Re-Starting Pacific Northwest OLPC User Groups


My neighbors and friends on Bainbridge Island remember my active campaigning in December 2007 to get as many people as possible to order a One Laptop Per Child device for their children. Now it's being started up again at but so far you can only buy them for other children in poor countries - not yet for our own children.

I hope this changes, but whatever happens am curious to see if folks in the Pacific Northwest are interested in connecting around the topic of OLPC. Is this something we could work together on here at Kabissa? Ping me if you have an XO and want to work together.

This week I also got an email from the current stewards of the Seattle XO group, also posted to their blog.. the first post there since November 2008. They are looking for new stewards:

olpc community
DC user group geeking out
It's been many months since we communicated. We are writing now to see if anyone is interested in taking over the domains for the Seattle XO User Group along with the tools we've created to manage the group. They are coming up for renewal in the next month or so. We'd be happy to turn them over to someone else along with the membership list, such as it is, if someone would like to take this on.

It is a sweet little laptop, but we don't have the time or inclination to keep the domains registered.

Chris, Wayne, Tim

I realized a few things that have been going through my mind that I should probably share in connection with this post

So what can we do together? There are many people on Bainbridge Island and in the Pacific Northwest who have acquired OLPC laptops for their children. In strength is numbers, and a heck of alot more fun too.

  • Given the nature of the laptops, they are alot more fun to learn about and play with in a community than in isolation. We could organize regular face to face play sessions.
  • We could set up a safe closed network through the Internet so that our kids can do collaborative activities together.
  • As a community, we could help each other with upgrades, tech support, hardware issues, tips and tricks etc.
  • We could work with our local schools to integrate OLPC activities into the computing curriculum
  • We could connect schools in our community with schools in Africa or elsewhere in the gobal south (Ometepe?) to do a project like this one I read about recently in which Canadian children helped a school in Kenya get connected with OLPC laptops, solar panels and the Internet: "Twinning Canadian and Kenyan Schools with Solar Power"

Tobias Eigen originally published One Laptop Per Child program starts again this fall on Kabissa - Space for Change in Africa.

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Tobias, glad to hear you are interested in continuing olpc in the Pac NW. Please keep me in the loop. My 3rd grade classroom in Seattle has 6 XO's (and a couple of solar panels). Our blog is at

Hey, looks really cool! I just sank half an hour into exploring it and am very impressed by what you are doing.

I am sharing notes and gathering resources and reactions (nothing beyond yours so far, admittedly) relating to future plans for Seattle XO in the Kabissa Connect PNW group, which is a group open to all in the PNW who are interested in connecting and sharing around Africa and development issues.

You are welcome to join at

We'd welcome your participation, and if you have ideas for things we can develop together I'd be glad to hear them there.