Saturday, 10 April 2010

PaleXO's Visit to Amir Qais for Girls School

Last Sunday, 4 April 2010, we left from Birzeit at 5:30am picking up the guys from Ramallah at 6:00am and heading to Hebron, Tarqoomya, where Amir Qais school is located. Arriving around 8:30am. Teachers there welcomed us warmly and took us to the lab where we started updating about 90 XO laptops.

Updating the large number of XOs wasn't a problem as we were 27 volunteers; we enjoyed the 2-hour update time as we got to know each other better, drank tea, and had some biscuits. Later on they also fed us some Falafel and after the school was off they bought us lunch. This was extremely generous from them.

One hiccup was that around 8 kids didn't bring in their XOs and most of the kids forgot to bring the Chargers. This wasn't a big problem as we had a bus with us and the principal sent a teacher with us to go and bring the laptops and chargers form each kid's home, the kids had tons of fun during the ride and more laptops to update.

On kids' break time, a group of volunteers went out and played with the cute girls in the play yard, laughed out loud creating a beautiful atmosphere there.


At about 10:30 am, we divided ourselves into the 2 classes (each of about 45 kids). Each class had one presenter, Rasha Hussien and Ayman Qarout who started the sessions by playing some games with kids till the volunteers finished updating. Then we brought the XOs and distributed them. The kids were already used to the laptops and the basic activities. Miss Muntaha and Miss Na'eemeh updated us with what the kids are already familiar with and what they would love to learn about. They were really excited about us coming that they sent us an email we found in the spam inbox later on (we apologize). 


So we had to make the class more advanced and let the girls play with the newly installed activities. They loved them, and were asking how to get more activities on their laptops. We also gave the updates and the activities to Miss Muntaha on a CD and walked her through how to update the laptop.

The girls were very happy and active, smiles were on their faces all the time which made it even harder to get their attention and make them listen to us! They were up to discovering and learning on their own and even jumping on the presenter's timeline and answering questions. We all liked it!



When the workshop was done, the little girls came and shook hands with Palexo members and volunteers. They loved them and they started to take pictures even before we finished. They wanted to remember this day and they kept asking us (as well as the teacher) to come back and to come more often. We gave them our numbers and promised to be in touch.

Girls were amazingly excited about the XOs, they wanted more stuff to learn about and new activities to play with. We showed them how to change their name and color, shared write and chat activities, taught how to type in Arabic in Write activity, played with Speak, GCompris Memory Mult Div, Tuxmath, Arithmatic and GCompris Railroad.

Once we were done from the school. We left to Hebron were we went to the Old City of Hebron and then to Al Haram Al Ibrahimi. After that we headed to Arroub Camp and dined at my parents house, where we had tons of fun and food, Thanks Mom and Dad, the food was amazing! Later we headed to Bethlehem. Most of Bethlehem shops were closed as we arrived late there and it was Easter Holidays. We just took some pictures in front of the Church of Nativity and then left Bethlehem.

Few recommendations for future deployment of XOs would be taking care of the chargers. Chargers are easy to break, and lots of the kids now share a charger with their friends because they broke theirs. We have seen some weird chargers fixed by the parents but even that shouldn't be the case. A Better and more robust chargers should be developed.

Touchpad's were the buggiest. We had more than 45 XOs with mouse problems. Kids were unable to move the mouse because of its crazy behavior which drove some of us crazy. None of the methods we tried worked out, so we had just to move on with this and try our best to point the mouse to the right place.

Thanks everyone who participated in this amazing day, you all made it special in your own way. Thanks Mom and Dad for the amazing dinner and dessert. Thanks to the Excellence center for lending us some electric cables and distributors. And Thanks Mobis.ps for funding part of our transportations costs. Thanks to the PEI for making this possible and putting us in contact with schools. Thank you all.

Wrote by Mohammad Khatib, Ayman Qarout and Morad Taleeb.

1 comment:

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