From 18th – 27th February, Mike Lee ran a workshop at Ngwerere Lubuto Library on programming using Etoys with the OLPC laptops. This was a practical week and a half, aimed at giving the team who will be working on the development of the LubutoLiteracy lessons the skills that they will need to really make the program more accessible. It was made possible through our All Children Reading grant. All of the 12 participants (including officers from Zambia Library Service) greatly enjoyed the workshop and also chatting to Mike at break times, learning about the wider world of technology.
During the course of the week, Mike taught everyone some tricks for using the OLPCs, animation skills, sound editing, creating multimedia content, and brought several new gadgets with which he wowed us. He used innovative ways of explaining some complicated ideas, including using toilet paper to demonstrate the art of editing sound waves, and even made a piano from bananas! Mike also talked about future careers and made the young people participating in the course realise that the world of information technology really is much more than playing games and adding friends on Facebook!
Kasela, one of the participants in the course, wrote the following on his Facebook status at the end of one afternoon:
“I am just from learning how to animate cartoons, I like this workshop, it feels so cool to work on the OLPC laptops. It makes me [feel] like I am a cartoon maker or something.”