Testing XO Laptop/Infant Heart Monitor

Trip Start Jun 30, 2008
Trip End Aug 04, 2008

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday 07/16/2008

Both the Pavlis students and the IBV students started the day at the hospital. Mitch and Marcie thought that it would be a good idea to walk but then Cory told them that they were walking the wrong way and that it was a little bit farther then they thought. We hailed two taxis and made it safely to the hospital.

We called Dr. Solo to let him know that we were at the hospital. He told us that he would be right with us. We knew that this meant at least 15 to 20 minutes of waiting. We were standing right in front of the emergency entrance so we thought that we might be able to see something interesting. After 25 minutes and no Dr. Solo Mitch tried calling him again. Mitch asked if there was some place else that we could meet him. He just told us to sit tight and wait. As we were waiting we got to see many interesting aspects of the hospital. We got to see has a new mother and baby girl came out of the car for a routine check up, people being picked up and dropped up by taxi's, but not one emergency during the almost hour that we were waiting.

At that point, Marcie called Dr. Paulina and the group headed directly towards here office. The only problem was that Marcie, Mitch, and Cory had only been to the hospital once and had a little problem finding where her office was. After asking a security guard for directions we headed in the right direction. This hospital could not be more different that then hospital in Kumasi. There is just such a different feeling. The hospital almost seems like a hotel with many different verandas as the waiting areas. The building were constructed in 2003 and were funded partly through a British fund. All buildings are white concrete that have a slightly burnt look to them because of the red dirt. The red shingles make it look extremely homey. We finally make it through the right series and turns into clinic 3 and Dr. Paulina's office. When we walked in, she was seeing a patient. A small child and his mother. The child seemed to be having trouble breathing. After, a short conversion with the mother she got right to us and told us we needed to go see the director.

We headed straight up to his office and he was waiting for us. We went through all the formalities of being welcomed. Mitch, Cory, and Marcie had to introduce the IBV students for it to be polite. After introducing them briefly, the IBV team took over and talked about what their plans were for. There was a brief time period where we thought that they would not be able to test the device in the hospital. The director was asking for the IRB clearance from the Kumasi hospital. When we explained that it had not gone through yet we were thinking that they would not be able to test in the hospital. Brooke explained to the Director that they had received clearance both at Michigan Tech and at the Portage Hospital in Hancock. The director just wanted to have that information and everything was all set for them to begin testing.

Dr. Paulina then led all us to the labor ward to meet with the midwives. At this point the Pavlis team decided that we could head out and start working on our projects at the school. It was already 11:00 so we decided to grab a quick lunch. It took us a little bit of time to try to get out of the hospital. It seemed that every turn that we were taking was not leading us to the exit. When then tried to ask a security guard for direction for the exit. He thought that we had said x-ray so we were off in another direction. After finally finding a sign that looked familiar we made it out and saw that the exit is called "way out." Just as we were about to get into the taxi after our 20 minute trip around the hospital, we got a call from Sam and Liz from the IBV team. It turns out that only two people could be in the ward testing. They would need to be back at the hospital in about 45 minutes to an hour. We jumped in a taxi and headed for a quick lunch down at Berlin.

After lunch, Mitch, Marcie, and Cory headed over to the Sunyani school. No one had an idea of exactly where the school so we hopped in a taxi and asked to be taken to the Ridge Experimental School. A minute drive later we were at the school. It was in walking distance of the dormitories which is great. We arrived at the school just after 12:00 p.m. and started looking for the headmistress. We had tried calling just a short time before to let her know that we were coming. She didn't answer the phone so we just thought she was busy with some students. In Ghana, most people answer their cell phones no matter what. They could be in a middle of a different conversion but if their phone rings they will answer it.

We arrived at the school and were greeted by another teacher. She informed us that the headmistress was away today because of a death and the computers teachers were also not present. We asked if it would still be okay to test the computers briefly on just a few students. We explained to the teacher how the computers work and that we would like to show the computers to students who have used computers before. Four students were brought in: two girls and two guys. They were a little shy at first but warmed up very quickly to using the computers.

We explained to them that they computers are a little different than the computers that they are used to using. The XO laptops does not currently run off a window's based system but will be switching over to that type of system for the next generation which should be out next year. The laptops use very little energy and are very durable. Each of the computers has a microphone and a web camera.

Mitch and Cory paired up with the two guys while Marcie started explaining the computers to the two girls. First things first we showed them how to the open the computers. While this seems quite simply on a normal laptop. The XO are a little trickier; there are two antennas that lock into place. These antennas must first be switched up before the computer can be opened. We explained to the children that these antennas allow for the computers to both connect to each other and to the internet if there is a wireless signal around. We then turned on the computers.

