At 7:30 in the morning a bus with half the volunteers headed from Ramallah to Salfeet picking up the rest of the group from Birzeit. We arrived to the school around 8:30 am and started working on updating the laptops directly. We found the laptops in their original boxes they were delivered in. They were never touched before! While updating the laptops we discovered many corrupted batteries, but luckily, each laptop was delivered with an additional battery, so that was not an obstacle. Updating the laptops took around 2 hours since we had 7 flash disks only to update more than 70 XOs, and that delayed our sessions.
Right after the XOs were updated, we divided ourselves into two groups of 11 members each. We decided to divide the kids trying to make the interactive session faster and benefit all the students to benefit from, so we divided students into groups of 4, and assigned a volunteer per group to supervise the students, calm them down, and help them follow the presenter's instructions. Even though this way didn't reduce the noise kids made during the session (which is a natural result of their interaction), it was a success; the session went faster and the kids were made sure to follow all the parts of the sessions. We also made changes to the evaluation forms used by the kids, changing all the questions to make them easier to answer. In addition, we assigned a dedicated member to write down classroom observations noticing the kid's behavior and interaction.
Israa Badha and Tamer Alkhouli presented the sessions to the two 3rd grade sections. It was really thrilling seeing the kids, who were using the XOs for the first time, discovering functionalities on their own. Many of the kids were smart and fast, they could just follow the instructions directly and smoothly, and even discover the shortcut keys to taking pictures and switching between the different views of Sugar!!
One problem we faced was that the English teacher left just after the session was started, he mentioned he would come back but he didn't show up again. That was a serious problem since one of our goals was to train the teachers to become facilitators in the classroom to encourage the students to use the XOs.
In the end we would like to thank each of the following volunteers for participating in today's visit: