Deployment meetings/20090203


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     m_stone> shall we start rollcall?
     m_stone> I see several familiar faces and some new ones.
     m_stone> walterbender, caroline: hellO!
walterbender> hi m_stone
     m_stone> juliabomb: greetings.
     icarito> hi m_stone, sebastian silva here
     m_stone> icarito: hi sebastian.
     m_stone> fcr, hpachas-PE: hola!
       anil_> hi m_stone, anil here
         fcr> hi m_stone
  hpachas-PE> m_stone, hola
   transbot0> hpachas-PE> transbot0, hello
     m_stone> okay. it seems that no one provided any written agenda items
              today so I expect that things will be free-flowing.
     m_stone> in case you some how managed to avoid my repeated emails, minutes
              from our last meeting are here:
     m_stone> and new ones will appear here after I write them:
     m_stone> so who has questions?
          aa> this meeting is also being translated to spanish by transbot0 in
          aa> ;)
     m_stone> aa: great, thanks.
     m_stone> dsd_: no questions?
     m_stone> walterbender: are you satisfied with the testing you're getting
              on TAP?
walterbender> It is a great beginning. We need to do a lot of work in
              anticipation of the new release
walterbender> 0.84 has many new features and we have had little feedback to

Sierra Leone

         cjb> I just finished listening to an interesting presentation on a
              Sierra Leone pilot
         cjb> they just finished a small pilot, I think they're proposing to
              extend it using G1G1 machines

     m_stone> cjb: do they need support help that folks here might be able to
         cjb> their population of kids has 0% literacy :/
         cjb> I think they could use some activities that help teach literacy..

     m_stone> cjb: what languages are needed?
         cjb> English
         cjb> which makes it easier.  all instruction in Sierra Leone is done
              in English
     m_stone> ah hah:

walterbender> cjb: where was the presentation?
         cjb> walterbender: at 1cc

walterbender> cjb: metaquestion: how can we advertise these things to those who
              would be interested?
     icarito> unlikely someone like me would come across it if not from this
         cjb> walterbender: they have a wiki page on our wiki with lots of
              details, I think
     m_stone> cjb: do you know the url for the pages?

walterbender> cjb: I guess that I need a way to find and monitor all of these
              pages then...
         cjb> m_stone: not yet
     m_stone> cjb: who gave the talk?
     m_stone> (i.e. who can we follow up with?)

         cjb> they seemed optimistic that the kids were being held back by no
              access to learning materials in English, and that the laptops
              would do magic things just because they don't get to take any
              books home at the moment and have few per school
         cjb> but I guess I'm skeptical of this
         cjb> because most of the stories from their trials involved kids using
              Record, Paint, Maze, and so on
walterbender> soon TAP, I hope...
         cjb> in any case, I'm sure it could only help to have activities that
              teach things like the shape/pronunciation of letters, etc

      bemasc> cjb: do you happen to know how much bandwidth they have?
         cjb> bemasc: none
         cjb> bemasc: there is a cybercafe five hours/50km away
      bemasc> that's important to know
         cjb> they would get bandwidth as part of increasing the size of their
              pilot, or something

     m_stone> cjb: did anyone ever do a simplified english wikislice?
         cjb> they used the English wikipedia activity, which was interesting
              to hear
         cjb> it's pretty much the only content they had installed

     m_stone> what was their reaction?
         cjb> they said some of the older kids would read to the younger kids
              with it, but very very few kids knew how to read
         cjb> something like 2% of kids graduate primary school into secondary
         cjb> and the secondary schoolers they tested could not read the fourth
              grade textbooks

walterbender> It may be helpful to introduce the teachers to the wikislicer
walterbender> Older kids could make books for younger kids.
         cjb> walterbender: oh!  yes, I'd forgotten about that
walterbender> It is only just finally generally available.

