Saturday, November 3, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
Thanks to sponsorship via the 6th NetIdee call of the Internet Foundation Austria (IPA) we at OLPC (Austria) were able to launch a new project in November 2011 - TechnikBasteln (which half-decently translates into Technology Tinkering):
“TechnikBasteln is an innovative and interdisciplinary project which is focused on children. They are accompanied by us in experiencing, learning about, and understanding information and communication technologies (ICT) in workshops. Among other topics, these workshops address how computers and mobile phones work, the structure of the Internet, and how to safely use these tools and technologies.”
Since November 2011 Tanja and me have spent a lot of time planning and preparing these workshops, researching about other projects and content related to what we want to achieve, contacting teachers, schools, and other organizations to let them know what we’re doing, etc.
Now this week we launched the second phase of our project as we held the first two workshops in primary schools here in Vienna. The first one was focused on some of the basic technologies of the Internet and the second one was all about the building blocks of modern computers. We had a great time in both classes, the children also seemed to like what we were doing, we got good feedback from the teachers, and while there is room for improvements overall the concepts we had developed over the past few months worked really well.
So even though the past few days were really busy and intense (and I’m now in dire need of a relaxing weekend!) I’m also very happy with the progress we’ve made with TechnikBasteln and am already very much looking forward to our next workshops.
Monday, February 27, 2012
So here's the full list with all the countries where I've spent at least one night:
- Czech Republic
- United States
- Abu Dhabi (UAE)
- Doha (Qatar)
- Dubai (UAE)
- Panama City (Panama)
Update (2013-03-04): After my most recent trips I was able to add Cambodia, Laos, Zambia, and Thailand to the list.
Update (2013-05-17): Added Denmark to the list.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
There is no shortage of thought-provoking, inspiring, and just generally thoughtful comments made by Steve Jobs. However this one, which has been making the rounds on many social networks lately, really might just be one of his most inspiring ones.
"When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you're life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.
That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again."
Monday, September 19, 2011
Travel-wise these past few months have been very dull around here. Since my return from Madrid at the beginning of July I spent the entire so-called summer in Upper Austria and Vienna. Now in the first half of September I finally had a chance to travel a bit as I attended the DeLFI 2011 conference in Dresden, Germany where I presented a paper about OLPC before heading to Paris, France to attend Sugar Camp #2, a 3-day gathering of OLPC and Sugar volunteers.
In Dresden I really only had one evening and half an afternoon to wander around the city so there weren’t many opportunities to take photos. As a result the corresponding Flickr album is really quite thin.
In Paris I had more time to snap photos (album), first of all to document and share what was going on at Sugar Camp #2 and secondly because I stayed an extra day to be able to visit some places where I hadn’t been on my three prior trips to the city. One place which was very high on my agenda was Père Lachaise cemetery where famous people such as Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and many others are buried.
This was also the first time that I exclusively relied on my Nexus S Android smartphone to take photos. Even though I actually had the small Canon IXUS 100IS in my back bag the convenience of quickly being able to share the photos was a major advantage of the Nexus S. I have to say I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of the images. The IXUS 100IS would have certainly been able to take better shots under difficult conditions but overall the quality of the phone camera photos are really good enough.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
My five months here in Madrid are quickly coming to an end – I will fly back to Vienna on Thursday evening – so I thought this is a good time to briefly mention the photos I took on my various trips here in Spain. As always I’ve uploaded them to my Flickr account and the individual albums available there are:
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I haven't had much time to keep this blog updated but I thought I'd take a minute to briefly mention two places where I've (more or less) recently spoken and written about OLPC and ICT4E.
The first one is a video interview that I did with educ.ar when I attended Conectar Igualdad's workshop about monitoring and evaluation in Buenos Aires back in December 2010. I'd also strongly recommend you to watch the interviews with some of the other workshop participants available here
The Association for Learning Technology is one of the (if not the) largest body in Europe which works on the intersection of technology and education. I am therefore very happy that I had the opportunity to write up my thoughts about the OLPC projects in Uruguay, Paraguay, and Peru for the latest edition of their quarterly newsletter. It's of course hard to get into too many details within the constraints of 2500 words but I do hope for my contribution to have four effects:
- Remind people that even though it has in many cases dropped off their radar screens OLPC is still alive.
- Point out the fact that Latin America is really the place to be right now when it comes to studying large-scale 1-to-1 computing in education projects.
- Emphasize that Europe can learn a lot and has a lot to learn from the many projects taking place in Latin America these days.
- Interest people in reading the extensive 5-part article series about OLPC in South America which I published on EduTechDebate last autumn;-)