Opening Ceremony at Lova Soa

August 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm Leave a comment

Yesterday, we had the opening ceremony for the laptop program at Lova Soa. All of the farents came with their children, as well as the teachers, staff, and directing committee of Lova Soa. The village chief and local mayor also attended, giving speeches to honor the occasion. They thanked us and the Madagascar School Project team for bringing the laptops here, and stressed to the parents the importance of protecting and caring for the computers. The mayor even led the crowd in a song, spelling "misoatra," which means "thank you" in Malagasy.

We were finally able to hand each child their assigned laptop. They were extremely polite, saying "thank you" in English to us. They caught on very quickly to the computer interface, and were even able to open some of the activities to play while we spoke to the parents. The children had an accidental affinity for the features of the laptop that are the least entertaining (the Control Panel, the Linux Terminal, and the incredibly complex TamTamSynth Lab that we still haven’t really figured out).

Today was the first full day of our computer camp. We have purposely made the camp as unstructured as possible so the kids can explore the laptops in a truly constructionist fashion. However, a methodology of experimentation means a lot of things will go wrong before they’ll go right. The children had an accidental affinity for the features of the laptop that are the least entertaining (the Control Panel, the Linux Terminal, and the incredibly complex TamTamSynth Lab that we still haven’t really figured out). They also really enjoyed the button on the screen which flips the orientation of the screen 90 degrees clockwise. Apparently all of the activities are much more entertaining when viewed upside down or sideways!

-Mary

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This is the OLPCorps team from GWU and UMD. We'll be deploying 100 laptops to a rural village in Madagascar this summer. Stay updated by subscribing to our feed and checking back regularly. For more information on what we're doing, use the tabs above!
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