Friday, March 9, 2012

TechnikBasteln – Technology Tinkering

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.