         cjb> they picked the least-wealthy area of sierra leone to trial in
         cjb> which is very ambitious for lots of reasons

    yamaplos> Sorry to barge in, but the wiki sucks.  It sent me to
         cjb> yamaplos: which wiki?
         cjb> (and why was that bad?)
walterbender> yamaplos: we added a link to mibbit for newbies to irc...
    yamaplos> it was bad because I was there alone.  cold!
    yamaplos> hallo all!, sorry, usability freak I am, and quite a noob
    yamaplos> Great, Walter.  Doesn't work :-)  Or didn't work for me
    yamaplos> Sorry guys, carry on, warming up now

     m_stone> cjb just related a few fascinating fragments of a talk he
              recently heard about a Sierra Leone based deployment in an area
              with a 0% literacy rate.
     m_stone> we thought about trying to introduce the team there to the
              wikislicer activity which can be used by more experienced
              students to help prepare materials for less experienced students
     m_stone> and also talked a bit about other activities that we wish we had
              access to in order to better help them with literacy issues

    yamaplos> Lancasterian approach, I'm all for it, the way I envision it to
              involve older siblings of kids who already have an XO, and set
              them up to help in that and other ways
       Caryl> the anticdotes I sent from Uruguay re using the XOs  with
              developmentally challenged kids had some great ideas for using
              the XO to teach reading to complete non readers

     m_stone> Caryl: would you like to add a link to for the minutes?
       Caryl> I'll go find the link...give me a minute in case some folks
              missed it
       Caryl> English link (Spanish next):  http://olpc-
       Caryl> Spanish link:

Logistico, Técnico y Pedagógico

     m_stone> so, something that I'd like to return to this week is the
              excellent thread started by hpachas-PE last week...
     m_stone> and kindly translated into English by david...

     m_stone> hpachas-PE: last week, you wrote about the three important themes
              of implementations: logistico, técnico y pedagógico

   transbot0> hpachas-PE> sorry, what is the thread of the agenda?
     m_stone> hpachas-PE: no agenda was written. :(
     m_stone> hpachas-PE: I will try to get an agenda written for our next
     m_stone> hpachas-PE: but today, I thought it might be good to explore your
              theory of deployments in more depth.
   transbot0> hpachas-PE> anyone can be a model, and carry the agenda .. would
              help us a lot.

     m_stone> but let's further discuss your ideas from last week. we didn't
              spend enough time on them then.
     m_stone> hpachas-PE: you wrote that you think that each deployment should
              evaluate its needs in the three areas you cited.
     m_stone> and that we should consider meeting separately to discuss each of
              the three areas.

     m_stone> how do others feel about these suggestions?
     icarito> i actually think it might be a good idea
     icarito> especially this transbot thing might enable some here to
     m_stone> reubencaron: thoughts?

    yamaplos> I personally have a bit of a whale bone with the order of
              "logistico, técnico y pedagógico". AFAIK all major deployments
              have followed it. Result is that pedagógico is sort of an after
              thought. I know that it's very hard to do it otherwise, I mean,
              unless we got the hardware, we have no project, but I wish
              someday someone will manage to get away with putting the
              pedagógico first, and then let the other two guys mold
              themselves as needed.
     icarito> +1

walterbender> yamaplos: maybe Sugar ona Stick is a short term solution?
    yamaplos> point is, how linked is it with felt needs of teachers and
              parents and kids?

     m_stone> okay. here's a basic question: in what ways are the people in
              this room able to and responsible to support deployment's
              pedagogical concerns?
walterbender> m_stone: there is a great deal of latent knowledge about the
              pedagogy in Peru and Uruguay. In a very pragmatic sense as well.
    yamaplos> you got it, latent.  It's hardly getting realized, except by
              exceptional people
   transbot0> hpachas-PE> m_stone, coordinator of the OLPC program in Peru.

walterbender> I'd love to see Hernan's questions answered in some coordinated
    yamaplos> +1
       Caryl> +1

     m_stone> walterbender: which specific questions?
walterbender> m_stone: Hernan's questions about pedagogical, technical and
              logistical needs/questions/issues

walterbender> yamaplos: I find your invention, OLPC-Sur, to be quite useful
    yamaplos> thankee

    yamaplos> OK, start with the kid.  Notice the interpreter, i.e., the
              teacher and parent.  Aim there and you got half a chance to make
              something happen
    yamaplos> then get you developer, testing team, whatever, to focus not on
              perfect geekdom this side of nirvana, but on usability, the
              prosaic, the stupid little things that kid will be supposed to
              know so he can get where he needs to get, of course adding as
              much as you can of the real good stuff he can really grow on

   transbot0> hpachas-PE> m_stone, technical issues and I see which is my
              specialty, but I also see the social (child, parent, teacher,
              developer, testing team)
   transbot0> hpachas-PE> I think before starting development, we must insert
              in the villages to see their needs and see how we can make
              society is interested in certain subjects, using an activity and
   transbot0> hpachas-PE> (this is in the development of activities)

     m_stone> hpachas-PE: what things stop or limit deployments from doing that
   transbot0> hpachas-PE> m_stone not understand the question
    yamaplos> that people have not been groomed to make it happen

