The Volunteers Report - Samoa olpc deployments visit describes the experiences and work carried out by two volunteers who visited OLPC deployments on Samoa in August 2010. Tom Parker and Tabitha Roder carried out this trip as self funded volunteers from New Zealand. They do not speak as employees of the olpc foundation, but as active volunteers in the wider olpc community. The volunteers were assisted in this deployment visit by MESC IT Support staff, Taiesea (Tai) Fiti Petaia and Asi Puaina Fui.
Samoa OLPC Deployments
In May 2010, XO laptops from OLPC were deployed into two primary schools in Samoa - 48 XO-1.0 laptops to Laumoli Primary School children plus additional laptops to teachers and 27 XO-1.0 laptops to Paia Primary school children plus additional laptops to teachers. These schools are located on Savaii Island.
The two primary schools were found to be very different, yet the laptop was not integrated into the curriculum at either school, with ICT class being held after normal school hours.
- Paia Primary School is isolated with students from one village, has IT literate teachers and allows the students to take the laptops home. Paia students are confident with the laptop and willing to accept direction due to their unfettered access to the laptop at home.
- Laumoli Primary School is on the coast in a popular tourist area and services several villages. The teachers and students are less confident and able with the laptops. Students are not allowed to take the laptops home and are less willing to take direction when using the laptop.
The two volunteers observed the progress of the deployment, upgraded the laptops, set up a School Server and access points at each school, allowing students to connect to the School Server from their classrooms. Training sessions were undertaken with teachers and students to develop capability with the laptop, School Server and network.
Recommendations are given in the report for future enhancements; include integrating use of the laptop into the curriculum, and professional development for teachers. Supporting documentation will be made available on the OLPC Samoa wiki for future reference.