Seth and I have been working on a website for citizen supporters of the Low Cost Laptop Act in IL. This is a mockup of the current draft we're working on (this picture will expire within 50 days of this posting, so if it won't work, you should just be able to go to Mad props to Seth for kicking my rear into gear on this. Go go gadget tag teams.

We're also declaring May "Mentat Month" and going through what is probably going to be a tremendously interesting learning experience. Most of it is in our heads right now, but it'll trickle into the wiki as a self-set curriculum... a few days in advance of when we have to study it. It'll be pretty intense, the equivalent of a full-time hobby after work. Others are welcome to join, but be aware that we'll be focusing a lot on our own learning and that you'll have to very vocally and explicitly tell us what you want us to do to make it easier for you to participate.

Chris (cjl) found some awesome health-related boks tonight that can be edited and made into a content bundle. They're pretty neat - they take potentially lifesaving but usually-presented-as-boring materials like "how to care for someone with a fever" and rewrite them as childrens' stories which are... actually somewhat entertaining. See - better yet, read some of the books here. They have potential, but have plenty of polishing that could be done.

The page has some thoughts on what needs to be done (which is mainly a strawman begging for improvement) - Lynne May (a teacher, also my aunt) has enthusiastically volunteered to figure out what needs to be done to make these books more useful for OLPC Health and other audiences, to do at least some of the editing that's needed, and to help us use this as a good example of curricular design thinking in general.

It's a good opportunity to prototype some good learning activities that could potential be supported by short videos / Activities (in the software / computer-game sense) simulating... the spread of germs, or a nutrition planner, or whatever other assorted optional resources we can think of. That's pretty ambitious, though, and in the short term I'd just love to have these as an activity bundle. (And then find a way for that bundle to get used with actual kids - that's the next fun part.)

I'd really like to do this by the weekend after next (the first weekend in May) so we can print, bind, and show off copies at the Cambridge Science Festival. (Hello, Edward!) Perhaps some of the folks coming to Linuxfest Northwest might want to pitch in. (Hello, Iain!)