Involving Local Talent

     m_stone> hpachas-PE: sorry, I'll rephrase.
     m_stone> hpachas-PE: I hear very few stories about deployments producing
              activities to meet the needs of children.
     m_stone> I hear more stories about deployments producing activities to
              meet testing standards. :(
    yamaplos> Activities made to meet testing standards?  Do we have even one
              of those?

     m_stone> why is this?
    yamaplos> they are being told to do things, "see how we can make
              society..", it's not about how we can make them do things, rather
              how we can enable them to do things.  It's more than a nuance,
              it's the difference between empowering and merelly telling them.

     m_stone> can we change it?
    yamaplos> certainly
       Caryl> some clever teachers adapt the existing Activities to meet their
              students' needs.  But this seems to be rare

     m_stone> what do we have to do to make it easier to write activities in
    yamaplos> m_stone: get them to be aware they can.  Involve them in the

walterbender> I think it is early in the process to expect deployments to have
              built too many activities...
walterbender> but in Uruguay they have quite a few, as aa demonstrated at XO-
walterbender> And tools like TAP came directly from discussion in Peru

       Caryl> South Carolina wants to know how to get things written
              (programmed) for their pilot deployments too...

     m_stone> walterbender: okay. when would be the right time?
     m_stone> walterbender: aa mentioned 4 activities -- PlayGo,
              ConozcoUruguay, a role playing game, and _____
walterbender> Speak with Sara?
     m_stone> walterbender: yes.

walterbender> sorry--I cannot type fast enough to keep up.
    yamaplos> told ya.  Fingers are warming up, am in a roll :-)
     m_stone> walterbender: I'll slow down.
   transbot0> hpachas-PE> sorry, I must insist someone to model the room. can
              not understand the conversation

    yamaplos> Hernan, what I mean is, tell us what activities you talking
              about, please.  Dunno any
    yamaplos> hernan: Also supposedly you have some question, haven't seen it
              yet, could you please share?  Thanks

walterbender> So I think deployments are beginning to appropriate the
walterbender> The children in Thailand didn't write code, but they came up with
              two innovative uses of TamTam tjhat they spread thooughout the
     icarito> +1 and 0.84 will improve that with View Source functionality (so
              lower floor)

     m_stone> hpachas-PE: I asked this question: "what are reasonable
              expectations for growth of activity development?"
     m_stone> and this one: "what is needed in order to help Peruvians to write
              more activities and to more easily share new uses of old

    yamaplos> That one is easy to answer. get them in community. get them to be
              part of a list, have that as an expectation. help them to get to
              wiki, to blog, etc... to share results, the good, the bad, the
              ugly, the precious, but *share*!!!! ...cannot be done from up
              high, has to happen horizontally
     icarito> +1
     m_stone> hpachas-PE: do you agree with yamaplos?


walterbender> +1; Peru, perhaps because so many of the schools are not on line,
              has been quite in the discussions...
walterbender> maybe a way of delivering to the teachers the digest from the Sur
              list each month?
walterbender> make it availabell at the regional centers?
walterbender> then they would get a sense of the level of participation they
              can be part of
     m_stone> walterbender: you're a journalist to the end -- I approve.

    yamaplos> walter, connectivity... What happened with that?  wasn't that
              part of the whole Peru exercise, to solve thatcreatively,
              Huascaran and all that?
walterbender> Hernan knows better than I, but they started OLPC in very remote
walterbender> so a large portion of the schools have mesh, but not internet

     m_stone> walterbender: mako has a project on blogging for prisoners (who
              may send mail but not email). perhaps it could be adapted?
walterbender> I'll have to ask Mako about it.

