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Inspiration: The Open Learning Exchange Nepal

By Thornton Staples, Fedora Commons Director of Community Strategy and Outreach
The Open Learning Exchange (OLE) aims to bring basic learning opportunities to school-aged children in over 100 countries that are currently lacking access. The OLE promotes public private partnerships in each of these countries, working with international programs like the One Laptop Per Child Project, to raise awareness, secure funding and provide the technical infrastructure to realize this mission. A central feature of each OLE site is the Billion Kids Library: a library that contains open and free basic whole-course education curricula appropriate for the elementary and secondary school teachers of that particular location.
OLE Nepal is a non-governmental organization dedicated to working with the government of Nepal to realize their “Education for All” goals by developing the on-line content and software tools for their Library to help teachers in that country reach all of the children. In May 2007, Nepal’s Minister of Education announced that the Ministry of Education would pilot the One Laptop Per Child project in several Nepali public schools in spring of 2008. The emphasis of OLE Nepal aims to build their first version of their library to support this pilot project. They will be concentrating on developing digital learning materials for grades two and six in English and mathematics. They will work closely with the government to provide these materials as they launch the One Laptop Per Child project in four schools by the end of 2008.
Inspired by the Encyclopedia of Chicago project, OLE Nepal is building prototype online services with Fedora using a variety of other open-source software. OLE uses Squeak, an open-source implementation of the Smalltalk programming language, and are looking into adapting Moodle, an open-source learning management system, as a way to deliver localized math and English learning activities from a central repository to teachers and students through a school server.