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

Tomeu Vizoso tomeu at sugarlabs.org
Thu Aug 13 10:09:15 EDT 2009

On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 15:51, David Van Assche<dvanassche at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

Ok, but will give some other interesting information, or not at all?

> And its important to acknowledge the
> differences between these, which Christoph listed quite concretely.

And isn't this stating the obvious?

> 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.

I'm quite appalled by this, you don't read the mailing lists where we
make regular calls for feedback? Short from taking a plane and
visiting school by school, I don't see what else I can do to get that

You understand Spanish, search the olpc-sur mailing list for posts by
Walter and me and tell here again if we don't ask for feedback.

It's really frustrating that we are here spending our savings and time
on this project, and not only the people deploying our software don't
want to talk to us despite our requests, but other people still think
we don't want to know about them.

Frustratedly yours,


> 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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> --
> Stephen Leacock  - "I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I
> shall some day die, which is not so."
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