       Caryl> We don't hear much from the US deployments either.  Maybe there
              should be an olpc-USA list too
     m_stone> Caryl: I thought walter was suggesting a sort of newsletter.
       Caryl> nice, but discussions are good too

    yamaplos> Don't think Sur in itself would help that much.  I can tell you
              how we'll (attempt to) solve that in Bolivia, though...
walterbender> yamaplos: all ears
    yamaplos> a WAN among all participating schools, and Abarka net for
              connecting to the outside
    yamaplos> Basically, Line of Sight connectivity is a sure possibility
    yamaplos> but internationalk pipeline to the big I Internet is not
walterbender> yamaplos: I don't think that is feasible in Peru yet, given the
              remoteness and scale. working locally is the Peru model, I
              believe. Hernan?

       Caryl> Yama can you explain the problem?
    yamaplos> so we'll be working a lot at the local level, getting teachers,
              kids, etcx connected locally, in a obsessive way
    yamaplos> The problem in Bolivia is twofold, has to do a lot with
    yamaplos> The pipeline to teh internet is thin, unreliable, expensive.
              Then we have mountains

      greebo> I think a way to communicate about deployments would be great, I
              was going to start blogging each week after each meeting, but got
              caught up after the last meeting, so I'll start blogging after
              todays meeting. I think the grassroots mailing list _might_ be a
              useful venue for deployment discussions, but if we need a new
              list, we could have an list if people want :)
     m_stone> greebo: the trick is to find something that works in places like
      greebo> m_stone, something in terms of communication for the people doing
              deployments for this, or generally to get them connected to the
              internet? I'm just trying to get the right context :)
     m_stone> greebo: in general, discussing what it means for people like us
              to provide "support" to people who are trying to address
              pedagogical issues
     m_stone> greebo: and, in specific, discussing how to help foster activity
              creation and reinvention in Peru.

    yamaplos> So with LOS wifi, we get about 50 miles line of sight, which
              should be quite OK for our first few dozen schools.  We'd have
              some central services, and then we'd use whatever we can fashion
              to connect ourselves to the outside world, but definitely *NOT*
              depend on the Internet as we know it
    yamaplos> Maybe email and nightly uploads/downloads we could count on
    yamaplos> It's VERY hard.  I spent 2 weeks trying to negotiate a simple
              connection for my home, I even had the guy visit me and ascertain
              it was technically feasible.  But the system is just way slower
    yamaplos> I mean, the people, businesses, very, very hard to get things
              done.  So I still have no connection with my team there, except
              for 15 cents a minute phone. or them going to an internet cafe

       Caryl> Yama: how do the internet cafe's get their internet service?
    yamaplos> caryl, who knows :-)  I mean, I will get it eventually, but 2
              weeks was too short, obviously
       Caryl> yama...let's find out their secret!
    yamaplos> I'm phoning the guy right now

     icarito> perhaps having used existing huascaran conectivity infrastructure
              would've helped?
    yamaplos> Was / is there huascaran connectivity?
              ectivity_vsat.html seems relevant
     icarito> hpachas-PE: why was OLPC not made to match existing connectivity
              from huascaran? how was that not feasible?
     icarito> yamaplos: I understand schools were selected with a different
              criteria: one-teacher multil-grade schools
     icarito> so virtually no existing connectivity infrastucture was used
     icarito> nice method: pilot connected, deploy isolated
    yamaplos> was that lack of connectivity a given? we all saw Ivan doing the
              two-step in Arahuay...
     icarito> *and* have chief security officer fix antennas

      greebs> yamaplos, I was chatting to some folk in Uganda who have similar
              issues. They have gone with an internet connection in a community
              centre connecting up the surrounding villages. They heavily use
              proxy caching and repeaters to get as broad coverage from the one
              centre as possible
    yamaplos> VSAT no good , unsustainable, too expensive.  This is what I am
              trusting on

Local Involvement

     m_stone> we should return to the original thread which hernan's remarks
              caused us to study:
     m_stone> what things can we do "before starting development, in the
              villages, to see their needs and see how we can make society is
              interested in certain subjects, using an activity and XO"
     m_stone> do we agree with that idea?

