Our first Raspberry Pi lab has been operating for nearly 3 weeks now and the kids are really happy!
We expect to get some feedback on the whole setup performance in coming days. This is a pilot project, and if everything goes well we’ll seriously consider to set up more Raspberry Pi labs in other unprivileged areas.
As we explore using the Raspberry Pi 3 in some of our future labs (including the upcoming lab at José Vasconcelos!), we have been testing multiple client OSes on the RPi 3, including Fedora 22, XCSE, and and Raspbian. We will be going with Raspbian for the upcoming trip as it seems to be the most lightweight and functional on the RPi 3. César Octavio López Natarén is working actively on preparing a distribution with KOC selected educational applications for us to use.
We also received a donation of 5MinnowBoard Turbots from Intel and beautiful custom fabricated cases for them by Intel employee John Hawley. Thank you Intel and John Hawley! Javier Henderson is currently working on setting up two Turbots as XSCE servers with Internet in a Box content for the two new labs we are working on this year.
We are very grateful for our volunteers, donors, and partners and their continued support to make KOC efforts a success!
One of the challenges Kids on Computers faces is having regular contact with our schools. As our KOC trip to Mexico approaches, we wanted to have a phone call with all of the teachers at our Huajuapan and Oaxaca City schools.
Towards that goal, two members of our team, Hermes Ojeda Ruiz and Laura Judith Bravo Sumano, volunteered to travel from Oaxaca City to Huajuapan, Mexico and visit three of the schools where KOC computer labs are set up and get principal and teacher contact info! It was great to get updates on the schools and how the labs have been working out for them. Hermes and Laura visited Gittes Family Lab at Escuela Manuel Gonzalez Gatica in Saucitlán de Morelos, Escuela Ricardo Flores Magon in San Marcos Arteaga, and 18 de Marzo in Huajuapan de León. Thank you to Hermes and Laura for taking the trip, getting contact info, and reporting on updates!
At Escuela Manuel Gonzalez Gatica,they were able to get in contact with the school principal and the computer teacher. The principal was very happy with the visit from KOC members. They reported having issues with the older computers related to elements of the computer’s UI. Currently, they also have a projector and a MacMini server.
At Escuela Ricardo Flores Magon, they learned that the lab was undergoing repairs completed but was functional before the construction. They planned to have a student from UTM come to reconnect the computers once the repairs were complete. This should happen before our June trip.
At 18 de Marzo, Hermes and Laura got contact info for the school to get updates and plan future visits.
April is wrapping up quickly which means that our trip to Mexico is drawing closer and closer! Our trip dates are June 18 – July 2, 2016 and we are getting everything ready to set up two new labs in Oaxaca City at the following schools:
Escuela Primaria Vespertina “Benito Juárez”, Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, Oaxaca, México
We are setting up the Benito Juárez elementary school with donated laptops. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have working laptops with at least 1 GB RAM that need a new home. We are also looking for other peripherals such as keyboards and mice. To see the full list of what we need, head over here.
We are excited to get these labs set up and welcome volunteers to join us. There are also other ways you can help:
Join us. We invite volunteers to join us on site so if you are looking to roll up your sleeves and help us get the labs up and running, let us know! We also offer travel sponsorship for volunteers who would like to join us on our trip. Learn how to apply here.
Donate cash. We are a small 501(c)(3) non-profit organization fueled by volunteers and donations. Every dollar counts! Rest assured that your contributions will go towards providing children with technology access which otherwise they would not have had. To make a donation, head over here or contact us for for information.
The mission of Kids on Computers is to provide technology and access to educational content to kids who do not otherwise have access with the hopes that our work will provide them with more opportunities and allow communities to improve themselves. We are always excited to hear of other organizations whose mission is in line with ours. Unleash Kids is one such organization.
We met Unleash Kids at SCALE 2016. Unleash Kids’ primary work is in Haiti though they partner with educational communities which show the most need and capability around the world.
Unleash Kids enables global volunteers who work with kids via direct exploration of their electronic/outdoor worlds with Internet-in-a-Box community kits and more. They do this by catalyzing volunteer professionals taking the One Laptop Per Child movement into a new decade, enabling quality learning among the world’s poorest children.
