OLE is The Great learning Exchange for Everyone

The program organized by OLE is really great thing for developing nation like Nepal. Obviously, it will be valuable for promoting IT in Nepal. It also help to connect our nation in global village. Doing volunteer in society is really great thing, I hope the OLPC workshop and OLE program guide to everyone for doing social works in coming future. The program organized in prime college is really valuable and applicable for young and enthusiastic people. I think it will help people to join in social networks and help to feel we and us rather than I and me. I’ve learn various thing and valuable suggestion from OLE workshop and want to tell each and every people join in OLE social network and share some idea and knowledge for making the bright nation..
Thanks OLE, Nepal
Anil Dharel
BIM 5th semester Student Of
PRIME COLLEGE, Nayabazar, Ktm.

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Flier for Nepal’s First OLPC Game Jam

Om Prakash Yadav did a fantastic job with our flier for the Game Jam. In a couple days or less I will post the new interface he created for our learning activities. As I told Om, Luke, and Ram today, it is such a pleasure working w/ people more talented than myself. In other news, I spoke with several individuals very keenly interested in developing educational games and graphics. Let’s see what works out. Again, the best thing about OLE Nepal is working with an extremely talented group of people.

banner for OLPC Game Jam

We are hoping to have one mini-game jam per month for the next 12 months or so, culminating in a large scale game jam in the next several months. Our goal is to create a community of individuals iteratively involved in creating new activities and improving existing ones.

By the way, our name in Nepali is "Sajha Shikcha E-Paati." It means Union of Learning for E-paati.  E-paati builds upon the Nepali word for a blackboard "Kari-paati." We hope to show that E-Paati’s (laptops) are just as essential to education as blackboards were to the previous generation of learners.

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Not so fast!

I did the programming for three simple maths activities: one just for counting, one for organising objects into a bar graph and answering simple questions, and one for recognising currency notes. That was over four days so I’m only operating at 75% of my target production rate — and we’ll see how much more work will be needed for test and review. But I am starting to get a better idea of how long it takes more experienced Etoys hackers (as we’re becoming) to produce activities with all the usual distractions of life.

I’ve dropped Squeak the project files in my web directory in case someone wants to play. They’re for use with the XO Etoys image as usual. The money one needs to add more illustrations before it’ll be playable — I’ll try to update it today.

I could possibly have finished the fourth (adding currency and answering with the keyboard) if I’d continue this evening but it’s friday and Kathmandu is a fun city 🙂 so instead I’ll spend the afternoon on making improvements and then have a few beers to prepare for tomorrow’s 6am bungee jumping trip.

The next two weeks will be pretty busy so I reckon I’ll be very satisfied if I can hold the same rate of production throughout. Let’s see how the beautiful little house I’m moving into at the edge of town
affects my productivity 🙂

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Planning a “Mini” OLPC Game Jam in Kathmandu

We are going to hold a "mini" OLPC Game Jam on Saturday, December 15th. It will be a mini-game jam because it will only be a one day event, not three. It will focus on developing games using Squeak. Perhaps "SqueakJam" or "OLPC SqueakFest" may be the better titles :). We hope to build up to a full-fledged game jam within several months, complete w/ organized teams, prizes, and media coverage. Most software developers in the Kathmandu Valley work in Java or PHP, not Python or Squeak. I think it will take several mini-jams before there is enough expertise here in Squeak for a full Game Jam.

We will invite programmers, artists, and educators. The first part of the day will be a training workshop on how to develop activities with Squeak and in the later part cut them loose to make their own creations. We want to get the non-programmers to create their own Squeak activities, not just contribute from their area of specific expertise.

Surendra and Luke will be the lead instructors. Serendipitously, Bert Freudenberg will be in Kathmandu helping OLE Nepal speed up our activity development using Squeak and to better integrate our activities into Sugar.

Prashant Manandhar of Prime College has generously provided us use of a computer lab w/ 30 workstations for the event. We will make sure that every participant gets their own machine to develop their own activity. System Administrator Ram Krishna will support the event. Principal Naresh Shrestha has also been extremely supportive.

If you will be in Kathmandu on Dec 15th and are interested in participating, reserve a seat by sending an e-mail to register at olenepal dot org

This will be fun!

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A Master Joins Us

Punyashil Gautam

 

 

We are extremely excited that Punyashil Gautam has joined our content development team. Punyashil is a distinguished artist, art educator, and teacher trainer. He will use his experience to help the development team make learning activities that meet the needs of teachers, Nepali students, and are beautiful.

Punyashil helped found the prestigious Rato Bangala School in Kathmandu. He will continue in his position at Rato Bangala and work with us part-time. While we would love to have his help 12 hours a day, he has already made a huge impact on our team in only a few sessions.

 Luke just mentioned one of the great things about working with Squeak: when someone new arrives with a lot of new and different ideas you can sit right next to them and draft the activities in minutes. Usually programmers hate to hear "I have a new idea, let’s do this totally different!"

 

 

 

 

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Playtesting

I was bemused to find that some kids can play our initial arithmetic activities ("3 + 5 = ?") all day long without learning what I’d like them to learn, which is to do arithmetic quickly in their heads. That’s because there’s a successful playing strategy that doesn’t exercise this path in your brain: slowly and patiently count each sum on your fingers and then give the correct answer. To my surprise this is exactly what some kids do, and on reflection I see that the activity doesn’t present any reason not to. Ooops! 🙂

Today we rejigged one of the activities so that the player will hopefully tend to become faster and more accurate by playing. The revised gameplay is this: Each question has a time-limit, you have to correctly answer a bunch of questions in a row to proceed to the next level, and with each new level the time limit shrinks by one second. This means that the tempo of the game increases as you play until you reach your limit and can’t struggle on to the next level.

The adults have found this quite fun to play — I found that my heartrate pumped up when I had only 2-3 seconds to answer questions. It will be interesting to take this to the kids and see how they react 🙂

We’re also now starting to feel that we’re ready to expand from working directly with friendly kids to working with friendly teachers who have classes of their own. My hope is that they can make a lot of these "obvious" observations for us about where the activities succeed and fail with real Nepali kids.

Onward we go.. 🙂

If you want to test your arithmetic aptitute on the activity then here’s the steps:

  1. Install a recent version of OLPC Etoys.
  2. Scale the screen to match XO size using the square button on the toolbar at the top of the screen.
  3. Drag’n’drop OLE-24.st (Smalltalk code library) into the Squeak window, choose ‘fileIn entire file’.
  4. Drag’n’drop the AddingUpto10Fun project into the Squeak window.

I’ve left the Etoys scripts visible in flaps at the bottom in case you want to tinker!

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