Contributors program/August 28, 2009


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   * New projects & libraries -- teaching them Community Outreach:

   * Which projects might you enjoy Mentoring?!

   * Fast Review of the 2 latest (greatest!) HW/Project Proposals -- please
     join us advocating for and/or reviewing shortcomings of these proposals:

     #1 XO-Contest - Switzerland
     #2 Laptop Lending Library Springfield - Massachusetts, USA
     #3 PROJECT #3 : Children With Special Needs “The Deaf At The Age of 6-12 Years” - Kenya - Revised Submission


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<CanoeBerry> Hi, Contributors Program meeting starting now, plz introduce yourselves!
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<xo-contest> Hi all
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<CanoeBerry> xo-contest: welcome Switzerland :)
<CanoeBerry> Plz introduce yourself if you are new to our jury!
<dogi> hi all
<Jade-Orange-12> Hey everyone, good afternoon!
<CanoeBerry> We have 3 projects to look over today, from Switzerland (contest!), Massachusetts (library) and Kenya (helping Deaf kids).
<xo-contest> Hi, I'm Urs from Switzerland, writing my PhD in the open source domain and had the idea for the xo-contest we will discuss later
<CanoeBerry> Agenda here:
<nteon_> I'm not very new, but I haven't been very active lately.  I'm Bobby, I was an intern at OLPC last summer, and am now an interested community member.
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<CanoeBerry> Anybody who needs wants access to the complete details of all proposals (protected by OLPC's privacy policy) ask me.
<CanoeBerry> Let's begin.
<CanoeBerry> Any questions before we start?
<CanoeBerry> OK, please discuss Project #1 here:

[ PROJECT #1 : XO-Contest - Switzerland ]

