Schlagwort-Archive: XO

Further use of the Geo-Activity in Campinas, Brasil

After conducting spatial ability tests and introducing the Geo-Activity to the Padre Emilio Miotti School (earlier post), the interest of the teachers in using that activity was so high that we returned to that school to use the activity with more children (without the spatial ability tests this time, just for fun). You can find some impressions of the day below.

Furthermore, the activity will be introduced to all teachers and the whole school through a workshop in the end of June this year. It will so become part of the ongoing cooperation between NIED and this school. I have already prepared materials that will be used to teach the teachers and staff (in Portuguese). I will publish them here, as soon as i correct some errors as well as translated them back to English. So stay tuned.

GL@PS presented at workshop in Brasil

From 25.04.2011 to 29.04.2011, the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, (INPE) (Brazil) and the Institut for Geoinformatics (ifgi) (Germany) of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster held a one week workshop in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brasil. This event was organised in the context of the German-Brasilian Year of Science, Technology and Innovation. Researchers of the GI@School initiative of Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster got in touch with scientists from Brazil, all of very different professions, to present work, exchange ideas and discuss future cooperation. This workshop was divided into two parts, a scientific meeting to present and discuss ideas and concepts of the use of GI in the educational context and hands-on session, where the  GI@School-group presented concepts and software for use in education (more information).

The GeospatialLearning@PrimarySchool initiative was presented during the scientific meeting part by Thomas Bartoschek. Henning Bredel presented his work in software development for OLPC´s XO-Laptop. During this part of the workshop, many interesting topics were presented by the participants; you can find all the presentations here.

The whole week was filled with inspiring discussions, development of new ideas, also for future cooperation and the exchange of ideas. The second part of the workshop was finished by a mapping party to add the area of the INPE to openstreetmap. The results can be seen here.

Some impressions of this week:

OLPC announces new XO-Laptop for high-school students

The OLPC foundation released a press information, which states, that they develop a new version of their XO-laptop, called XO-HS. It is designed for highschool students, so it features a faster CPU and a larger keyboard. In addition to the well known sugar environment it offers a GNOME desktop with some more productivity tools. You can find more information on this in the press release. 90.000 of the new XO-HS are to be shipped to Uruguay in the next months.

Test at St. Mauritz school in Muenster

On the 11th of June, a group of students from the ifgi  and some staff members from GL@PrimarySchool conducted another field test in a school around Muenster. The students are involved through the frame of a seminar, which is offered this semester by the GL@PrimarySchool staff. The topic of this seminar is ‚Geospatial learning with OLPC‘, in this context, the students planned and conducted some usability tests for the XO-laptops, handheld-GPS and paper maps as well. The group was as well accompanied by 2 guys that were doing some recording for our upcoming GL@PrimarySchool image movie; stay tuned for further news on this. Weiterlesen

Usability Test at School

As mentioned in a blogposting before, we visited the Bodelschwinghschule (Primary School in Münster) last Thursday and Friday to make our first usability test for our activity software. Our little test candidates were attending the forth class (highest class degree at a Primary School here in Germany), so they represented a good mean for our target group (kids from 8–12 years).


After a short introduction what Geoinformatics is about, we took out two pupils for each test cycle — one laptop per child ;o). During the test the rest of the class performed Google Earth exercises on a customized Wii-Balance Board.

The test design was focused on the geocaching plugin. We placed some geocaches on the schoolground in the morning. At the beginning of the test we described the task as performing a treasure hunt.


Giving one laptop per child, we observed how the kids were using the laptop and the tools of the activity. The first view was a quite big extent of the world (including Africa and Europe). The current position was marked on the map, so the first task to solve was doing pan and zoom action to get to the extent of their schoolground — a quite hard task for children in that age, though, meaning to overbridge several zoom steps (world, Europe, Germany, NRW, Münster, quarter, schoolground).


During the test we pinned down our observations, e.g. how long it took to perform zoom or pan action, finding the cache itself, respectively. After the test we went over a general questionare, to get an idea of the map use and computer experiences, etc. the kids already have.


On Friday we decided to take two kids per laptop (four kids per cycle) due to time reasons. At the end 16 of 22 children had the chance to test the software. It’s a pity that not every child had the chance using the XO laptop, though all the children were very excited to use it. In the end we did a usual geocaching (with a normal GPS handheld device) with all the children, so hopefully no one was sad.

XO_where is the cache

The results of our test will be available soon.

XO Developer Machines

Yeah, our XO machines for development arrived!!Thanks again to the contributors team for lending us two XOs.

XO Shipment

XO Shipment

Brand new Machines

Brand new Machines

Honestly, I was a bit surprised, that we got brand new machines. The contributors proposal form asks, though, if we

consider (1) salvaged/rebuilt or (2) damaged XO Laptops

but I didn’t expected _new_ machines. Great stuff, folks!

All the machines seem to be individual for better differentiation. Have a look at the XO items of both machines — I’d prefer the green X with brown dot ;o).

Individual Design for each XO
Individual Design for each XO

One thing at last: Didn’t consider, that the charger plugs are built for the american standard, so we had to buy extra adapters, to charge the batteries. Is this fact mentioned on the Twiki somewhere? I didn’t stumbled over it. Probably, it would be worth to mention, or to put a simple plug adapter with the delivery (we only could get a multi m<=>n adapter for 20 Bucks each^^).

Charger Plug built for American standard
Charger Plug built on American standard