Given Tablets but No Teachers, Ethiopian Children Teach Themselves

With 100 million first-grade-aged children worldwide having no access to schooling, the One Laptop Per Child organization is trying something new in two remote Ethiopian villages—simply dropping off tablet computers with preloaded programs and seeing what happens.

The goal: to see if illiterate kids with no previous exposure to written words can learn how to read all by themselves, by experimenting with the tablet and its preloaded alphabet-training games, e-books, movies, cartoons, paintings, and other programs.

Early observations are encouraging, said Nicholas Negroponte, OLPC’s founder, at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference last week.

After several months, the kids in both villages were still heavily engaged in using and recharging the machines, and had been observed reciting the “alphabet song,” and even spelling words. One boy, exposed to literacy games with animal pictures, opened up a paint program and wrote the word “Lion.” (Read more)

Source: Technology Review

1 month ago 307 notes

Going Outside: The Physics Of A Curveball

Charlie and his friends are going outside to investigate some awesome sports stuff! In this episode they figure out the secret to throwing a curveball, a crazy swooping baseball pitch. Turns out it’s all about physics! Spin the ball the right way and boom, you have a major league caliber pitch … it’s that easy. 

Get the Physicist and Athlete skill at DIY.

Check out some more of Charlie’s awesome stuff!

1 month ago 41 notes

Going Outside: The Biggest Game of Tic-Tac-Toe

In this episode, Charlie teaches us how we can take a lousy topic like mowing a lawn, and turn it into a spectacular art form. Don’t have a lawn mower? A board, some string, and a hose will get the job done too! We also get to see Charlie and his friends play probably the biggest game of tic-tac-toe ever. It’s enormous. 

Get the Landscaper Skill at DIY!

1 month ago 30 notes

Summer Challenge: Start a DIY Club!

You don’t need a 3-D printer to start your own DIY Club. Glue, saws, building materials, cardboard, construction paper and a little bit of elbow grease is all you really need to have fun. Challenge your club members to be adventurous and earn Skills you never thought to try. Here are some suggestions to help you plan an epic summer:

Build a Shelter in the Wild

Make a Screen Print

Hold a Fashion Show

Make a Telescope

Build a Website

Start a Business 

2 months ago 96 notes