Karen's Son Befriends the Chicago XO User Group


My six-year-old son, Liam, and I recently attended a One Laptop Per Child networking event at the Marie Murphy school in Wilmette, IL. The event was put on by Chris Brown as part of a teacher professional development day. He invited area XO owners to come talk about our computers as well as have the opportunity to network with others in the community. One blogged about it here.

caffeinated coding
Liam X0 mesh networking

About 10-15 laptops were present at peak. We gathered around a large conference table in the resource room and quickly got to work. Liam was beyond excited to have so many “friends” show up on his neighborhood view.

We quickly “friended” everyone (by hovering on their icons and selecting “add as friend”) we could from the neighborhood view, then looked at the Group view to see all the colorful XOs on our screens. Shh, don’t tell Anastasia I had her laptop out while she was at school.

Initially, I wasn’t sure about bringing Liam. He’s only 6, it was a regular school day for him that he would miss, he’s bound to get bored, etc. etc. However, I thought it would be a good opportunity for him to share what he’s been learning and doing with his laptop. I figured a community of teachers would like to see what first graders might do with this technology. Plus, he was excited about the idea of coming, even though it meant missing school (and, of all things, library day!)

To be on the safe side, though, the night before I had him pick out a few books, games, and other activities and packed those into his backpack next to his friendly green laptop. You know, just in case.

What was I worried about? Read more here: Suburban (in)Sanity on the XO laptop.

Look for Karen Smith as "KayTi" on the OLPC News Chicago XO User Group forum.

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I loved this post.

It reminds me that we can argue all we want about whether or not the program is feasible (see the camera post comments) but that pales in comparison to what kids are learning from the laptop.

My 8 yo son Devin and I attended the first Philly OLPC User Group. Although we both were looking for kids who Devin could connect with, he very much enjoyed himself and learned quite a bit from the adult members. They also learned from him ... and connecting and learning from each other is what it is all about.