January 20-22, 2012, Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel

OLPC for Middle School After-School Programs

Abe Kazemzadeh


We present experiences from an after-school program's activities with the OLPC project's XO computers at the Foundation for Arts, Mentoring, Leadership, and Innovation (FAMLI L.A.) .  We'll cover how kids and adults learned to use the XOs, the kids' usage of XO software, introducing the kids to hardware, projects using the XO, and the usage of XOs in comparison with other computers.  What we observed is that kids tended to approach learning to use the XO computers differently than adults, through playing with it and asking questions as opposed to having a specific task and doing internet searches.  Creativity programs and games were more used than educational applications, perhaps due to it being an after school program and not a daily class.  Students were also excited about the ability to take apart the computers and fix broken ones. This activity was generally successful although some students progressed further than others. Another successful project was using 3D to explain the representation of colors in computers. Though our findings are based on limited data, we offer our experiences in what worked and ways to improve what did not.  (slides)

Presentation Slides: