The XO laptop runs on Linux, a free and open-source operating system. OLPC's commitment to software freedom gives children the opportunity to use their laptops on their own terms. Children and teachers have the freedom to reshape, reinvent, and reapply their software, hardware, and content. There is even a button located on the keyboard that allows people to view the programming behind many Activities. The XO laptop's revolutionary interface, Sugar, also promotes collaborative learning.
This page offers a brief summary of Activities that come with an XO. You can learn more about any one of their on their page in the wiki.
The Journal Activity is an automated diary of everything a child does with his or her laptop. The Journal can be used by children to organize work or revisit a past project, and by teachers and parents to see a child's progress. (See the Journal page in the wiki for more information.)
Browse is a simple Web browsing Activity that allows children to access and search the Internet and share bookmarks among their friends. (See the Browse page in the wiki for more information.)
With the Speak Activity, children can enter a letter, word, or sentence and the XO will read it out loud. (See the Speak page in the wiki for more information.)
The Chat Activity provides a simple environment for discussion, whether it is between two individuals or a larger group. (See the Chat page in the wiki for more information.)
Memorize is a classic memory game of finding and matching pairs with a twist: a pair can consist of any multimedia object, such as images, sounds and text. The memory game allows children to play existing games as well as create new ones themselves. (See the Memorize page in the wiki for more information.)
Simple enough to be used by even the youngest students, TamTam Mini is a fun, powerful way to make music and learn about instruments. (See the TamTam page in the wiki for more information.)
TamTam Jam is a fun, powerful way to make music using multiple instruments, and collaborate musically with other children. (See the TamTam page in the wiki for more information.)
TamTam Edit is an intuitive environment for composing music. Children can create, modify, and organize notes on "tracks", which allows for virtually limitless variations in musical styles. (See the TamTam page in the wiki for more information.)
Designed for older children who are ready to venture into more sophisticated sound design, SynthLab is a mini-lab for acoustic and electronic circuit construction. (See the TamTam page in the wiki for more information.)
The Record Activity provides a simple way for children to take pictures and record video and audio they can share through the network. (See the Record page in the wiki for more information.)
Measure is a tool that allows children to explore and learn by connecting physical phenomena and real-world events. With it, children can measure and log data and create graphs. (See the Measure page in the wiki for more information.)
With Distance, you can measure the distance between two laptops by measuring the time it takes for sound to travel between them. Acitvities like Distance, Measure and Record help children explore their physical environments through their laptops. (See the Distance page in the wiki for more information.)
Calculate provides a generic calculator with a simple, straightforward interface. It is designed to be intuitive and readable enough for even the youngest students to use, while also supporting more complicated mathematics. (See the Calculate page in the wiki for more information.)
Pippy is a simple and fun introduction to programming in Python, the dynamic programming language underlying much of the software on the XO. (See the Pippy page in the wiki for more information.)
Write is a basic text editing Activity featuring straightforward tools and a simple interface. It provides an easy way for children to write a story, craft a poem, or complete an essay, and has more advanced options like image insertion, table creation, and layout operations. It also features collaborative real-time editing, so a group of children can edit text easily and work seamlessly together. (See the Write page in the wiki for more information.)
Read an eBook
You can hold the laptop like a book. The XO has a built-in eBook reader: the display rotates 180 degrees around and folds down on the keyboard. This enables you to read your favorite book on the laptop while sitting outdoors in the sunlight, comfortably at home, or anywhere else. The Read Activity supports a variety of file formats and supports the use of the game controller buttons to navigate through documents when using the eBook mode. (See the Read page in the wiki for more information.)
The Draw Activity provides a canvas for a child or a group of children to express themselves creatively. Children can draw free-form images with a paintbrush and pencil, and use the dedicated toolbar to play and experiment with shapes. Text support, image import functionality, and an interactive placement system give children limitless ways to explore their creativity. (See the Draw page in the wiki for more information.)
Turtle Art lets children program a Logo "turtle" to draw colorful and complex artwork. Simple programming elements easily snap together, allowing children to bring their art to life. (See the Turtle Art page in the wiki for more information.)
Etoys is a media-rich authoring system aimed at helping children learn by doing. They can explore their ideas by creating models, simulations, and games complete with text, graphics, sound, and video. Children can also share desktops with other Etoys users in real time, encouraging immersive mentoring and play. Etoys has a worldwide community of users and developers who are working to create content, curriculum, and examples. (See the Etoys page in the wiki for more information.)
In addition to featuring built-in activities, the XO laptop supports an ever-growing array of downloadable content and built-in access to popular Web-based applications. This includes Google applications, SimCity, GCompris (a suite of award-winning educational software for children), and hundreds of other applications. There are currently thousands of software developers around the world developing content for the XO. For more information, visit http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Activities and http://activities.sugarlabs.org/.
To download and install a new Activity from http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Activities:
(1) start the Browse Activity on your XO;
(2) go to http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Activities webpage;
(3) click on the .xo bundle next to the word Download:, e.g., click on Implode.xo to download Implode;
(4) open the Journal on your XO;
(5) "resume" the downloaded Activity from the Journal entry; the new Activity should both launch and be added to the Home View.
To download and install a new Activity from http://activities.sugarlabs.org/:
(1) start the Browse Activity on your XO;
(2) go to the http://activities.sugarlabs.org/ Web site;
(3) search through the library of available activities by using the search functionality or browse around via the categories or by looking at the most popular or recent and generally recommended activities;
(4) click on the "Download Now" button to start the download;
(5) open the Journal on your XO;
(6) "resume" the downloaded Activity from the Journal entry; the new Activity should both launch and be added to the Home View.