One to one computing: a trial in North West of Italy

Starting for our curiosity and passion about OLPC, we organized a first meeting in March, 2008 in a secondary school, ITI MAjorana of Grugliasco, Torino. Thanks to Mr. Mariano Turigliatto, secondary school teacher and politician in our regional government, we had the opportunity to have two OLPCs, arrived direct from US with the project Get One, Give One.

We, as a group of teachers and experts about using technology in educations, are very interested in understand the different dimensions and meanings of this “new concept” laptop.

We made some tests, related to the duration of the battery and the real functionality of using solar panels. “e analyzed the interface in terms of usability and metaphors and cultural models.
Finally, we gave the OLPC to a group of and 20 chlldren of a primary school and they tested it for two weeks.

After this first trial, we learned some facts about OLPC and understand one important thing.

The facts learned about OLPC were:

1) it is really nice, but very difficult to use, either for the teacher and the pupils, due to his revolutionary “sugar” interface
2) it has reply-time too sloooow
3) it was unrieliable
4) it was very difficult to get 20 or more OLPC

The important thing was to give one PC to every pupil that could get it at home and could used it all the school year long.

Thanks to an Italian firm, OLIDATA and the collaboration of Turigliatto staff, we had the opportunity to start a new project getting about 50 JumPc for free, along an entire school year. We got the JumPcs in July 2008 and Paola Limone, Marco Guastavigna and Dario Zucchini worked during the summertime in choosing and testing software and preparing a white list for safe surfing.

After this, the students of the Majorana school configured all the Jumpc for the pupils of the two primary school involved in the trial starting from Sept, 08.
You can find every information about the trial onthis dedicated website. Paola Limone was also interviewed by the BBC.

A month after the start of the trial, I went to the classroom to meet the pupils using the Jumpcs, or the so-called digital natives.

In my next post, I wll tell about this meeting.

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