Wayne - American investigative journalist McNierney, Ed - OLPC’s Chief Technology Ofﬁcer MIE - minimal invasive education MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mitra, Sugata - Indian computer scientist Moll, Cameron - American web designer and author N)
Russell, Bertrand - British mathematician and social reformer S) Salas Pilco, Sdenka Zobeida - Peruvian teacher and computer scientist, author of “La Laptop XO en el Aula” Schampijer, Simon - Sugar developer SEETA - Indian educational software company Stephenson, Neal - American author SOP - Standard Operating Procedure SES - Socioeconomic Status SmallTalk - strictly object oriented programming language Squeak - SmallTalk implementation Sugar - The XO’s user interface Sugarize - Adapt an application to be compatible to the Sugar UI T)
NAND Flash memory - relatively cheap and robust mass storage replacing a hard disk in the XO to avoid mechanical problems Negroponte, Nicholas - Founder of OLPC, Faculty member of MIT NIIT - National Institute of Information Technology O) OLPC - One Laptop per Child P) V) Papert, Seymour - South African Mathematician Vota, Wayan - Senior Director of the Inveneo Certiﬁed Pilco - see Salas Ploskonka, Yamandu - OLPC Bolivia, Teacher R) Raskin, Jef - User Interaction Guru Robinson, Sir Ken - Advisor to the governments of the UK and Singapore, Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Warwick ICT Partner Program, publisher of OLPCNews.com Vazquez, Tabaré - Former president of Uruguay W) Warschauer, Mark - Professor in the Department of Education and the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine Wilson, Robert Anton - American author Toyama, Kentaro - Researcher in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. Toolan, Fran - Founder and President of Firebrand Technologies U) UI - User Interface UN Millennium Goals - goals to eliminate poverty, targeted to be achieved by 2015
X) XO - Laptop introduced by the One Laptop per Child foundation XO-1.0 - ﬁrst edition of the OLPC laptop. Currently most of the distributed XOs are XO-1.0s XO-1.5 - updated edition of the OLPC laptop. Faster, more storage, several hardware bugs ﬁxed. XO-HS - High school edition of the OLPC laptop. Basically, a XO-1.5 with a different keyboard.
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Page 9: Timeline XO models
XOXO: Creative Commons - John A. Watlington; XO -1: Mike McGregor; XO-1.5: Creative Commons - eleven; XO-HS: Creative Commons - OLPC; XO-3: Creative Commons - OLPC
Page 18: Timeline ﬂag-maps
Senegal: Creative Commons - Darwinek; Uruguay: Creative Commons - Darwinek
Page 30: Simputer
Creative Commons - fredericknoronha (ﬂickr)
Page 32: Hole in the wall
Creative Commons - extension 504 (ﬂickr)
Page 33: Images from the Mongolian deployment
Creative Commons - Carla Gomez Monroy
Page 63: New Record UI Mockup
Creative Commons - Gonzalo Odiard