[IAEP] GPA ain't the world (was: [Sugar-news] Sugar Digest 2009-08-11)

David Farning dfarning at sugarlabs.org
Thu Aug 13 08:21:23 EDT 2009

On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 5:42 AM, Christoph
Derndorfer<e0425826 at student.tuwien.ac.at> wrote:
> Sean DALY schrieb:
>> IMHO, close study of small deployments makes them incredibly useful to
>> all teachers and Learners. The observations and take-aways need to be
>> triaged of course, starting with what can/should be done by Sugar
>> Labs, but I am convinced many learnings will benefit large
>> deployments. Until reliable means of sharing experiences and feedback
>> (polls, questionnaires, council of deployers, etc.) can be put in
>> place, microscopic study of a classroom using Sugar is well worth the
>> effort, in particular for revealing blockers.
> I'm not sure I really agree with this statement...

Christoph please keep the dramatic headlines to olpcnews.

In the above paragraph, Walter notes that many lessons can be learned
from controlled environments which can then be applied to larger
scaled, less controlled environments.

Please note, this does not _exclude_ anyone from providing feedback
from large scale deployments.  Nor does it _prevent_ anyone from
creating small scale deployments anywhere in the world.  _all_ it
states is that it is often cost effective to start small and grow as
lessons have been learned.

And yes, Christoph I _am_ holding your writing to a higher standard.
Several times, you have described yourself as the voice of the


> Extrapolating the data and drawing conclusions based on observations in
> a trial that represents less than 0,01% of all current Sugar
> installations is a risky endeavor at best and a serious mistake at
> worst. Even more so when the environment between the trial (in this case
> GPA) and the global deployments really couldn't be more different in
> just about every way imaginable (SoaS vs. XO, summer classes vs. regular
> year-long classes, Boston connectivity vs. Rwanda connectivity, 25
> installations in a school vs. 1000 installations in a school, US power
> infrastructure vs. Nepali power infrastructure, having a team consisting
> of Walter / Greg / Caroline supporting the efforts vs. being lucky to
> maybe have a single person who has used a computer before, 25 pupils in
> a classroom vs. 80 pupils in a classroom, users that were raised in
> urban North America vs. users who don't have electricity at home, and I
> could go on...).
> Yes, some of the findings at GPA will indeed be of a broad and general
> nature and subsequent actions will benefit all Sugar users. Yes,
> projects like in Alabama, Austria, the UK and similar places will be
> able to learn many things from the GPA pilot.
> But let's not forget that the current million Sugar users and (if the
> reports are to be believed) also the next million Sugar users are much
> more likely to be found in Ancash, Kigali or Sichuan rather than Boston,
> London or Vienna. And I doubt that you'll find too many schools in those
> places that have a profile similar to GPA [1].
> Just my 2 Nepali Rupees,
> Christoph
> [1] "The Gardner Pilot Academy is the flagship full-service community
> school within the Boston Public Schools (BPS). The school's vision is to
> educate the minds and develop the characters of all students in
> partnership with families and community. To achieve this GPA provides
> high quality teaching along with a range of social, emotional and
> enrichment programs delivered by means of partnerships with an array of
> community organizations and individuals. Over the past twelve years, GPA
> has developed strong associations with four universities, several health
> and mental health agencies, the YMCA, and various organizations teaching
> visual and performing arts. As one of just 20 pilot schools in the BPS,
> GPA is exempt from district mandates. Therefore, GPA has autonomy in the
> areas of budget and personnel, along with the freedom to implement
> innovative curricula, assessments, and interventions."
> (http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Gardner_Pilot_Academy#Gardner_Pilot_Academy)
> --
> Christoph Derndorfer
> co-editor, olpcnews
> url: www.olpcnews.com
> e-mail: christoph at olpcnews.com
> _______________________________________________
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