     icarito> m_stone: yamaplos already answered: grow community
     m_stone> icarito: yamaplos' answer seemed non-specific to me.
     m_stone> icarito: walter made one specific suggestion; namely, to pursue
              solutions based in journalism; e.g. newsletters.
     icarito> m_stone: actually he suggested OLPC-Sur digest, which I would

       Caryl> the teachers, parents, and students should have a chance to see
              the XOs nd what they can do to get interest and find out what
              they want. perhaps a traveling "roadshow?"
    yamaplos> the question is a bit hard to get.  OK, first, we DO need to get
              to the villages. Get the parents, teachers teall us what they

      greebs> m_stone, I think the best thing to do is to work directly with
              the teachers, show them what is possible with the XO and
              activities, and then allow them to decide if/how it will be used
              in the education. It empowers them and also helps ensure they'll
              be used in a way appropriate culturally and in line with their
              education needs. I think getting parents and students excited is
              easy enough, but you need the teachers to make it work.
       Caryl> let the teachers try the machines. have a center they can come
              to, easy to get to from lots of places.

          aa> greebs: I agree its "easy enough" if you have the resources to
              have people work with them locally
          aa> re: getting parents involved
      greebs> aa, yeah, but scaling that's challenging right?
          aa> greebs: exactly

    yamaplos> In Bolivia I started with 11 orphan kids.  3 days. then I had
              thos girls teach 11 teachers
    yamaplos> those teachers were selected to be part of this because they had
              a son or daughter 11 to 13 years old
    yamaplos> so they get the XO home, they explore it together, the kid
              obviously (hopefully!) will get more excited, and drag mom or dad

      greebs> m_stone, walterbender what sort of newsletter is being suggested?
              Would a weekly blog/news be enough?
     m_stone> greebs: we think that there isn't sufficient connectivity for
              anything so high-frequency.

walterbender> I think we are talking about two different needs...
walterbender> my suggestion re Sur was for the existing deployments
walterbender> to keep the teachers informed
      greebs> I think a regular digest of information can be useful, if it is
              for teachers, then we need a list for teachers to subscribe to to
              get it, if for deployers, we need alist for that. All digests
              should also be blogged, write once, publish many :)
    yamaplos> Giving thim Sur won't get them engaged.  Having them *do* things
     icarito> yamaplos: +1  so need a way to get feedback too

      greebs> walterbender, wouldn't the deployment people on the ground would
              be keeping teachers informed? and keeping in mind many parents
              _and_ teachers won't be engaged through online means anyway, they
              will engage with their peers locally, so perhaps forming a
              computer club in each deployment would be a good way to encourage
              on the ground peer support?
     m_stone> greebs: from what I understand, in Peru, that's much easier to
              say than to do.
     icarito> m_stone: it'd be nice to *try* tho
      greebs> m_stone, gotcha, thanks

   transbot0> icarito> hpachas-PE: A suggestion was made to estimate the
              specific needs of communities and teachers: to train community,
              and specifically to distribute a summary (say, weekly) of the
              OLPC-Sur list to teachers, do you think?
   transbot0> hpachas-PE> one can say little about the issues they are talking,
              but I need just a few minutes of your time. I listen to and not
   transbot0> hpachas-PE> when I speak a dire and EOF may conentar
   transbot0> hpachas-PE> m_stone, let me know when you can do

          aa> what I've found when talking to parents in the poorest places is
              that they are _extremely_ shy
          aa> but yes, once you engage them they have been, so far, very
          aa> what's been extremely succesful here in Uruguay is RAP's model of
              having a handful of people in each town working locally
walterbender> 6-7% is pretty good IMHO
    yamaplos> aa: successful?  we only have 6%-7% of the Uruguay teachers
              involved in community, and they don't have the excuse that Peru
              has that there is no connectivity.  Could you define what you
              mean by successful, please?
          aa> yamaplos: _that_ is incredibly successful :)
    yamaplos> Sure...
          aa> of course, we can, and must, aim higher
    yamaplos> I say 100% is what I aim for and I intend to deliver

      greebs> aa, those people on the ground in each location, are they
              employees? volunteers? teachers?
          aa> greebs: volunteers
      greebs> aa, cool, what is the org that brings everyone together and
              coordinates the volunteers?

