It’s amazing the movement that Realness is already beginning to make, and we’re only one day into the summit.

Here are the countries represented in Realness 2010:

São Tomé e Príncipe
USA, including the Virgin Islands; Columbus, Ohio; and Cambridge, MA

The global reach is outstanding- a collection of experience all in one place and time. We have representatives from OLPC, Sugar Labs, OLPC News, non-profits, government reps, computer software and programming groups, schools, even individual volunteers and interested observers. We come all representing various angles of the OLPC experience- the masterminding, the creation, the distribution and dissemination, the educational content production, the school organization and, most certainly, the teaching.

It’s an amazing situation. You have a question, and you’re almost guaranteed to get an answer from someone who was intimately involved in the process that you’re asking about.

This morning we had a long presentation by Tim about the beginning of Waveplace and its current reaches. It was great to finally be able to show the OLPC community what Waveplace has been up to. After Tim, Adam Holt of OLPC talked about OLPC’s place in the world right now, and what it hopes for in the future. As expected, there were lots of questions. People wanted to know if OLPC would eve make content (no, but it wants to work with local organizations that can produce educational content for their respective countries). People wanted to know where Adam wanted to see OLPC in three years.

It set the scene for a number of structured talks that we’ll be having over the weekend. Some of these subjects include: Failures and what always seems to go wrong in OLPC deployments- and how to avoid those mistakes in the future; content creation, who should do it, and how; and what OLPC should do with the 3,000 laptops marked to be sent to Haiti- how to develop a worthy program there. Other potential subjects: alternative energy solutions to power the XO, how to best work with local government and non-government organizations to improve a laptop deployment, and how to best publicize, recruit volunteers for and fund an education program using the XO.

So much to talk about, so little time.

This afternoon I am at the Guy Benjamin School again. I’m filled with pastries after being recruited to make some purchases at the school’s bake sale. Still trying to decide if that was ultimately a good decision. GB is pretty busy today- as school was cancelled yesterday due to a flood warning, the girls now have to cover two Etoys lessons in one day. Yet Bernie Innocenti of Sugar Labs said it correctly- our mentors are extremely well organized and really have the class working smoothly.

What a silly sort of dream that we’re running in class today. A kid has a technical problem with his computer, oh, there’s Bernie Innocenti from Sugar Labs in to fix the content on a kid’s laptop. Something’s wrong with the hardware? Oh, there’s Richard Smith of OLPC, jumping on board to unbrick the computer. It’s like if you had issues with your Windows Media Player and suddenly Bill Gates were to walk by and help you. Or if you were having trouble with the filament on your incandescent lightbulb and Thomas Edison just jumped in to help you out. What minds we have here! What resources!

Bernie walks around asking students how they like their XO and what problems they are having with the programs. Richard fixes a computer that doesn’t seem to be starting up right. They both sit down and watch the rest of class continue.

The Etoys lesson is over and now kids are using other Sugar activities and the internet.

“Does a fish sleep?” One of the mentors shouts to the students.

The kids’ fingers fly across their keyboards, searching on Google for the answer. When a student finds it, the room quiets while he reads the answer, hidden in a paragraph about the nocturnal habits of fish, in particular, bass.

“One more question,” one of the mentors, Whitney, says. “How many miles a day does a tuna fish swim?”

“Two miles!” one student yells. “Wait, 440 miles!”

“Look it up!” Whitney tells her.

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