<CanoeBerry> XO-Contest - Switzerland
<CanoeBerry>    Requests 30 XO's over 30 months
<CanoeBerry> Project Objectives:
<CanoeBerry>    All classes, pupils students, scientists, hackers and geeks in
<CanoeBerry>    Switzerland are cordially invited to join the XO-competition. The
<CanoeBerry>    competition consists in the creation of a free choice of written
<CanoeBerry>    work, which has to stand in connection with the project "One
<CanoeBerry>    Laptop per Child". By keeping a diary blog and a final
<CanoeBerry>    publication, this competition should make a substantial
<CanoeBerry>    contribution of Switzerland to the global development project.
<CanoeBerry>    Although the written work is accepted from a variety of fields,
<CanoeBerry>    contributions in the domains of computer science and pedagogy are
<CanoeBerry>    favored. If a submitted project is accepted by the jury, then the
<CanoeBerry>    XOs needed will be borrowed for the duration of the work.
<CanoeBerry>    In spring 2011, all accepted works will be judged by a jury,
<CanoeBerry>    consisting of experts from academia and practice, all standing
<CanoeBerry>    close to the OLPC project. The best works will be awarded, at
<CanoeBerry>    least an extract of the work will be published and the winners
<CanoeBerry>    will receive an XO.  [XO-1.5's are currently being considered
<CanoeBerry>    as "Grand Prize"]
<CanoeBerry> Note that SJ Klein already gave this project approval ~8 months ago, but community input is most appreciated to make sure the Contest is a smashing success, before I ship these units.
<CanoeBerry> :)
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<CanoeBerry> sandrat: welcome!
<nteon_> so is the idea that people have a proposal that has something to do with OLPC, and then they get an XO for the length of the project/contest?
<CanoeBerry> xo-contest: can you introduce us to your contest, and how it will work? Thanks!
<sandrat> Hi .. sorry for my absence lately.  Did a presentation Sunday. Also caught up with FLOSS and ClassAct info
<mafe> Sandrat: same here...
<xo-contest> that's the idea, yes. The XOs will be pooled by the Swiss OLPC group. Only the winner(s) will get a laptop at the end.
<mafe> this is like google's summer of code?
<nteon_> xo-contest: how many proposals have you received?  how well publicized is it?  is there a website? (didnt' see one in the RT ticket, but I could have missed it)
<CanoeBerry> xo-contest: how will you promote the contest stages, using and beyond?
<CanoeBerry> nteon_: see site above..
<CanoeBerry> xo-contest: will you use Twitter to promote participation? And/or more convetional means?
<CanoeBerry> *conventional
<nteon_> CanoeBerry, xo-contest: okay, my first two questions still apply tho :)
<xo-contest> At the moment we only have 3 abstracts. They are hidden on the page until they are approved. The participants have to write a blog on our site, so everyone can see the progresses.
<sandrat> good thing I can read German.
<nteon_> xo-contest: when is the deadline?
<mafe> sandrat: cool ...
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<CanoeBerry> Can you say more about your XO-1.5 approach, as these newer beta units come available starting later in Sept?
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<xo-contest> Until now we promoted our contest on all educational plattforms. We plan to spread it further next month.
<CanoeBerry> kjcole: welcome!
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<CanoeBerry> Mokurai: welcome
<Mokurai> CanoeBerry: thx
<kjcole> Sorry I'm late. (Unlike everyone else, I have a day job, apparently. ;-) )
<CanoeBerry> Welcome latecomers! We're exploring the mechanics of the Swiss XO Contest, to help the Swiss team.
<xo-contest> Note: Switzerland has 4 official languages. We will translate all works at least in three of them (German, French, Italian). I hope we find someone for the English translations.
<sandrat> I can do French and German
<xo-contest> nyway, we accept abstracts in English!
<CanoeBerry> xo-contest: what ages are you targetting, and will your outreach strategy into Twitter or the like?
<Mokurai> URL:
<CanoeBerry> *include Twitter or the like?
<xo-contest> @sandrat: You're welcome!
<sandrat> what is the Twitter question?
<Mokurai> CanoeBerry: "All classes, pupils students, scientists, hackers and geeks in Switzerland"
<mafe> xo-contest: so this contest is open to all ages?
<xo-contest> We target students, but would accept good ideas with younger classes - for example a teacher who'd likes to do a project week concerning OLPC
<mafe> and proposals should only be related to OLPC's goals?
<xo-contest> Yes, we want to be as open as possible, so we get the best ideas.
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<CanoeBerry> xo-contest: will the Contest include any physical meetings or final presentations for mass media outreach?
<xo-contest> The proposals have to be related to OLPC - I don't know waht sense it would make to lend an XO...
<nteon_> xo-contest: how are you advertising?
<Mokurai> mafe: OLPC (XOs), Sugar Labs (Sugar, duh ^_^), Earth Treasury (replacing paper textbooks)
<CanoeBerry> xo-contest: have you spoken to Niklaus about this?  No obligation :)
<xo-contest> We have a donation (4000 Swiss Francs) for a final publication and about 3000 Francs for public relation, we haven't used yet!
<Mokurai> xo-contest: Have you talked to FLOSS Manuals about the publication?
<CanoeBerry> Just wondering if your strategy will reach out to all of Switzerland..
<xo-contest> We plan do do a final presentation as well.
<CanoeBerry> Wow!
<xo-contest> The publication is far away ;)
<nteon_> xo-contest: if that was a reply to my question, then what are your plans for advertising/outreach?  (similar to CanoeBerry's question)
<mafe> xo-contest: can they do it in emulation
<CanoeBerry> Let's begin to wrap up -- please all suggest concrete ideas to xo-contest as he finalized the shape of Switzerland contest.
<CanoeBerry> *finalizes
<icarito> 30 months seems like a lot of time
<xo-contest> Until now we have placed our contest on all educational plattforms. Next step will be to get an article in the Swiss IT-magazine
<CanoeBerry> Related: when specifically are the XO's needed?
<xo-contest> We only lnd the XO if the emulation is not good nough
<CanoeBerry> Including XO-1.5's, and in what number..
<Mokurai> xo-contest: I have some ideas in data acquisition. Does that qualify for an XO? (Assuming I find a Swiss partner)
<xo-contest> We would appreciate if we could give laptops to all whole class for a very short time - as the XOs are in a Swiss pool, they can be given to other contributors as well
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<CanoeBerry> Let us conclude: who will mentor?
<CanoeBerry> sandrat: are you on board?
<xo-contest> At the moment we would be happy with the XO 1.
<CanoeBerry> Anybody else joining me?
<nteon_> golly, a pool is not a good place to store XOs!
<sandrat> Is the contest for an educational learning XO "Activity" created by submitters
<Mokurai> CanoeBerry: I will mentor, and can recruit others.
<sandrat> what is the mentoring task here.  To clarify, smaller shorter project?
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<sandrat> If the mentoring time is short I can do it
<CanoeBerry> APPROVED: with Mokurai & sandrat co-mentoring.
<sandrat> "the pool".. is cool and refreshing for the mind
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<CanoeBerry> Final comments before we move onto Project #2?
<nteon_> sounds ambitious, good luck!
<mafe> CanoeBerry: this is cool event...but i really dont know