    yamaplos> people get engaged not when they listen, but when they speak.
              Yes, they are shy, boy, are they, but the "evil secret" of Sur is
              that magic happens when they actually get a chance to speak
walterbender> yamaplos: I suspect that the teachers in Peru don't know there is
              a conversation to join. Once they see the conversation, I hope
              they speak up. I believe that they are already doing things...
              they have some great learning results from Peru. But little
              backchannel that I am aware of.
    yamaplos> walter: you got it
      greebs> yamaplos, aa yeah, I find the teachers love this stuff, but even
              the really enthusiastic ones aren't really engaging (in
              Australia, but also throughout the Pacific deployments), so they
              basically use what they get/learn from the deployment stage

   transbot0> hpachas-PE> m_stone, I want to comment at this time. but I just
              need a time to talk.
     m_stone> hpachas-PE: I understand. I'll slow things down.
     m_stone> hey folks -- I'd really like to hear what hernan has to say. he
              says that he needs to speak slowly though so that we understand
              him and vice versa. so let's go slow for the next few minutes.
     m_stone> hpachas-PE: your turn.

    yamaplos> well, the Nepal - Bolivia axis of community intends to get them
              to get engaged *first*, then let them have a computer
     m_stone> yamaplos: shush.
    yamaplos> sorry....


  hpachas-PE> 1 .Las XO se han distribuido a nivel nacional y han llegao a
              lugares muy lejanos donde no existe conectividad a internet y en
              muchos casoss solo llega una señal telefonica. lo que aqui se
              denomina "telefono comunitario". la población que se encuntra en
              esos lugares, son personas que viven de lo que la tierra les da,
              es decir, ganaderia y agricultura. obviamente su interes es el de
              sobrevivir en ese mundo y muchas veces es mas importante que el
              niño ayude al padre en esta labor, en lugar de ir a la escuela.
              es decir, ven mas productivo a un niño en el campo que en el
              colegio. se ha hecho una sugerencia específica para estimar las
              necesidades de las comunidades y los profesores: formar
              comunidad, y específicamente distribuir un resumen (digamos,
              semanal) de la lista OLPC-Sur, a los docentes, qué te parece? lo
              pocos lugares que tienen conectividad a internet, son alimentados
              por antenas satelitales, denominadas VSAT y estuvieron y fueron
              creadas para el sector secundario existe actualmente un divorcio
              entre lo que los desarrolladores hacen y piensan que les puede
              ser util a los niños, maestros y padres .. con lo que realmente
              le es importante para ellos. debemos escuchar mas a los maestros,
              debemos internarnos en esos pueblos, púeblos que se emncuntran
              en el peor de los casos a 2 o 3 dias de la civilización y en el
              mejor de los casos a 3 o 4 horas de la ciudad (civilizacion).
              conocer que es lo que realmente les interesa, crear aplicativos
              que puedan ellos entender, comprender y ayuden tanto en su
              desarrollo de capacidades de aprendizaje, como en el dia a dia a
              sus  padres. si seguimos imaginando su mundo,. no llegaremos a
              nuestro objetivo. tenemos que vivir su mundo. luego de eso
              discutimos que es lo mas importante

   transbot0> hpachas-PE> 1. The XO has been distributed nationally and has
              traveled to places far away where there is no internet
              connectivity and many casoss only reaches a telephone signal.
              what here is called a "community telephone". people will find in
              these places are people living in what the land gives, ie
              agriculture and livestock. obvious interest is to survive in this
              world and is often more important than helping the child to the
              father in this work, instead of going to school. ie, see a child
              more productive in the field at school. the few places that have
              internet connectivity, are fed by satellite dishes, and were
              known as VSAT and were created for the secondary sector. There is
              currently a discrepancy between what developers do and think that
              they can be useful to children, teachers and parents .. what is
              really important to them. Developers should listen more to
              teachers, we need them in these villages, where people live, in
              the worst case 2 or 3 days from civilization and in the best case
              at 3 or 4 hours of the city (civilization). Then we know what
              they really are interested, they can create applications that
              understand, understand and assist in their development of
              learning capabilities, as in every day to his parents. if we
              imagine the world, we will not reach our goal. we have to live
              the real world. after that we discuss what is most important.

