# a couple of days ago, I came a description of a recent "computer camp" based on the OLPX "$100" laptop. not sure if the kids are creating or consuming content, but at least they aren't cramming for the next NCLB bout of testing ...

Walter Bender describes in Sugar Digest 2012-03-22

== Sugar Digest ==

1. I spent last week in Miami participating in a "vacation camp" at the Holmes Elementary School [1] in Liberty City [2] for 3rd and 4th graders. The camp was organized by David Jessep and participants include Melissa Henriquez, Reuben Caron, Dan Lee, and Claudia Urrea. The Holmes laptop program, which is sponsored by the Knight Foundation, is challenging in that the school had been under performing by the Florida state metrics, so the typical class day is now quite structured. So there is very little unscheduled classroom time. The vacation camp presented an opportunity for the children to spend some informal time with their laptops and, for the first time, bring them home.

Melissa ran a Scratch workshop while I ran--no surprise--a Turtle Art workshop. In both workshops, the children were given a few warm-up exercises and then set off in small groups to do projects of their own choosing. For the Turtle Art group, I had them do the usual: one child volunteered to be the turtle and the other children instructed it in how to move about the room. Then they explored the turtle, pen, and color palettes. In our second session, I introduced a few new locks, including some of the multimedia and sensor blocks. We then designed an alarm clock of sorts: the children helped each other use the Record activity to take a picture pretending to be sleeping and a second picture, with a started from sleep expression. They taught their turtles to display the "asleep" pictures and then polled the loudness block, waiting for a conditional block to be triggered by a loud sound. At this point, the "startled awake" picture was displayed.

From there, the children went in many different directions, but one theme, dance, spread throughout the group. They began taking pictures of themselves in different dance positions and then using Turtle Art to animate their moves. Some of them incorporated sound and additional turtle graphics. One child, taking his own path, used sensors from the WeDo to control the speed of a motor. All of them wrote about their work in their Journals and used the Portfolio activity to make presentations to their parents at the end of the week. 

Pretty awesome stuff.


[1] http://blog.laptop.org/2012/01/27/olpc-and-knight-foundation-launch-digital-literacy-program-in-miami-school/
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_City