[Dextrose] [AC UPDATE] tch's edition

Pablo Flores pflores at activitycentral.com
Tue Feb 8 09:02:26 EST 2011

Excellent update! Really!

Lots of thoughts came to my mind reading the update and thinking: how could
we help a new deployment?

Let me just mention some recommendations I would give:
- Document the materials and processes used by formadores. That's extremely
important information that mostly repeats from one deployment to the other.
- Train the formadores to use collaborative platforms. If they share some of
their knowledge, it will be much easier to continue expansion.
- Make a group for working with the community (out of the school).
Sensibilize parents about what they can do with the computers and Internet
access. Find "reference parents" that could help to find out what's
happening in the community before and after the deployment.
- Try to involve some volunteers in laptops giving. Everyone can help in
logisitic stuff. However, it's important letting the teachers be the ones
that give the laptops to the children. This is very important for involving
teachers positively (BTW, a golden rule: give the laptops to the teachers 3
months before giving them to the children).
- Get in touch with local NGOs and other social organizations. They are
always concerned with local development and can put people to help.
- Try to find local companies or professionals to give first level technical
support. Try to decentralize as much as possible.
- Take the opportunity to find new local software developers. Technical
workshops open to people with different skill levels is a good starting.
- Encourage universities to make field-work projects. Teachers and students
from all careers can be helpful.

Ok, there are many other points, but let's keep the list short for the
At some point, this explains why I find it so important to make good web
tools for the community as a whole. There's a lot of experience around these
subjects that is discouragingly spread around the web.

Pablo Flores
Community Architect,

On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 2:35 AM, Bernie Innocenti <bernie at codewiz.org> wrote:

> Really, you should republish it on Planet Sugar, minimum.
> On Mon, 2011-02-07 at 22:56 -0300, Martin Abente wrote:
> > As David mentioned today, every member will share with rest of the
> > team an update report, so everyone can understand each other work
> > context. I will be first, and I will talk a little bit of Paraguay
> > Educa, their current status and how do we (AC) interact with them.
> >
> > Paraguay Educa is starting officially the phase II of their OLPC
> > project in which they will deliver 5000 XO 1.5 laptops in the city of
> > Caacupe, where they already have approximately 4000 XO 1.0 laptops.
> >
> > What does this means for the deployment? It means that they will be
> > insanely busy dealing with:
> >
> > * The communicational campaign.
> > * The coordination between Paraguay Educa and schools (Principals,
> > Teachers, Parents and Students) for the events that come along with
> > the laptops delivery day. Trust me, it is a very happy day for the
> > community.
> > * A huge and complex logistic schedule that requires moving the
> > laptops from Asunción port  (50 kilometres) to rural and urban schools
> > in Caacupe, while at the same time they keep track of every laptop
> > until they arrive on the children's hands.
> >
> > Anyone should be able to understand how critical is this time for
> > them. They need to think and think again every detail of every task
> > that is required in order to accomplish a successful delivery. Even
> > though the delivery is only the beginning of this second phase, but
> > this literally consumes all their human resources.
> >
> > If that was not enough, they are also planning a massive software
> > upgrade in Caacupe not only for the 5000 new XO 1.5 laptops, but also
> > for the current 4000 XO 1.0 laptops. This means that in the next
> > couple of months there will be 9000 childrens and teachers in the
> > classrooms of Caacupe learning with Dextrose2. And here is where AC
> > takes part in this colossal event.
> >
> > In the last months we have been working really hard to identify the
> > software requirements for the phase II, through constant and frecuent
> > meetings with Paraguay Educa technology team. At the same time we were
> > implementing the solutions to fulfil those requirements. Just to
> > mentions some of them:
> >
> > * Improved interaction between the system and the user (notification
> > system).
> > * Improved maintainability with a short and middle term updater
> > (automatic yum updater).
> > * Improved methods for gathering feedback from the user (automatic
> > feedback system).
> > * Many enhancements and bug fixes.
> >
> > Still many people wonders: are these features what the childrens want?
> > The answer is definitely no. What the children want is a playstation
> > III, actually. But these features are certainly what this deployment
> > need in order to improve this learning platform and turn it into
> > something that every project needs: a stable and reliable platform
> > that helps them in the challenge of improving the learning process of
> > their children.
> >
> > So, we are done? definitely no. A few weeks ago we started a critical
> > phase for us: testing. This means that we are delivering our solutions
> > to the people who is really using it everyday, so they can tell us if
> > it really works for them, in this case the Formadores. For the ones
> > who does not know the Formadores, I will explain.
> >
> > The formadores are the ones who have the challenge to train the school
> > teachers so they can the use sugar and its activities. After that,
> > they visit the schools regularly to help and to encourage the teachers
> > to use the laptop in the classroom. Teaching to teach is certainly a
> > hard task, considering that most of these teachers have zero prior
> > knowledge of how to use a computer. Personally I think the fact that
> > they are able to successfully do it (in a relative short training
> > course) speaks very well of Sugar and obviously, of the formadores
> > itself.
> >
> > We can see the formadores as the front line of the experienced sugar
> > users in caacupe, which is perfect for our testing purposes. But we
> > need to consider that they have their own agenda, not only preparing
> > contents for the teachers and trainning but also doing a little bit of
> > everything. Paraguay Educa is a very small team, and everyone does a
> > little bit of everything, so the formadores will also have a
> > protagonist role in all the tasks I mentioned before, prior to the
> > delivery of the laptops. From flashing the laptops, helping with the
> > logistic steps of the delivery, coordinating and presenting the
> > events, etc.
> >
> > That is why we need to put extra effort in the next couple of weeks to
> > show them that we are also working hard to fix the bugs they report
> > and to make sure dextrose2 can fulfil their and our expectations.
> >
> > Hope this was enlightening as I intended it to be. :)
> --
>   // Bernie Innocenti - http://codewiz.org/
>  \X/  Sugar Labs       - http://sugarlabs.org/
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