Adam Holt of Unleash Kids had coordinated a set of 360+ (yes, you read that right – over 360) XO laptops which were no longer being used in Philadelphia and Hartford. Most of these laptops are not working, but can be salvaged for necessary parts for XO’s which are functional. A very necessary set of equipment as the original XO’s are no longer being manufactured.
I offered to help Adam get the laptops to Boston. We were going to try fit as many of the laptops we could into my Honda Fit but thankfully, longtime Kids on Computers supporter, Philip Greenspun, came to the rescue and offered us his van, which has much greater cargo room and load capacity, to transport the laptops.
So this past weekend, Adam and I drove the van down from Boston to Philadelphia and back up through Hartford collecting laptops along the way making for an extremely successful trip. Unleash Kids is planning a refurbishing fest later this spring to work on these laptops and parts.
KOC is excited to work with an organization such as Unleash Kids towards our common goal of improving access to education and technology for underprivileged kids and thereby hopefully improving their lives and communities.
There were a lot of folks who helped us on the way. Many thanks go to Kim and Dan Wilson, Heidi and Howard Ellis, Philip Greenspun, and Olga Sokolova for housing and feeding us on this adventure.
The Linux Foundation has partnered with Kids on Computers – we are incredibly excited about this partnership and the potential it has to help KOC grow. We thank the Linux Foundation for their support and look forward to working closely with them. Read the full Press Release and the Blog Post about the partnership published on The Linux Foundation Web site.
The KOC Web site is undergoing a big overhaul. The Web site team (Bill M, Ritvik P, Sastry P, Jeff P, and myself) has been meeting regularly to work on the new site and review new themes, structure, and content. We are excited about the new site and this long overdue change.
The Mexico subcommittee is planning our trip to Mexico this coming June. We are excited to set up two new labs in Oaxaca City this year and visit as many of our 10 other labs as we can. Our trip dates are June 18-July 2, 2016. We are always looking for more volunteers to join us on trips. Join us!
Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and partners for your efforts and support! Kids on Computers is successful because of you.
At SCALE14x, KOC received a generous donation from Pogo Linux and Micron – a beast of a workstation with the following specs:
Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0 GHz Quad-Core Processor
16GB DDR3 Memory
Micron 480GB SATA SSD
Western Digital 6TB SATA Hard Drive
Nvidia GTX 960 4GB PCI-E DVI/HDMI DisplayPort
12x Blu-Ray Burner / 16x DVD+R
Mid-Tower Chassis with 665W Power Supply
Intel Z87 Express Chipset
3 year warranty
The box is valued at $2600 retail.
We discussed utilizing the workstation in one of our labs, but decided it would be more than what our schools need. In lieu of that, we have set up an eBay auction to sell the workstation to the highest bidder with all of the proceeds going to Kids on Computers.
The winner will get credit with a blog posting. If the box sells for the “Buy it Now” price of $10,000 or higher, the donation will fund a new computer lab and the winner can name it after the person of their choice. They will also get a plaque in the school and permanent credit on http://kidsoncomputers.org/labs.
In honor of Pi Day, we are happy to announce that we had 21 volunteers purchase or donate a Raspberry Pi 3 Kit for our new lab at José Vasconcelos in Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, Oaxaca, México!! A big thank you to everyone who purchased a kit. This fundraiser goes a long way towards us having the necessary equipment for the lab.
A big thank you also goes to to Philip Greenspun for posting about the fundraiser on his blog – 6 kits were donated as a result of his blog post along with 2 pledged cash donations.
If you haven’t had a chance to purchase a kit yet, but would like to do so, please go ahead. We are setting up a second lab at the Benito Juárez Elementary School also in Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán on our next Mexico trip, and can always use more.
This week in KOC we are full speed ahead on our plans for 2016. The KOC board has approved a new lab at the José Vasconcelos school in Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, Oaxaca, México. This lab will be built with Raspberry Pis.
In honor of Raspberry Pi’s 4th birthday, the Raspberry Pi Foundation released the Raspberry Pi 3.
The new Raspberry Pis can only be purchased one at a time. If you are willing to donate one to a school in Mexico, please buy a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Starter Kit ($59.99 + shipping) and send it to Avni Khatri (email avni at kidsoncomputers dot org for the shipping address). Kids on Computers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and will provide you a receipt for your donation.