[ PROJECT #2 : Laptop Lending Library Springfield - Massachusetts, USA ]

<CanoeBerry> Onto Project #2, please help us review/approve/deny:
<CanoeBerry> Laptop Lending Library Springfield, MA - Massachusetts, USA
<CanoeBerry>    Requests 10 XO's over 12 months
* kjcole is away: Gone away for now
<CanoeBerry> Project Objectives:
<CanoeBerry>    The objectives of our project, Laptop Lending Library of Springfield, MA,
<CanoeBerry>    are either to provide people in this location with XO Laptops to help
<CanoeBerry>    with their projects, or to introduce these laptops to people in our
<CanoeBerry>    neighborhood and let them evaluate them for a week or so, and tell us
<CanoeBerry>    what they want to see improved, added, or removed. We will then try
<CanoeBerry>    to develop these programs that they want to see added, and try to
<CanoeBerry>    make the programs better that they want to see improved.
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<mafe> the end results of it will benefit the sugar/olpc group...
<sandrat> Will this project reach out to teachers as well as kids?
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<CanoeBerry> Do we have a live representative from the Springfield, MA team here?
<CanoeBerry> Plz speak up if so!
<sandrat> how will the program critiques be reported?
<xo-contest> sorry, got disconnected
<CanoeBerry> xo-contest: no prob, you're approved -- plz join us for a bit more of the meeting if you can help approve/deny others.
<CanoeBerry> And make sure to keep in touch with your mentors Mokurai/sandrat who will email you later.
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<CanoeBerry> OK, for Project #2 here..
<CanoeBerry> Full Proposal online:
<xo-contest> Thank you for your confidence!
<CanoeBerry> Feedback on the library, please :-)
<sandrat> What about connecting the  project to public library itself
<mafe> for Project 2: let's try to lend them 2 or 3 xo's....
<CanoeBerry> I would like more evidence of Sugar/OLPC paarticipation before approving this (just my opinion)
<sandrat> It would be good to have a place where you can provide interested users with an introduction
<CanoeBerry> If applicant was here, we would invite them to Boston.
<sandrat> Alan Papert and I are doing sessions in our local library children's room.  It works well .. to get people interested and comfortable, then the lending is more productive
<CanoeBerry> Springfield being only about 1.5hrs away.
<CanoeBerry> sandrat: can you telephone the applicant over the coming week and see if they plan is solid/solidifying?
<CanoeBerry> *their plan
<mafe> CanoeBerry: so let's just  then invite them over and further depend their project....
<sandrat> sure ... good idea.  I'll send them our info
<CanoeBerry> Perfect.
<CanoeBerry> I did invite the applicant to join this meeting but it seems they could not make it.
<CanoeBerry> Final thoughts on how best to foster a Springfield, Massachusetts' XO Library?
<CanoeBerry> Plz all provide your input now!
<mafe> I think sandrat follow-up would work ....i agree on that
<sandrat> OK  I have devon's contact info from the ticket
<CanoeBerry> Aside: Springfield is historic but not a wealthy city, with very different ethnic/poor pockets.
<CanoeBerry> Final comments? Going once..
<CanoeBerry> Going twice..
<mafe> so the more we make an effort to do a follow up on this ....since there are people having interest to bring this to ppor kids
<CanoeBerry> CONCLUSION: applicant needs to REVISE and work with a Community Mentor prior to full approval.
<CanoeBerry> Onto Project #3 now.

