OLPC Community Learning Club in Washington DC

   
   
   
   
   
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Getting our XO-1 geek on in DC
While I love the idea of empowering education with technology, and the XO laptop is clock-stopping hot, I worry that the lack of local user groups - champions of OLPC and innovators of OLPC uses - could diminish the impact of One Laptop Per Child.

I call on us, the OLPC community of geeks, parents, believers, to pick up the Constructionist ideas where OLPC has left off - at the local implementation level. Personally, I find the idea of co-learning with others through the XO very compelling and want to make sure that learning together is central to effective educational uses for XO technology.

Here in Washington DC, I'd like to announce the OLPC Learning Club, a local group of XO laptop enthusiasts committed to co-learning, hacking, and expanding the One laptop Per Child computational experience.

OLPC LC/DC has three simple goals:

  1. co-learning on the XO - be it with each other, our children, or other interested parties.
  2. hacking the XO - add new activities, actions, and uses from software to case mods.
  3. expanding the XO - both the concept of expanding its uses but also expanding its audience and users
If you too believe that the One Laptop Per Child laptop, the Children's Machine XO is a revolution in education and technology, then please join us:Let us spread education, one laptop at a time, starting with our Holiday Meetup on December 18th (note the date change).

Just to be clear, OLPC Learning Club - Washington DC is independent from the One Laptop Per Child organization. It's a grassroots effort to make change happen without hubris.

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22 Comments

How about meetup groups? We can meet, discuss and exercise the mesh network.

Are you discussing uses of the XO for specific educational purposes? Do you have actual kids coming in and getting feedback from them?

Michael,

OLPC LC-DC is a meetup group. You can come out and mesh at our Holiday Meetup on December 18th: http://olpclearningclub.org/meetings/first-olpc-lc-dc-meeting/

NickF,

Over time, we'll have kids participating (and not be meeting in bars) but for this first meeting, it will be more to get kids-at-heart organized than interacting with children.

Damn, I'll be out of town that day. Is this going to a be a monthly thing?

Con,

I sure hope it becomes monthly at least. I can see us having big monthly meet-ups like this one, with guest speakers and hacking themes, and then weekly meetups that are smaller, with XO users from a neighbourhood meshing over an idea or program.

Even more I hope that there are multiple learning clubs across North America.

I'm in. I'm there.

By the way, I convinced the Montgomery County, Maryland (where I live) PTA executive board to send an email out to their listerve with my offer to demo the laptop. The county PTA serves 189 local PTAs and 50,000 parents, teachers and people. It'll be interesting to see if I get any response.

Well, I'm not a day 1 donor (more like a day 7 donor -- bills, you know). Honestly, I don't expect mine until late January at least.

Can we, who were a little late to the party, still join?

Reluctantly representing Prince George's county here.

The blog post mentions a gathering on the 16th, but the meetup event it links to is on the 18th. Which date will it be? I'm hoping to attend (even if I did opt for an Asus Eee instead of the OLPC route).

I like this idea. A good way to 'test' the mesh network even if I'm not there in person.

Is there a way to stream the Community Learning Club activities?

We're there! Looking forward to meeting everybody...

@Mike Lee: Why are you reluctant to represent PG County? You won't be the only person from PG if that's a concern. In fact, if you're around the Town Centre in Bowie, we may mesh :D

John,

My bad - the event is on the 18th, I'm changing OLPC LC-DC now.

Crystal, the attribution for comments is below each entry here, but the placement of the dividing line in this blog template confuses this once you've scrolled down a long list of comments. J. McNair is your neighbor in PG County.

The Holiday Meetup of XO laptop owners now has a guest speaker, Bryan Berry, of OLE Nepal who is excited to share his experience with the OLPC Nepal pilot and efforts to integrate the XO laptop into Nepali curriculum.

Actually, Crystal, I'm a few miles up 197 in Laurel. I'll try to make it anyway, since people seem so nice around here.

MEETING UPDATE: Everyone, note that our first meeting is Tuesday December 18th, at 7pm @ Wonderland Ballroom

The other date (12-16) was incorrect.

Are you listing your group at the olpc wiki, too? See: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XO_Giving/Users
I started a group in Eugene, Oregon. I think your idea of testing the mesh client first thing is great (I'm stealing it!)
I too am interested in the constructivist teaching/learning opportunities. I hope we can talk more.

@Mike: Whoops, thanks for setting me straight!

@J. McNair: Ahh, yeah, it is a bit of a drive for us, and the midweek instead of weekend date has thrown us off a bit, but we hope to be there, too.

Is anyone planning to start up something like this in the Boston area? I'd love to join, but DC's a bit of a hike ;)

Peg,

As Boston is the home of OLPC, I am sure there will be an XO learning club there - you can start one too! Here's links to others: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XO_Giving/Users

OLPC Austria will also join us on Dec 18. Christoph and Aaron will be stopping by to speak with us about their European efforts on their way to OLPC in Boston.

The Dutch OLPC grassroots Group will have their first meeting:

* *When:* Saturday, December 15th 2007, starting at 2 pm

* *Where:* 'Canvas op de 7e' (Horeca & Exhibitions), Wibautstraat 150 (oude Volkskrant gebouw), 1091 GR Amsterdam; take the elevator to the 7th floor.

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