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Spotlight: OLPC Learning Club DC

(by Mike Lee, from newsletter

The OLPC Learning Club of Washington DC, a diverse grassroots group of XO laptop users with a passion for education, held its first content jam session as part of our January meeting at the Arlington Career Center (ACC) in Virginia.

Though OLPC-style jams are typically intensive work sessions focused on producing content for the laptop, this time we chose to ease into the world of Squeak and Etoys by conducting a qualitative review of a series of Etoys-based activities created several years ago for the NASA Connect series. Our project took on the name "Etoys in Space."

With valuable prior input from Viewpoints Research, Waveplace Foundation, Nortel Networks, Arlington County Public School System, OLPC, and Randy Caton (formerly of NASA), the jam team was able to inventory content, review guidelines, and brainstorm new ideas. The jam team logged suggestions for improving the usability and classroom applicability of the activities. We reviewed five of the twelve activities. I'll be collating the notes to inform Randy as he prepares to do an update of the activities this spring.

The Learning Club believes this successful Jam will increase interest in having more sessions throughout the year.