One Laptop Per New York City Middle School Student

   
   
   
   
   

One Laptop Per Child may have pilot projects in many schools worldwide, but the newest program has my rapt attention. Teaching Matters, an educational non-profit, is implementing a OLPC pilot in the Kappa IV school in New York City with a refreshing twist.

olpc nyc
Praying for OLPC in NYC

Their OLPC in NYC project blog states they have two main goals:

  1. Lowering Total Cost of Ownership:Teaching Matters wants to decrease the current $1,300 per-laptop cost of purchase and comprehensive managed support.
  2. Improving Instruction:Teaching Matters wants to use technology to address the problems of new teachers lacking the knowledge and experience needed to effectively teach writing, and keep middle school students, especially boys, from demonstrating significant declines in writing performance and motivation
This is the first OLPC pilot that I know of where the implementing organization is looking at Total Cost of Ownership, teacher adoption, and learning outcomes - the trifecta of impact that will really change educator opinions on One Laptop Per Child - through rigorous objective measurements of its work.

So far they've had good anecdotal results with children and even better technical learning with school servers and of course mesh networking troubleshooting with WPA.

It will be interesting to see how the pilot rolls out, especially since Teaching Matters is targeting middle school students, a demographic slightly older than the OLPC primary school age range.

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9 Comments

The above article mentions Kappa VI (6) and the link, "OLPC in NYC" refers to Kappa IV (4). Is this a typo? Kappa VI is a "Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy".

It is Kappa IV. A wonderful school serving students from the Harlem area.

This is good. Showing this working in existing programs will really make it take off. Constructionism is all well and good, but it is insulting to educational professionals.

These are the same education professionals that rise to the top of the food chain in governments and (DO NOT YET) buy millions of XO* laptops. That is cool that they are finally doing a pilot project.

I have been interested in the case of an XO laptop and the problems of MESH NETWORKING in and Urban or Hostile Environment.
-> How do you authenticate nodes to join the mesh?
-> What would happen in a mesh node got a virus?
-> What would be done if a laptop started activities that were destructive to the mesh (too much bandwidth)?
-> Could non-XO wireless devices crack the WPA and get bandwidth off the school internet connection?
-> What bandwidth is achieved in a 5 km 40-hop wireless mesh?
-> Does OLPC mesh networking bet the CUWinWare wireless mesh?

http://www.cuwin.net/research

They should have done a pilot project 2+ years ago, using regular laptops and emulators and re-printed keyboards. They would then be ahead of Windows/ClassmatePC.

"-> How do you authenticate nodes to join the mesh?"

Every XO has a cryptographic key burned into the hardware. So there is a Certificate available for every XO.

"-> What would happen in a mesh node got a virus?"

Write a scientific paper about the first Linux virus in the wild. A worm must be blocked when found, just as with current networks. Security updates

"-> What would be done if a laptop started activities that were destructive to the mesh (too much bandwidth)?"

Bitfrost handles this at the XO level. It could also throttle packets from rough computers.

"-> Could non-XO wireless devices crack the WPA and get bandwidth off the school internet connection?"

Yes, like with all WPA. However, all XOs have certificates, so the school server can block uncertified computers. I even doubt whether the XOs will use WPA. I would think certificates and SSH would work.

"-> What bandwidth is achieved in a 5 km 40-hop wireless mesh?"

I couldn't even guess. Anyone?

"-> Does OLPC mesh networking bet the CUWinWare wireless mesh?"

Sorry, I have no idea what this means.


"They should have done a pilot project 2+ years ago, using regular laptops and emulators and re-printed keyboards. They would then be ahead of Windows/ClassmatePC."

ANY computer can be scrapped after 2 years. So any 2 year pilot will end up with obsolete hardware.

Winter

Dear sir,
This is a wonderful that technology brought to us as human on this planet, but I wonder how can a student living in Africa would be able to share this wonderful technology with his collegues in the first world, and what offer would be possible in case we thought to put an order.
Best regards.
Awaleh

"This is the first OLPC pilot that I know of where the implementing organization is looking at Total Cost of Ownership, teacher adoption, and learning outcomes - the trifecta of impact that will really change educator opinions on One Laptop Per Child - through rigorous objective measurements of its work."

Glad to hear this. I think constructivism and the XO are great. However, education officials, for very good reasons, are not going to buy into olpc unless they have some hard data that shows it really works. And if the data shows it isn't so hot, then olpc needs to get work improving what they are selling until it really does the job.

Computers and the Internet, Laptops in the classroom work. It's a proven fact. Just look at the society that is around you, all of it was improved by the computers and the Internet. Children like the laptops, which means it's better for them.

Constructionism is all well and good, but it is insulting to educational professionals.

It will be interesting to see how the pilot rolls out, especially since Teaching Matters is targeting middle school students.

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