[ PROJECT #3 : Children With Special Needs “The Deaf At The Age of 6-12 Years” - Kenya - Revised Submission ]

<CanoeBerry> Thanks all, let's wrap up with quick comments on this final project proposal here:
<CanoeBerry> Children With Special Needs “The Deaf At The Age of 6-12 Years”
<CanoeBerry> Children With Special Needs “The Deaf At The Age of 6-12 Years” - 
<CanoeBerry>    Requests 10 XO's over 4+ months
<CanoeBerry> WARNING.. Objectives I'm about to paste in are Very Long!
<CanoeBerry> Project Objectives:
<CanoeBerry>    1. To create a curriculum based on the Kenyan standards of special
<CanoeBerry>    education for children/pupils with ear impediment so that the curriculum
<CanoeBerry>    will help them use XO tools like memorize to help them remember and
<CanoeBerry>    retain what they learned in class but could not be retain because of
<CanoeBerry>    hearing problems
<CanoeBerry>    2. The create a curriculum that will enforce and teach math skills by
<CanoeBerry>    use of mathematics symbols like + - x through the aid of Gcomprise.
<CanoeBerry>    3. To use the write activity to help the children improve their
<CanoeBerry>    writing speed skills and spelling as they continuously do practice
<CanoeBerry>    without necessary being with the teacher.
<CanoeBerry>    4. To use the paint activity to make different drawings that enable
<CanoeBerry>    the deaf children to express themselves well and also draw pictures and
<CanoeBerry>    allow the child to paint them. This enables a connection between the
<CanoeBerry>    teacher and the child since the child is able to express him/herself 
<CanoeBerry> well.
<CanoeBerry>    5. Use turtle art to help the child in making some drawings and as well
<CanoeBerry>    as writing names. This allows the children to be more creative. It also
<CanoeBerry>    helps the pupil increase confidence and hence reduces frustration.
<CanoeBerry>    6. To enable these students to learn pronunciation and vocabulary from
<CanoeBerry>    recorded speech created by the instructors.
<CanoeBerry> Fire away with your suggestions jurors :)
<xo-contest> I like the idea behind it very much but really can't judge the details.
<nteon_> sounds very interesting and worthwile
<nteon_> anyone here from that project?
<kjcole> Trying to catch up...  This is sorta near and dear to my heart (though I had tried to get Gallaudet to put it's effort where it's mouth was, no joy).
<sandrat> I think the details are good.  For deaf kids the XO would be amazing
<sandrat> especially in a country with no services for disabilities
<kjcole> sandrat, absolutely!
<sandrat> I haven't talked to this team lately, but I did the initial project outline with them.  They have come quite a long way understanding the details and having good ideas for using activities
<CanoeBerry> Project lacks a public facing invitation or blog.
<kjcole> However, that last one is a bit of a stretch, especially w/ the XO. I'd like to know more about the teachers.
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<sandrat> I can help them with that. Some of them have only internet cafes (very slow ones) to get connected
<mafe> wit regards on this proposal ....I want to see some more updates on their existing projects ....I believe that the sugar activities will definitely benefit these kids...
<sandrat> How do we put up a blog. Can they use any blog tool
<CanoeBerry> mafe: thanks for helping their partners projects in Kenya (Hands of/for Charity)
<sandrat> We  were thinks of using something called shutter? not sure of the name now
<mafe> sandrat: i sent them an email
<Caryl> hi... sorry I'm late.  Free lunch at the bank today... Really!
<sandrat> OK.   great
<sandrat> Could you forward me a copy
<kjcole> I'm thinking mayhaps Gallaudet's elementary and secondary school can go with SoaS and perhaps find some way of distance collaboration. (No promises, as I seem to be "unheard in my own land")
<mafe> sandrat: you're included in the email
<sandrat> no sorry I think the tool is tumblr
<sandrat> thanks mafe!
<CanoeBerry> sandrat: mafe has done a great job, but needs your help mentoring these 3 others, so the garden actually grows with publically demonstrated reportage and deliverable..
<CanoeBerry> (HIV Kenya)
<CanoeBerry> (Math Kenya)
<CanoeBerry> (Math Kenya)
<sandrat> Connectivity is arriving in Kenya, but right now it is still slow for most
people.  The fibre optic cable up the east coast of africa was connected in Kenya in July.
<CanoeBerry> Oopes RT43610 is actually reading/writing/basic skills.
<sandrat> Adam:  can they use any blog tool?  or is there a place in the wiki to create a blog?
<CanoeBerry> Any blog tool.
<mafe> my final thoughts on this is let's see to it that the group delivers the final check points they promise...
<sandrat> We are connecting each group with a mentor with expertise in the area of the curriculum
<CanoeBerry> All projects are encouraged to post a link from:
<sandrat> Ok that's what I thought.
<CanoeBerry> mafe & kjcole: what the recommendation here?
<mafe> if they find it hard to connect in a blog wiki can be use as their space for the updates
<sandrat> So we raised a little money for these projects this past weekend, a lot of it goes into connectivity
<CanoeBerry> sandrat: and is it true this proposal for deaf kids is at a different school, from the looks of it? ("Mumias Special School")
<kjcole> Educating deaf students is quite a challenge, and "deliverables" often are on the order of "lowered expectations".  However, I personally have a passionate belief that the XO and Sugar are excellent choices for deaf students.
<sandrat> mafe: ok
<CanoeBerry> kjcole: thanks -- most effective mentoring approaches??
<kjcole> This is primarily due to both the webcam, and the visual, and often language independent nature of so much of the interface.
<icarito> kjcole: i have contact with a group in bolivia working with deaf children
<icarito> and XOs
<sandrat> Our thought about mentoring were to use the blog to post questions and provide resources, and sometimes Skype if they can get to it.  Regular cell phone is more likely
<sandrat> Yes.. some good existing project references would be really helpful for them
<kjcole> The key (IMHO) is collaboration with other deaf students with whom they are not in direct visual contact with.
<mafe> sandrat: i suggest that if they  dont have connectivity they can scriblle it offline then if they have connection they can just either email it or post in wiki
<CanoeBerry> kjcole: can you explain?
<kjcole> I should say with other deaf.  Not students, but students, faculty, community, etc, etc.
<sandrat> Yes.. that is a good strategy.  I'll remind them of that ..saves a lot of dollars
<sandrat> or KSH I mean
<sandrat> I'll tell them to spend some cash on USBs
<CanoeBerry> Shall we conclude?
<CanoeBerry> +1
<sandrat> great
<kjcole> In short, prelingually deaf students (those born deaf or who lost hearing before age 2) do not learn to read by "sounding it out".  And often, if not recognized early enough, they do not develop any language skills at all
<mafe> sandrat: hoiw far they are from nairobi?
<CanoeBerry> kjcole: would you be able to mentor with an email every 2 or 4 weeks?
<sandrat> the team meetings in Kasarai, a suburb about the distance of Queens from NYC
<sandrat> Kasarani sorry
<CanoeBerry> Votes please!
<kjcole> Research shows that unless they are exposed to a language (sign or some other language) before age 2, then the language centers of the brain are "repurposed" and they often never catch up.
<kjcole> CanoeBerry: I'll try.
<sandrat> +1
<CanoeBerry> kjcole: thanks for co-mentoring.
<CanoeBerry> Other votes for/against please?
<kjcole> (Obviously a +1.)
<CanoeBerry> APPROVED -- thanks all!
<kjcole> icarito: how much contact do you have w/ the bolivian group?
<sandrat> I spent several weeks at Gallaudet. I was amazed at the different ways they expressed themselves, many gestures, grunts, noises


