OLPC Summer Contributors Program Workdays
Trip Start Oct 14, 2009
59Trip End Jul 01, 2014
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In May, I met Adam H in Cambridge on two occasions. We worked in the OLPC office to sort and move Contributors XO-1s to ready them for distribution. Huge thanks to the OLPC (Boston area) staff for all of your heavy lifting, and for making sure that we have the parts we need to refurbish the many Get 1 XOs that have been re-donated for this program
Who re-donated these XOs? They came from thoughtful people all over the US. On this trip, I unpacked: 1 each from FL, CO, MI, MO, GA, HI, CT, WI & Puerto Rico, 2 each from NJ, VA, & Canada, 3 from California, 4 each from PA, MA, TX & AK, 12 from NY, and lots of well used laptops from Illinois, thanks to the Forest Park School District who participated in the collection of XOs for Haiti after the earthquake.
Special thanks to each and every child, family, school district, and developer who have taken the time to re-donate your XOs. You are the best! If you have an XO that is not being used to donate, even if it does not work, we need it. We’ll fix it and get it into the hands of a child or teacher in the developing world or might not otherwise have any opportunity to learn computer skills or to teach or learn in a hands on collaborative way. You can find out where to send it here:
Adam came back with me to NH to help fit everything into my workspace
The following week, OLPC Volunteer, Sandra T came north for a day to help with repairs. She wanted to learn to debrick XOs and I happened to have a big pile that needed this repair:) When the XOs sit unused for more than about 3-4 months, the clock battery in the motherboard completely discharges. Some XOs had a security feature built in, which prevent them from booting when this happens. Affected XOs show LED power lights on the battery and power button when plugged in and turned on, but the screen remains black. Other XOs will boot with an “invalid system date” which needs to be reset, from the root terminal for the XO to perform optimally. The full instructions for these repairs can be found at:
We were really productive. Together, Sandra and I repaired at least 20 XOs.
A new volunteer, James M sent us a stellar Contributors Program Proposal for XOs for a school in Haiti that James had worked at last summer after his high school graduationhttp://ferrierschool.org/
This weekend, Adam and a new volunteer, Yanxia F. came up for a 2 day sprint. Yanxia is a doctoral student at Tufts, soon returning to her native China. I loved meeting her and together we were really productive. 30 more XOs are “ready to go.” Volunteering is not all work. Yesterday, I took Adam and Yan to Hanover. We visited the famous Orozco murals at Dartmouth College (named for the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth by it’s founder Eleazar Wheelock). And we all ate Hanover’s Morano Gelato, the best Gelato in the US (Forbes Magazine and I both say so.)
Contributors XO-1s are now available to “seed” new small projects around the globe, until our supplies run out. We award generally up to 5 XO laptops, sometimes up to 10, for project proposals with a likelihood of success
If you have always dreamed of a “voluntourism” adventure, or if you work with kids in the developing world, go here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Contributors_program and use our proposal form here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Contributors_program/Project_proposal_form
I can’t ignore the OLPC News post this week which asserted that OLPC is “falling apart,” or the reply posts from OLPC Association that states otherwise.
I’ll share my “two cents” on this discussion here. Over the past few months, it has appeared to me also that OLPC is winding down as an active corporate non-profit. Perhaps OLPC is just changing its focus. Its leadership is still committed to digital education, but the distribution methodology looks different and the hardware and software appear to target a different population
We all know that the mission of bringing education to the world’s under-served, is unfinished. The global OLPC Volunteers are still at work. Some of us continue our work, individually or under different small non-profit organizations that support our various endeavors. If you want to help out, there is work still to be done. Don’t forget your umbrella.