The XO laptop uses a figure as the main home page and is similar to a Mac computer with the programs in a row along the bottom screen. In the top upper left along with on the key board is ways to move throughout the different pages. There is the home page that allows for the user to select different programs. There is also the neighborhood function which allows for the user to see all the other XO laptops and what activities that they are doing. The XO laptop sends out signals that allow for the computers to set up mesh networks.

One of the first programs that we showed the students was the chat function. We all jumped onto mesh network 6 and Mitch showed his student how to set up a chat. To set up the chat function all one needed to do was click on the program and to change the setting from private to available to the neighborhood. All four of us clicked on the chat and all the students were amazed that they could see what each other was saying. The students who were all between the ages of 12 and 13 had used computers but not very often. They were pecking at the computer to type in the different sentences. The students said that they don't often use the computers because they are so slow and there are only a very few that work.

After leaving the chat program we all moved through some of the other programs that are available at different speeds. One of the computers was equipped with many more programs than the standard laptops. These extra programs included some more math programs, science, and even Sim City.

We each moved through the rest of the computer programs at a different pace and in a different order. Marcie, Rose and Augustine decided to show them the write program that is supposed to be very similar to Microsoft word. The program is pretty similar but does not have all the different command that students use in Microsoft word. They started typing in different sentences and I asked them what their favorite class in school was. In the US most students like to say lunch or recess but both of these young ladies responded that English was their favorite subject. They started being a little more adventurous with the computer and trying to change the color of the font and making the font bold.

We then moved into a program that was a little more fun. The record program is where the students can use it to make short movies of themselves or to take snap shots. Both of them started to giggle as their appearances showed up on the screen. They seemed a little embarrassed at first but got over the shock of what was happening. They also really utilized the ability for the screen to turn in 360 degrees filming Cory and Ebenezer, and Mitch and John. After many movies and many photos taken we moved on to a different program. At this point Marcie let them try different programs by themselves and just answer any questions if they had any. They decided to try a computer programing program. This is one of the most advanced programs on the computer but it does allow for many possibilities in the future for the students. This program allows for the student to begin writing and running simple programs.

After loosing interest in the above program, the girls moved into the a music program. The music program allows for the students to be able to make different sounds ranging from musical instruments to animals to humans. They began to giggle as they heard different sounds. It was during this point that the girls really began to have problems using the touch pad. Each of the students had problems with this area.

After two hours of the students using the computers we asked them if they think that they would be helpful. All of them said yes! We all asked each of the students there favorite part of the computer and what they would like to improve. All the students said that they wish that there was a mouse. The two girls really enjoyed the math program as well as the recorder program. Ebenezer just said that he really enjoyed learning on the computers and that he would be able to learn so much more because of these. John really enjoyed the computer games and how interactive the computer was.

After two hours of using the computers the battery life was just under 50%. We finished up with the students just as classes were getting out of session at 2:30 p.m. We took pictures of each of the children using the computer and printed them out a copy right there with the photo printer. Each of the children were so excited to be given a picture of themselves. They also got their own Michigan Tech beenie baby and told them that we would see them tomorrow. We talked to the teacher and asked if it would be okay if we came back tomorrow to work with some more students. She said that this would work out even better. The head mistress would be back as well as the computer teachers. We explained that while we would love to work with every student there just is not enough time so if there was a fair way to pick about a dozen students from each of the classes to work with that would be great. She then told us that school starts at 8 a.m. and we could start testing them at that time. After walking back to the dormitories to charge the computers we decided to go have some cold sodas to celebrate our successes with the students.

We then arrived back at the dormitory just as the IBV students were coming in. They said that they while none of the devices worked on the children they found out everything that they needed to know to make the necessary improvements for the device. They also found that some of the information that they had heard were complete myths. They said that the hospital is very similar to any US hospital in regards to how they do different procedures. After talking for a short time, Brooke and Sam left for downtown to go get their hair braided.

The rest of us took time to journal and relax after a very successful day for both of our teams. After a few hours, we decided that it was time to go to dinner. We ate a different joint this time. It was a restaurant just a few buildings up from Berlins that we had passed by.
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gcampione on

Glad that your experience at the school was so positive and that the student see the benefit of the lab tops. It would be interesting how the teachers would incorporate these wireless computers in the curriculum. I miss the great photos of your trip.

sammyka14 on

Mo Blogs...
I want to read some more blogs! :) I miss you guys so much already - once you get home you'll wish you were still there so enjoy it while you can! :) Stay safe, and Marci keep taking care of the boys!

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