<CanoeBerry> This concludes the official part of our meeting -- may productive mentoring chit-chats continue forever.
<Caryl> kevin...want to try Vyew this afternoon?
<sandrat> please give use contact info for Bolivian group. send to
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<CanoeBerry> Final Note: above meeting transcript should be posted within about 24hrs to:
<kjcole> Caryl: Probably late in the afternoon, I can give it a go.
<sandrat> thanks so much adam.. great leadership
<Caryl> ok.  I'll turn on and send an aemail link
<mafe> Sandrat: would the teachers in handsof charity needs some training on wiki blogs or social media?
<kjcole> icarito, sandrat: I just went to the web site posted (and ran it through Google Translate)... I *THINK* I may have met a guy here in DC affiliated w/ that bunch.  Something like "Bolivian Voices"...
<kjcole> Caryl: I can do a QUICK try of Skype to see if I've fixed that.
<Caryl> right!
<kjcole> Anyway, I'm sigining off now...
<Caryl> see U
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<mafe> kjcole: thanks and nice to have you here ...
<CanoeBerry> mafe: sorry I don't understand your question, about your apparent delays in receiving irc communications here?
<mafe> Caryl: im doing etoys activities in Filipino phonics.....
* xo-contest  Quit ("CGI:IRC (Ping timeout)")
<mafe> CanoeBerry: there's delays in receiving and sending thru here...
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