      greebs> hpachas-PE, if you believe the digest would help get the
              community behind education in general, then that is great. It
              sounds like you need to educate the families more than the
              teachers, so perhaps coordinating some parent and teacher
              meetings would help educate the parents?
      greebs> hpachas-PE, perhaps providing incentives for the families to send
              children to school. Perhaps looking at loading up onto the
              computer some activities that are useful to farming families
              (perhaps the spreadsheet application??) and then inform the
              communities about these devices that will both help education and
              help the farm...

walterbender> hpachas-PE: +1, but the question remains, how? Can we leverage
              the UGELs? Some forum for getting the communication flowing?
              Because it is not practical to send developers to the Andes, as
              much as I would love to go there.

          aa> walterbender: I think that we can all agree that, for starters,
              software developers in other countries cannot achieve that (any)
              level of communication with these places
walterbender> aa: we need local developers, for sure... but that will take
          aa> walterbender: I'm not talking about developers. I think that
              hpachas-PE very real concern implies that we need people working
              on the ground engaging and providing feedback
walterbender> aa: hernan and I have been working towards that goal in a
              different thread

       Caryl> see the Uruguay links above.  They had similar issues with rural
walterbender> aa: I met many of the teachers in Peru. I think they are capable
              of providing that feedback

      greebs> aa, I think it isn't just people, it is about messaging and
              incentives. We need the families to want and see value in both
              the technology and education.
          aa> greebs: of course, but that needs personal interaction in these

   transbot0> hpachas-PE> need a transbot0 between society and the technical
          aa> hpachas-PE: +1
     m_stone> hpachas-PE: :)
      greebs> hpachas-PE, heh :) +1
        _sj|> a translation[bot] between social and technical groups is a good

      greebs> aa, yeah, and part of the question is what can be done within
              this group, I think we as a community of practitioners can create
              some of this information and messaging, getting people on the
              ground is always going to be a local coordination effort.
          aa> walterbender's point is a good one, those of us who have met
              teachers in the field agree that they are very capable people.
              Luckily lack of capacity is not our problem, the main issue is
              engaging them
          aa> greebs: first of all we should be explicit about the paramount
              importance of having a network of local volunteers, and making
              that clear to everyone who's starting a pilot
      greebs> aa, definitely!
      greebs> aa, walterbender I am unsure we can _ever_ engage even a large
              percentage of teachers. And the ones that engage aren't
              necessarily the ones who need the most support. We need to think
              of strategies to help the teachers who aren't going to engage
              that can be part of a normal deployment process :)

   transbot0> hpachas-PE> if we have achieved many goals bot sustainable local
              or do what the company (internally) wishes .. OVERCOMING

    yamaplos> Has anyone tried first asking the families and teachers what it
              is they want, needs?  That seemed to have worked in Nepal....
      greebs> yamaplos, I think that approach is extremely good, and if you
              empower the participants from the start, they have an incentive
              to make it work in the long term
    yamaplos> greebs: well, yeah... :-)

     icarito> well how about using the existing human intersection: Local
              Technical Groups
     icarito> we might be good translators (better than bots!)
     m_stone> icarito: well, I get the feeling that people here think that
              /technical/ groups aren't really what's needed.
     m_stone> rather, that groups which /give voice/ to needs and to inventions
              are what's wanted.
       Caryl> if custom software is needed, technical groups are needed
       Caryl> how do they do basic customization? e.g. change Conozco Uruguay
              to Conozco Peru?
      greebs> Caryl, often enough, custom software isn't needed, just basic
              customisation of the activities and options. I don't think
              developers are necessary for a deployment, but vital to the

     icarito> i'm guessing requirements and dev feedback at least, could be
              handled locally by semi computer proficient locals
      greebs> icarito, many geeks are not good translators :) I feel like this
              should be part of a process, rather than trying to find all the
              existing ingredients. The existing Deployment Guide
              ( has some of this,
              and if we can improve upon it, it'll make it easier for everyone
     icarito> not geeks, not many of us
      greebs> icarito, feedback to the developer community could be sought
              through groups like this, where we have a bunch of deployers
              together, I think the deployment wishlist is a great way to get
              feedback from the deployments.
      greebs> By the way, just a quick announcement, could everyone here
              _please_ add any of your ideas and edits to the deployment guide
              and could you also please add any links to reports,
              documentation, and other resources to the resources page. Both
              are linked from the deployment meeting page

        _sj|> also one between what one needs and what can be contributed
        _sj|> it is very difficult to know what to ask, or what to suggest
        _sj|> when one has not seen the realm of tools or opportuniites.

