After years of volunteering for One Laptop Per Child and Sugarlabs (I started mid 2008)… it is very exciting to share with you that there are now New Zealand schools using the “One Laptop Per Child” XO laptops in both English and Maori. There are more than two million XO laptops distributed around the world, with over five thousand in the Pacific, and over seven thousand in Australia.
A not-for-profit charitable trust, OLPC New Zealand has now been established in New Zealand to “to empower educators to lead and inspire children to learn through innovative use of affordable technology”.
The first school to get them is Te Wharekura o Manaia. You can read all about it in the Hauraki Herald. Based in the Coromandel, this is a bilingual school making the most of the opportunity to have laptops in Te Reo. When I visited this school I met some of the fabulous teachers and students who are using the XO laptops and saw just how much they had discovered in their first weeks.
With over one hundred laptops now in the hands of kiwi kids, it is a good time for you to step forward if you want to be involved. There are lots of ways you can help, so contact the OLPC New Zealand trust to find out how.
I setup a testing community for the One Laptop Per Child project in 2009. I am a founding member of the Manaiakalani hackers, supporting an elearning and literacy strategy across lots of schools in the Tamaki region as part of the Tamaki Transformation Programme.
I am an advocate for Moodle and have been involved in organising the Moodlemoots in New Zealand, speaking and attending moots around the world.