• XO workshop at Pormpuraaw

last modified February 18, 2009 by aguido

Pormpuraaw is an indigenous Deed Of Grant In Trust community on the western coast of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia. It use to be an Aboriginal Community Council, now it's a regular shire. The place has about seven hundred residents, of whom somewhere north of sixty are of school age. We decided to borrow seven XO laptops from random associates of the OLPC Friends,  put them in a room where the kids could get at them for two-and-a-half days, and see what they did with them.


What happened

Day 1 - Introduction to the XO

  • How to Turn it On
  • What the button symbols do 
  • How to use the different views
  • Key Activities Used
  • Tim Tam Jam
  • Slider Puzzle 

Day 2 - What else can we do

  • The Children explored
  • Issues with opening too many activities
  • Making Film and Sound
  • Finding out what all the other activities can do 

Day 3 - Looking at Literacy Applications using I SPEAK

This was a wind up day where the children did what they wanted to do however, we spent some time using I SPEAK to make sentences in English and Wik Munkan and Thayorre . We  found that we had to  change vowels  and or spelling to get the right sound out of the I speak .  We also practiced sounds and phonics when typing sentences .


Useful Lessons

These computers appeal to the way the community children like to learn by collaborating and experiencing things together.  For example when we had too many children we didn't really need to tell them to share they all automatically worked in together. They worked out how to use the activities so everyone was getting a fair go with no direction from the facilitators.

Lack of literacy or ESL ( English As a Second Language)  was no barrier to the children being able use activities that required literacy . This was because the children with better literacy or english were able to work with them.

Parents immediately saw the children as benefiting from the use of computers , 6 parents asked to order computers for their children.  A couple of these parents have 6 children and they were willing to buy one each ! Most of these parents are on CDEP or Centrelink payments without child payments thats about $215 per week. 


Dumping Ground

This is where we are sorting through the raw multimedia recordings and photos we decanted from the laptops afterwards.