[Dextrose] [AC UPDATE] tch's edition

Steven Parrish smparrish at gmail.com
Thu Feb 10 11:04:15 EST 2011

On Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 8:56 PM, Martin Abente
<martin.abente.lahaye at gmail.com> 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. :)
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Great update.  Can't wait to start seeing the feedback from the
teachers and kids.  As Bernie mentioned this should go on the
Sugarlabs planet and wherever else we can get it.

Release Manager

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