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

David Van Assche dvanassche at gmail.com
Thu Aug 13 09:51:43 EDT 2009

Hmmmm... I have to agree with Christoph here. I didn't really see it as
being dramatic at all, but quite factual in fact. The western small
deployments really don't give us any useful stats on what is happening on a
larger scale in the third world. And its important to acknowledge the
differences between these, which Christoph listed quite concretely. I think
what may not have come across obviously enough was that we need way more
data from the field, in places where Sugar is being used on a large scale,
and this data is just not getting to us. I for one, would love to have some
cold hard facts about Sugar as used in South America and Africa.

kind Regards,
David Van Assche

On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 2:21 PM, David Farning <dfarning at sugarlabs.org>wrote:

> 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
> project.
> david
> > 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
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> > IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
> > http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
> >
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- "I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I shall some
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