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OLPC (One Laptop Per Child)

The author learned about OLPC while working on the latter stages of this book.  This organization seeks to provide inexpensive (in terms of construction cost and energy use) laptops worldwide to students from 6-12 years of age.  They focus on five core principles.  The first is child ownership.  The child owns the laptop.  Students have possession of these laptops outside of school, so that learning and teaching can take place anywhere (laptops can unitize solar power as well as a battery).  .  Ownership includes protecting, maintaining and sharing this learning tool.  This ownership develops a sense of responsibility.

The second principle is that of low age.  As stated above, the age range is from 6 to 12 years, children in elementary school.  Learners of other ages are not excluded however.  There is a strong focus on fun as the basis of learning.  Applications are included the facilitate the acquisition of  new skills, such as reading and writing.  There is an annual assessment of student performance.  This assessment is portfolio-based and provides learners with the opportunity to exhibit their growth as learners.

The third principle is saturation.  OLPC is dedicated to providing laptops to children in Third World nations.  Their goal is to achieve a level of “digital saturation” that is best for a given area.  This would mean that every student and teacher in a given area would have a laptop.  Furthermore, digital saturation would lead to a community focus on education.  Students and teachers would receive support from individuals, groups and institutions around them.  This, in turn, leads to better connectivity within the community.

The fourth principle is connection.  Laptops provided by OLPC are provided with a wireless network connection that can be accessed from anywhere within the community.  Thus, learners will have Internet access at home, just as they do at school.  This connection is automatic and includes a chat application as well as network and Internet access .  Students can always be in touch with teachers, friends and peers to share work, art or ideas.  OLPC seeks to create an expanded school, which extends beyond physical walls.

The fifth principal OLPC (and the principle that led to their inclusion in this book) is that of free and open source tools.  OLPC firmly believes that learning is a collaborative process that involves students working as both learners and teachers.  This generates a learning community in which new ideas are developed.  Towards this end, there are no restrictions regarding the modification of OLPC software and hardware.  There are also no restrictions on the redistribution of said hardware and software.  This organization provides a wonderful opportunity for the deployment of educational technology now in regions of the world where it was heretofore believed to be a goal of the future.

Table of Contents (as of 25 April 2013)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 10
INTRODUCTION: WHY USE OPEN SOURCE? 11
CHAPTER ONE: LINUX OPERATING SYSTEM 13
Part 1: Linux Distributions 13
Section 1: Edubuntu Linux 14
Section 2: UberStudent Linux 14
Part 2: Linux System Administration 15
Section 1: Linux/UNIX File Structure 16
Section 2: Your Home Folder 17
Section 3: System Settings 19
Section 4: The Synaptic Package Manager 20
Section 5: Step-by-step Package Installation and Removal 21
Section 6: User Account Management 22
Part 3: System Security 23
Section 1: Anti-Virus for Linux 24
Section 2: The Update Manager 25
Part 4: Linux to the Rescue 26
Section 1: DOS/FAT16/FAT32 26
Section 2: NTFS 29
Part 5: Emulating Microsoft Windows 30
Online Resources 31
Documentation 31
Distributions 31
Other Education-focused Linux Distributions 32
Utilities 32
Microsoft Windows Emulators 32
Anti-Virus 33
Forums 33
References 35
CHAPTER 2: CURRICULUM 37
Part 1: Language Arts 37
Section 1: Vocabulary 37
Primary 37
Primary/Intermediate 37
Primary/Intermediate/Secondary/Post-Secondar4y 37
Section 2: Writing 38
Primary/Intermediate 39
Part 2: Mathematics 39
Section 1: Numbers and Relationships 39
Primary 39
Primary/Intermediate 40
Section 2: Geometry 40
Primary/Intermediate/Secondary/Post-Secondary 41
Secondary/Post-Secondary 41
Section 3: Algebra 42
Secondary/Post-Secondary 42
Section 4: Logic 43
Intermediate/Secondary/Post-Secondary 43
Secondary/Post-Secondary 44
Section 5: Computer Programming 44
Intermediate/Secondary/Post-Secondary 44
Part 3: Science 47
Section 1: Biology 47
Secondary/Post-Secondary 47
Section 2: Chemistry 47
Intermediate/Secondary/Post-Secondary 47
Section 3: Earth/Space Sciences 49
Intermediate/Secondary/Post-Secondary 49
Section 4: Physical Science 50
Intermediate/Secondary/Post-Secondary 51
Part 4: Social Studies 51
Section 1: Geography 51
Intermediate/Secondary 51
Section 2: History 52
Intermediate/Secondary 53
Section 3: Economics 53
Intermediate/Secondary 53
Part 5: The Arts 53
Section 1: Graphic Design 53
Section 2: Multimedia 55
Part 6: Bible Studies 57
Online Resources 60
Language Arts 60
Mathematics 60
Science 62
Social Studies 63
Arts 63
Bible Studies 64
References 65
CHAPTER 3: PRODUCTIVITY 69
Part 1: LibreOffice 69
Section 1: LibreOffice Writer 70
Section 2: LibreOffice Calc 71
Section 3: LibreOffice Impress 71
Section 4: LibreOffice Base 72
Section 5: LibreOffice Draw 72
Part 2: Internet and Communication 72
Section 1: Web Browsers 73
Section 2: Email Programs 74
Section 3: Chat Clients 75
Section 4: FTP Software 76
Section 5: BitTorrent 77
Section 6: Web Development 78
Section 7: Blogging 79
Online Resources 81
Office Suites 81
Web Browsers 81
Email Programs 81
Chat 82
FTP Software 82
BitTorrent 82
Web Development 82
References 84
CHAPTER 4: AIDS TO LEARNING 87
Part 1: Special Education 87
Section 1: Individualized Education Plan (IEP) 87
Part 2: Learning Environments 87
Part 3: Skill Builders 90
Section 1: Typing TutorsKeyboarding 90
Section 2: Occupational Therapy 91
Part 4: Graphic Organizers 93
Section 1 Mind Maps 94
Online Resources 97
Special Education 97
Educational Environments 97
Skill Builders 97
Occupational Therapy 98
Graphic Organizers 98
References 99
CHAPTER 5: GETTING ORGANIZED 101
Part 1: Curriculum Planning 101
Part 3: Library Management 104
Online Resources 107
Curriculum Planning 107
Organization Tools 107
Library Management 107
References 108
APPENDIX A: THE GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE 109
APPENDIX B: LINUX ON A BUDGET 131
Part 1: Window Managers 131
Part 2: Thin Clients 134
Part 3: OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) 135
Online Resources 137
Window Managers 137
Thin Client Software 137
Open Source Hardware 137
References 139
APPENDIX C: PLAYING DVDS IN LINUX 140
References 143
INDEX 144