Today I posted my twentieth Etoys tutorial in the Squeaky Tales series, bringing the total to five hours of ten planned.
Each fifteen-minute screencast forms the basis for an hour of hands-on instruction with a child, with the mentor first presenting the concepts in their own fashion, then leading the class for the remainder of the time. The videos themselves are aimed at the mentor, not the students, though I suspect older students could watch the videos on their own.
Now half done, I’ve been spending time on techniques to manage complexity. Just like a real software project, the beginning is fresh with clean white designs, but midway through it’s a mangled mess of coalescing code.
I also posted a 25 minute video of me talking into a camera, explaining the Waveplace vision. I’ve had the same conversation about two hundred times in the last six months, so I figured it’d be good to get the rap down on tape. The video breaks down into ten minutes on education, five minutes on the XO, and ten minutes on Waveplace. Let me know if you find it helpful.
Been a pretty cool week so far.
On Monday, Viewpoints Research contracted Immuexa to redesign their Squeakland website. Given that Etoys is the crown jewel in the OLPC lineup, we’re pretty excited. We’re hoping to launch this winter.
On Tuesday, OLPC started mass production of the XO laptops. I’ve been a fly on the wall listening to their team talk for months. Having been entrenched in development mayhem much of my life, let me simply say it’s a big accomplishment. Congrats to all.
On Wednesday, we launched the beta of Blazemark 2.0, which is being shown at a fire-fighting convention in Las Vegas. This most recent fruit of our labors may actually save lives, which is humbling and gratifying.
Today, I’m loading my XO with the newest build and shipping it to Saint John for our pre-pilot, where our team will teach one student in preparation for our full pilot in December. It’ll be sad to see the little tyke go. My two-year old is particularly fond of TamTam.
Tomorrow, I’ll be signing the final papers for the creation of Waveplace Foundation Inc, a new 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to bringing digital media skills to West Indian children. We’ve got nine board members steering the ship, all of whom are true believers in all things OLPC.
Next week should be even cooler. I’m traveling to Boston to meet with Walter Bender, Jim Gettys, and SJ Klein at OLPC headquarters.