[IAEP] Short report from day 1 of Sugar Camp #2

Christoph Derndorfer christoph.derndorfer at gmail.com
Sat Sep 10 12:44:40 EDT 2011

Hi all,

the formal part of day 1 of Sugar Camp #2 is slowly but surely coming to an
end. Back in May I found David's daily updates from eduJAM! very useful so I
thought I'd also briefly write up my impressions from today's events.

Today was focused on a series of presentations:

(1) Deployment panel

We started into the day with a one hour panel providing an overview of
several deployments. I spoke about the current status quo of Plan Ceibal and
looked at some of their plans for 2011. Tony introduce OLE Nepal's project
and then shed some light on developments in Rwanda such as their server and
content bid. Mitch then spoke about eKindling's efforts in the Philippines.
Finally Jonathan gave a brief overview of the Nosy Komba project he and many
others in the French community have been working on. We tried to keep things
short and sweet but ended up talking a little too long, yet there was still
quite some time for discussing questions from Bastien and the audience. One
OLPC Europe staff member opened a pandora's box about evaluation which led
to some particularly interesting exchanges and comments. From my point of
view this was a good start into the day, especially since it provided a
broad overview of some of the things which are happening in the OLPC / Sugar

(2) Astronomy

After the OPPP ("One Pizza Per Participant" - Copyleft Gary Martin;-) lunch
session Pierre Léna, a French astrophysicist and member of the Academy of
Science, who presented a very cool and inspiring way to use the XO to learn
about the moon. The core ingredients were a small telescope providing an x16
zoom factor in combination with some good learning materials. I honestly
loved the idea and found it to be one of the coolest uses of the XO in quite
a while. You can find more information about this effort at

(3) Nosy Komba

Jonathan and Xavier presented the deployment on Nosy Komba which is one of
three OLPC projects on Madagascar (another one is supported by the OLPC SF
community and supposedly there is also an OLPCorps project there which might
have survived). They currently have 215 XOs and regularly have volunteers
from a business school here in Paris go down there to support the project.
Xavier provided an in-depth report of a 15km wireless link which they built
to connect the school to the Internet and highlighted some of the
interesting challenges this effort ran into. Even though I had heard about
the deployment from Bastien during eduJAM! it was great to learn many more
details and see plenty of photos. It definitely sounds like the project is
going well and I can't wait to see how the project will progress over the
coming months and years.

(4) Nutrition

As part of her Master's thesis Stefanie Nobel developed a nutrition focused
program (supported by Danone Research) which is planned to run on Sugar but
is currently implemented as a Web application. While I write these lines
Sascha Silbe is working with her to deal with some of the bugs she's running
into on Sugar. The program is definitely very interesting and somewhat
reminds me of the Saludame project in Uruguay so I hope that we'll see it
run on Sugar soon.

(5) Story telling (A toi de jouer)

The last presentation of the day was focused on a story telling activity
called "A toi de jouer" which is currently being developed by Florent Pigout
in collaboration with Bastien and Lionel from OLPC France. Again, things are
still a little rough around the edges but it's a very promising effort which
I'm sure many children and teachers around the world will find useful once
it becomes available.

As always plenty of interesting discussions and conversations were had
during the breaks and it was great to catch up with many people I hadn't
seen in a while, plus finally be able to meet rgs, Mitch, Stefanie, etc.

Anyway, in my opinion it was definitely a great first day and now I'm really
looking forward to the many work tasks which we'll be tackling tomorrow and
on Monday:-)


Christoph Derndorfer

editor, OLPC News [www.olpcnews.com]
volunteer, OLPC (Austria) [www.olpc.at]

e-mail: christoph at derndorfer.eu
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