We have recently been inspired by the Keepod campaign to create a new initiative to promote digital media skills in our children.
Keepod if you haven’t heard of it is a fantastic campaign to give children in Kenya access to their own operating system. Computers are scarce in Kenya and the opportunity for young children to spend time on a computer is limited. Things are made even more difficult by the fact that they have to share the operating system and cannot have their own files and software installed.
Keepod are fighting that by providing the children with free android operating systems that they can boot from a usb stick. It’s a great scheme that really caught our attention here at Project BlueSky. Check out this video if you want to learn more.
We’ve been inspired by the concept of Keepod to create something similar for Project Bluesky. The idea came to us from Arnold Clavell who is a master if minimalist packing and getting everything he needs into small carry on luggage.
One way that Arnold does this is not to travel with a laptop. Instead he runs his operating system off a usb stick with all this graphics and media software preinstalled. That way when he is travelling he can simply plug his stick into any computer that is available and all his operating system, software and files are available to him.
When we run our workshops we need software for the children to work on. Often computers are available but they don’t have the graphics or video editing software that we require preinstalled. Also, schools don’t want us turning up and installed a bunch of photo or video editing software on their school pcs.
Our solution thanks to Arnold is to turn up with a set of usb sticks that have a bootable version of the Linux operating system complete with our favorite suite of open source digital media software. We are currently running:
It’s a great solution and because all the software is freely available we can provide the child with the usb stick to take away for only the small cost of the device. It’s a great way to get anyone up and running quickly with a set of tools to acomplish most tasks. And since our aim is to teach the broad principles rather than a specific software application it suits us perfectly!