[Sugar-devel] Thank you and an update on the New Zealand XO-4 deployment

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Thu Jul 11 07:46:34 EDT 2013

Great to hear that young learners are starting to use the results of
all of the efforts made by the likes of Wad (hardware) and Martin
(software).  Please keep the reports coming in.


On Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 4:20 AM, Tabitha Roder <tabitha at tabitha.net.nz> wrote:
> This week Barry Vercoe, Nicoletta Rata-Skudder and I had the pleasure of
> spending three days with the first New Zealand school to purchase XO laptops
> for their students. This school is also the first XO-4 touchscreen
> deployment (I think in the world??).
> I wanted to publicly thank all the people who worked so hard to help ensure
> this deployment had a successful start, including the deployment being able
> to be in Maori, the preferred language for this school. Thanks to CJL for
> his endless support in making this happen, and for all his continuing help
> as we work towards a sustainable translation team.
> Thank you to Walter for helping with the keyboard issues. We hope to test
> your new keyboard preference in a future build. For those reading this email
> without knowing about the New Zealand deployment, we needed some changes to
> allow Macrons on vowels to be in single characters. We found the combining
> macron available in the standard keyboard was problematic.
> The laptops are being used with first year students (five year olds) with a
> teacher who has completed the "One Education" teacher training provided by
> One Laptop per Child Australia. There are other teachers within the school
> also working through this training to help them prepare to deploy XO-4
> laptops in their classes. The students in her class had access to XO-1.75
> laptops for two weeks prior to the arrival of XO-4 laptops.
> There are a few bugs in the build that we have identified since deployment,
> and a few activities that the students would really like to see available
> for XO-4, but overall a successful launch.
> The school is using xo-system 1a build 49 which is acquired from
> download.laptop.org.au and we customised it using Jerry's tinycore linux
> based customisation system. Many thanks to Jerry Vonau and James Cameron for
> producing this and helping us use it. This customisation meant we could have
> the laptops first start up in Maori and the children saw Maori language from
> the very first screen (where you put in your name/ingoa).
> We also bundled the following activities that the teacher had access to on
> the XO-1.75 during training (if the activity started on XO-4) - Cartoon
> builder, eToys, Get Books, Infoslicer, Maze, Story builder, the full Tam tam
> suite, Turtle machine and Typing Turtle.
> The teacher has asked us to investigate the jigsaw puzzle and slider puzzle
> activities for XO-4 as some children had made puzzles with their photos from
> Record on the XO-1.75 and enjoyed these activities.
> We noticed some performance issues with Record (the screen would freeze at
> times while they were preparing to take the photo) and we also could not get
> Undo to work in Write activity in the classroom. We will test these further
> and file bug reports when we know more.
> Thanks to DSD for the quick fix on the Browse performance issues.
> On leaving the school, the students were quickly gaining confidence in using
> the touchscreen as well as the touchpad, taking photos in Record and putting
> them in Write as part of story writing, and using the Paint activity. They
> were excited at every opportunity to use the XOs and were exploring all the
> activities with great enthusiasm.
> Thanks to all the others who also helped along the way. OLPC builds and
> deployments are a community effort, and we thank everyone involved. Please
> know that your efforts, advice and guidance has been worth the sharing, and
> this school is now enjoying their teaching and learning experiences with
> XO-4 laptops in the classroom.
> Thank you!
> Tabitha and Tom
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Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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