The Arrowhead Explorers XO project got off to a fast start. In late August I met with their principal, Debra House, to discuss the possibility of doing something with open source software at their school. We decided to submit an application for 10 XOs through the Contributors Program.
The most important need for the XOs was to help with the primary/elementary school music program using Tam Tam Mini and Tam Tam Edit, since budget cuts had hit their music program pretty hard. It was also suggested that the middle school science teacher would be able to use them for experiments and other science lessons with the middle school students.
The use of these Sugar Activities with the students would be documented with lesson plan ideas provided back to the OLPC community by way of a blog and, possibly, further documentation on the wiki and elsewhere. At the same time, I offered to assist with lesson planning, especially for the use of the Tam Tam Activities.
Before I started to prepare our proposal, I called the two teachers the principal suggested for the project, Dorothy Jett, Tech Coordinator and 2nd grade teacher, and Scott Romsos, middle school science and math teacher. They were both enthusiastic about the possibility of using the XOs and Sugar Activities with their students.
Then I called another project I had mentored at Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman. I hadn’t communicated with them since I had last updated the software on their 10 XO-1s back in summer of 2010. They had planned to take them to work with Native American students as part of their Big Sky Science Project. But, for a variety of reasons, it did not happen and the machines had sat in a cupboard unused. They indicated they would love to pass them on to another project where children would be able to use them.
This was a wonderful offer, and I suggested the Arrowhead School project. They agreed and we arranged the transfer. I was delighted about this because, not only did it mean there would not be a long wait to receive the machines by going through the application process and shipping, which all take time, but also I wouldn’t have to write a proposal!
With the help of my husband, Ed, and Scott Dowdle Sys Admin at MSU we picked up the XOs and I brought them home to update the software and get them ready for re-deployment to Arrowhead School in time for the start of school.