[IAEP] Implementing Sugar in Medical Schools?

David Farning dfarning at sugarlabs.org
Fri Jan 2 20:51:52 EST 2009

Hey Silas,

Good to hear from you and hope you are having a good holiday season!

I have cced the iaep mailing list so other can chime in.

Silas is the coordinator of the University of Wisconsin OLPC sutudent
org.  John Wiley, the former Dean of the School of Engineering,
purchased 100 XOs.  Those XOs are being used in community centers
around Madison with a central lab in the School of Engineering:)

I would really like to see Silas, and the rest of Madison team, set up
a Sugar Testing Lab.  It would be a great fit for both Sugar Labs and
the school!

On Sat, Dec 27, 2008 at 3:39 AM, Silas Bernardoni <sdbernardoni at wisc.edu> wrote:
> David,
> I was talking today at our family's holiday dinner with my uncle, Jeff Patterson, who is a professor at the UW Medical School.  He and my aunt, Mary Doherty, run a pretty sizable medical non-profit, Hackett-Hemwall Foundation, (HHF) that does a lot of work in Latin America. (Mostly Honduras and a little in Mexico)  He was very impressed with my ideas about the medical devices and said that the medical devices and Sugar would be great learning tools in medical schools because it would allow doctors in the US to easily contribute/improve the curriculum of medical schools all over the world.  Before we got too far into that conversation I told them that I wanted to run a few broad questions by you because I didn't want to distort/pervert the goals and mission of Sugar Labs.

Did I mention that once I soaked my xo in bleach for five minutes when
someone wanted to know if they could take an XO to their child who was
in the Hospital.  The child was a long term patient in a sterile ward.
 Any item in the ward needed to be able to withstand frequent
sterilization:(  The child and the xo are both doing fine -- although
the xo is a lighter shade of Green:)   And yes, the parents purchased
some XOs through the G1G1 program to give to the hospital for future
use in the ward:)

Yep, it is pretty off topic for Sugar Labs:(  But, perfect for Sugar
Labs - Madison:)

As with any organization, Sugar Labs is limited in what it can do by
its contributors and limitations on how effectively those contributors
can communicate.  As a result, I have been pretty Draconian about what
is on and off topic for Sugar Labs.

But, one of the primary considerations for how Local Labs are
organized is to encourage the autonomy necessary for them attract
smart and passionate people to pursue interesting and changing
questions--such as yours.  So go for it!

> My question(s) to you are:  Is Sugar being developed specifically for elementary education?  Would a deployment in a medical school in Honduras distract Sugar Labs from it's mission and core values?  Do you think this would be something Sugar Labs would be interested in having further discussions about?

I think that it would be fair to say that the Sugar Labs is currently
focused on early childhood education as the target market.  but,
anyone can use Sugar for whatever they want. Yes, we would be
interested.  I am not sure how much help we could give back in the
short term.  It would be a great addition to the Sugar Labs and OLPC

> I think this could work out nicely because my uncle is planning on retiring in March and could possibly devote a considerable amount of time to developing the medical curriculum and everything that entails.  He also has his own medical non-profit (HHF) to fund the work and connections in Latin America to implement it.  I also told him that I didn't think that the XO is the proper choice of hardware for a project like this. (med students and doctors have normal hands...)  This would diversify the hardware usage of Sugar Labs and make you guys less dependent upon OLPC. (which would be a good thing...I think.)  HHF also collects and ships used computers to medical facilities in developing countries and a lot of their computers get stolen and sold to internet cafes.  If all of their computers had Sugar loaded on them when they were shipped they would be less likely to disappear.  Basically, they have the entire organizational structure in place to cover every aspect of the project, except they would need to recruit/hire programmers to help them create the content/format for the curriculum.
> Before you stress out and do any of work on this... I'm not looking for anything substantial right now.  I know you have a thousand things on your to-do list and i don't want to add another huge project onto that.  A short initial reaction as to whether you think it is worth pursuing would be wonderful.  It was just a conversation while we were sitting around after dinner but I think this could be a huge opportunity for Sugar Labs, that is if it fits into your mission and goals.  I hope you had a wonderful holiday and life is going smoothly!

Initial reaction. Great idea:)

> PS I have also been working on the Local Labs stuff.  I decided to take the view of Sugar Labs and look at what information should be collected from the local labs.  I was actually looking at the process we had to go through to register our student org.  I think it would be much more efficient to mimic a system like that rather than create our own from scratch.  I'll get back to you more on that when I get my documents more organized.

Sounds good.  One other consideration in creating a Student Org vs a
official University project is the ownership of the work the project
does.  Some universities foundations such as WARF are not familar with
Open Source projects.  As such, students orgs have fewer hoops to jump
through when contributing code to open source projects.

Look forward to hearing more about this idea.

> Silas Bernardoni
> Industrial and Systems Engineering
> University of Wisconsin- Madison
> Office: B1026 ECB
> sdbernardoni at wisc.edu
> (608)482-0255

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