Earn A Computer

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Project Overview

The Earn a Computer project is a joint effort between Knox Makers and the Knoxville Technology Cooperative (TechCo). The intent is to provide a curriculum for the education of children in the Knoxville area, culminating in the donation of a fully functional computer to the recipient. The program is loosely modeled on the St. Louis, MO curriculum from byteworks.org We will begin with 5 pairs of Big / Little brothers and sisters from Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee. The first classes will be taught at the TechCo space in downtown Knoxville. There will be 6 classes of 1.5 hours each, 2 in a day with lunch in between. For instance, from 10:30 to 12:00, then from 1:30 to 3.

Past Events

EAC 1.0

November 10th: - Morning: Computer Introduction and Assembly (Jess Males) - Afternoon: Graphics (Eric Johnson) November 17th: - Internet and Computer Safety (Joe Pardue) - Music Production (Shane Murphy) - Productivity Software (Brian Manifold) - Scratch Programming (Mike Neel)

EAC 1.0 Lessons Learned

  • Only had 3 kids each day. Filling the classes may require additional work in the future (calling to confirm, waiting lists, closer partnerships with BBBS and TechCo
  • Kids are sharp! They picked up the information very quickly and were rather sophisticated in playing games and using social media online
  • Addressing behavioral blocks or frustration is equally important to imparting information. Use constructive praise and be mindful of blocks to learning

Presentation Topics

Computer Introduction and Hardware

Computer Graphics

Internet and Safety

  • Internet and Safety Talk: It is bad, but not that bad. Joe Pardue 11/7/12
    • Getting set up and basics on how to use tools:
    • First get everybody using the WiFi hotspot and discuss safety settings.
    • Second make sure everybody knows how to use a browser.
      • If not, then introduce browsers.
    • Next do they know how to use Google?
      • If not, introduce it.
    • Email – installed and can they use it?
    • Virus and Malware scanners – installed and used?
  • Exercise: Thanking the folks at TVCUC
    • 1. How to find their website.
    • 2. How to find their contact information
    • 3. How to send them a thank you email.
  • Videos and discussions of safety topics:
    • Show a short (2 to 4 minute video) on each topic below and encourage follow up discussions. Get to as many of the topics below as time allows
  • Follow the materials from www.netsmartz.org/NetSmartzKids - Recommend that you download the videos first so that you won't be subject to bandwidth problems during the talk.
  • Topics:
    • 1. Basic Internet Safety
    • 2. E-mail, IM & Chat Rooms
    • 3. Social Networking
    • 4. Cyber bullying
    • 5. Children as Victims
    • 6. Inappropriate Content
    • 7. Predators
    • 8. Revealing too much
    • 9. Identity Theft
  • Internet Safety Links of Interest
    • netsmartz.org
    • Safekids.com
    • MissingKids.com
    • GetNetWise.org
    • wired.com/geekdad/2012/11/everloop-mcafee-internet-safety/
    • staysafeonline.org/stop-think-connect/about
    • connectsafely.org/
    • socialsafety.org/
    • netsafeutah.org/parents/parent_videos.html
    • ikeepsafe.org/videos/?vid=fauxpaw_video
  • Facebook ????
  • Social Discovery ????

Sound Production

    • What is a sample
    • LMMS overview
    • How to use short samples to create a beat
    • How to create a bassline
    • Using basslines and beats in a song
    • Using longer samples beatmatched to tempos
    • Music transcription / emulating others
http://lmms.sourceforge.net/ - Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS), Ubuntu/Win open source answer to Fruity Loops Studio
http://www.freesound.org/ - Free sound samples
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=9878646 - Information from different people about using Wine to install and run Fruity Loops Studio
http://www.cockos.com/ninjam/ - NINJAM, "NINJAM is open source (GPL) software to allow people to make real music together via the Internet."
http://www.ordrumbox.com/online-drum-machine.php - orDrumbox, neat open source music program
http://www.atunes.org/ - aTunes, open source answer to iTunes
http://www.traverso-daw.org/ - Traverso DAW, "an audio recording and editing program which is very well suited to record a single voice, a band, an ensemble, a whole orchestra or any other source of music"
http://www.hydrogen-music.org/hcms/ - Hydrogen Drum Machine, awesome simple tool
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ - Audacity

Productivity Software

Scratch / Programming

Project Dependencies

  • EAC 1.0, 5 computers with printers acquired from TVCUG Need to acquire hardware. Joe to work with Tellico Village Computer Users Group and see if we can get fully assembled systems. If not, we will build our own
  • Need to acquire software. Each group member shall be responsible for requirements for their own class.
  • Need to form curriculum - each member will form their own 1.5 hour class for their subject
  • Need designated assistants for each class

Hardware Specifications

EAC 1.0 will work with Tellico Valley Computer Users Group to acquire the first 5 assembled systems, with printers. The first 5 systems will run Windows XP.

Additional Comments and Considerations

James - I'm not sure if you all have toyed with this idea yet or not, but Edubuntu might be a great drop to start these kids off with. Description from Psychocats.net: "Edubuntu uses the Gnome desktop environment but has a different set of default applications from Ubuntu. Its focus is on educational tools. It includes Kolourpaint (an easy to use paint program), Atomix (a puzzle game for building molecules out of isolated atoms), and Xaos (a real-time interactive fractal zoomer)." They further list the Ubuntu.com package search results page for Edubuntu: http://packages.ubuntu.com/search?suite=all&section=all&arch=any&searchon=names&keywords=edubuntu-desktop