[IAEP] IAEP Digest, Vol 11, Issue 47

Bryan Berry bryan at olenepal.org
Thu Feb 19 00:54:28 EST 2009

Some comments,

Most of the folks running deployments are so busy running them that they
don't have time to document their work or share their experiences.
Greebo is a notable exception and I am continually astounded by her
productivity and quality.

I think it would be extremely helpful for someone outside of a
deployment to go to a well-run one-- and not necessarily large one-- and
document their work. I would particularly like to learn about David
Leeming's experiences in Oceania. He may be doing the best job of
running deployments in the world right now but he doesn't have time to
document his work.

Christoph Derndorfer is coming to Nepal for the summer and we hope that
he can help us better document our work and communicate our

I will try to make a better effort at joining the IRC meetings for
deployments. When are they again?

>From Michael's questions:

> * Is there anything we could spend our time on which would yield a
> greater
> return on investment?

The most helpful thing I can think of right now would be a
special-purpose website/wiki only for curricula. Each curriculum should
map to a course in moodle.sugarlabs.org. We need to start the process of
mapping standard curricula to the open-source resources (quizzes,
readings, activities) that are available in some sort of intelligible
order. Then an interested developer or educator could start plugging in
the holes.

Really, all is needed is some kind of special-purpose wiki mapped to
moodle. No special software. The hard and incredibly *unsexy* work is
uploading the n curricula from X states/countries and mapping it to
sequenced materials. We can talk about quality, pedagogy ad infinitum
but the vast majority of teachers don't have a starting point to even
provide mediocre education beyond what they are currently provided by
their own governments.

> * Are there any fixable roadblocks which prevent group ____ from
> participating?

Yes! Getting cheap, durable laptops. Getting the $ for these is easy.
Getting XO's in manageable quantities is the biggest roadblock for most
would-be deployments.

> From: Michael Stone <michael at laptop.org>
> Subject: [IAEP] RFC: Supporting olpc-ish Deployments - Draft 1
> To: devel at lists.laptop.org, testing at lists.laptop.org,
> 	iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org, support-gang at lists.laptop.org,
> 	fedora-olpc-list at redhat.com
> Message-ID: <20090219051424.GA4131 at heat>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
> Folks,
> Pia Waugh (greebo) and I have spent a fair bit of time in the last
> month
> talking and thinking about what we can do in the next few months to
> best
> support present and future olpc-ish deployments (typically with XOs,
> typically
> running Sugar) and we'd like to share some of our thoughts with you.
> These
> thoughts are presented in draft form in order to solicit your
> feedback, which
> is eagerly awaited, and will likely be incorporated into future
> drafts.
> Regards,
> Michael
> ------------------------------
> 1. Motivation
> We think that many deployment-related needs are not being adequately
> met,
> particularly in the areas of:
>     * knowledge-sharing and the ability to benefit from others'
> mistakes.
>     * volume and quality of aid available for conducting deployments.
>     * bandwidth, latency, and SNR of channels to other communities
> which work
>       with deployments; e.g. other deployments, educators, software
> teams,
>       distributions, researchers, consultants, and volunteers
> 2. Use Cases 
> We're particularly interested in addressing these situations and
> needs:
>       D1) I'm running a deployment...
>             a) ...and I need help! Who shares my problem? Who can help
> me?
>             b) ...and I want to do more! Who/what can I work with? 
>             c) ...and I want to share! Where do I go? What is needed?
>       D2) I need to talk to people deploying XOs.
>             a) Where do I go?
>             b) What can I expect?
>       D3) I'm working on a deployment plan.
>             a) Where to I start?
>             b) What have I forgotten?
>             c) Am I using best practices?
>             d) Can I get a review?
>       D4) I need to know...
>             a) real deployment numbers, 
>             b) maps, 
>             c) examples, 
>             d) photos, 
>             e) techniques,
>             f) contact info,
>             ...
> 3. Existing Resources for Use Cases
> Before we started, there were three basic mechanisms for addressing
> these use
> cases:
>     1) read the Deployment Guide and the Deployments page(s):
>          http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Deployment_Guide
>          http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Deployments
>          http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Deployments_support
>     2) ask olpc-techsupport at laptop.org. (Only available to large
> deployments?)
>     3) poke people on IRC.
> These three mechanisms are problematic because none of them can be
> relied upon,
> alone or in combination, to adequately address any of the use cases
> listed
> above.
> 4. New Resources for Use Cases
> So far, we've created two new resources which help bridge the gap: 
>     4) weekly deployment support meetings, with minutes at 
>          http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Deployment_meetings#Meeting_notes
>        which get aggregated each month into
>     5) a Deployment FAQ, 
>          http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Deployment_FAQ
>        similar in form and spirit to the G1G1 
>          http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Support_FAQ
> We think that these two new resources, in combination with the
> pre-existing
> resources, will help us provide the next level of support for our use
> cases.
> 4. Projects
> We presently have several ongoing (interrelated) projects which you
> might like
> to become (more deeply) involved in:
>     P1) Keep improving the deployment support meetings
>         -- so far, so good!
>         -- your participation in these meetings is our best current
> source of new
>            content for the Deployment FAQ and for...
>     P2) Organize material captured in the meetings as FAQ entries
>         -- the meeting minutes are chronological, which is good for
> minutes, but
>            not particularly helpful for random-access reads. 
>         -- FAQ entries seem like a good compromise between maintenance
> cost,
>            timeliness, and satsifaction of the use cases
>     P3) Update the Deployment Guide
>         -- The Guide is now ~1 year out of date 
>         -- and it leaves too much to the imagination: just look at its
> advice on
>            critical areas like connectivity, content acquisition, and
> means of
>            participation in the larger community of 1-1 educational
> laptop
>            programs in general and XO deployments in specific.
> 5. Status
> Project P1 (meetings) is rolling along quite happily only one month
> after its
> inception but it could use your help in order to become even more
> vibrant,
> dense, and ingrained in the olpc-psyche. 
> Project P2 (FAQ) is just beginning -- we've done a first rough-cut
> which you
> should review for us and help us edit down into something awesome!
> Project P3 (Guide updates) is just a twinkle in our eyes -- and it
> needs your
> help to fly! In particular, three different mechanisms have been
> tentatively
> proposed for how to accomplish the update(s):
>     a) By sprints, like the FLOSS Manuals sprints that created the XO
> and Sugar
>        manuals.
>     b) By accretion, like the rest of the wiki, performed on a
> piecemeal basis
>        by participants in the deployment support meetings.
>     c) By issue-tracking, like software releases.
> 6. Questions:
>    * Does this analysis hold water?
>    * Is there anything we could spend our time on which would yield a
> greater
>      return on investment?
>    * Are there any fixable roadblocks which prevent group ____ from
>      participating?
>          (e.g., pervasive use of IRC for meetings?)
>    * <your question here>
> ------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
> End of IAEP Digest, Vol 11, Issue 47
> ************************************
Bryan W. Berry
Technology Director
OLE Nepal, http://www.olenepal.org

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