Blogs & UGELs

walterbender> While it is hard to imagine reaching all the teachers, we need to
              start somewhere.
walterbender> aa, greebo: the standard OLPC deployment, as developed by Carla
              Gomez and followed, AFAIK, in Peru, enagges the parents and
              community explicitly as part of the process.
    yamaplos> walter "the standard OLPC deployment,... enagges the parents and
              community explicitly as part of the process."  Really?  besides
              infomercials, where are the results of that "engagement"?
              doesn't seem to be working IMHO
walterbender> yamaplos: I cannot say if in practice these outreach ideas are
              there, but I had the impression that it was part of the Peru
              deployment strategy.  Hernan?

walterbender> Hernan, it strikes me that for Peru, the UGELs have to be part of
              the solution.
walterbender> (FOr those who don't know the term, these are regional
              distribution centers run by the minstry. the teachers come there
              1x per month)
  hpachas-PE> walter, I would see a lower level.. Teachers are responsible for
              the XO.
walterbender> Cannot we use the UGELs for a point of information exchange? Even
              a high latency one?
walterbender> a web form they fill out to say what works, what doesn't? their
              hopes? their fears?
      greebs> walterbender, a basic feedback form would be great, and I think
              teachers would do that if is was part of the deployment process,
              but much more than that may be hard to extract :)
          aa> I wonder why this feedback form hasn't been implemented as part
              of the support system in Uruguay?
walterbender> aa: there seems to be more momentum in Uruguay around blogging
         fcr> the +1 goes for encouraging blogging as a normal part of the
              workflow, from what I saw, there almost all classes have blogs

  hpachas-PE> walter, I\u0026#39;m just working with Victor, to be taught the
              teachers to create blogs, and can comment on everything that
              happens in their schools
  hpachas-PE> Blogs give us a great vision of what is happening in schools
  hpachas-PE> is a tough job, but it is the clearest source of information
walterbender> Are the blogs publically accessible?
  hpachas-PE> walter, the idea is beginning to use personal blogs, where q say
              things happen.
  hpachas-PE> I think we can provide a virtual space for this job

       Caryl> Many teachers are already overloaded. Adding blogging to their
              agenda might turn them off to the project (retired teacher
      greebs> Caryl, this is my concern, however if we can encourage blogging
              as a normal part of the workflow (so children perhaps blog their
              homework and a teacher comments on the homework, etc) then it is
              doable. Excited teachers will always to the fun new stuff, but we
              need to capture all the rest of the teachers too
      greebs> we have a national blogging platform for teachers, might be a
              useful model

    yamaplos> I saw some action on Moodle in Peru a while back...
    yamaplos> I believe simple webforms, a sort of opinion surveys, just asking
              teachers to choose a couple things, maybe fill in a single line,
              are the way to go
    yamaplos> I agree that asking them to blog is a Bad Idea

          aa> hpachas-PE: conoces EduBlog?
  hpachas-PE> ligth should be a space for children .. is easy to come easy to
              modify. a simple single blog LATAM maybe OLPC
  hpachas-PE> donde podamos encontrar blogs de los paises
  hpachas-PE> nos nutrimos de cada uno de ellos
          aa> hpachas-PE: please take a look at edublog, I am one of the
              developers and would be happy to assist if you are thinking of
              deploying something like that

     icarito> hpachas-EP, would the teachers use this blog from the UGELs?

  hpachas-PE> lo usarian 1 . en el colegio, si el coletio tiene internet, 2 en
              la ciudad si utilzan un cyber cafe. 3 en sus casas si en sus
              casas tienen internet
  hpachas-PE> the idea is that they can access from anywhere
  hpachas-PE> remember that we are talking about some people who exceed 50
              years. and this must be done. (ie simple)

      greebs> so I guess the question I have is what can we build into the
              deployment process to help with all these things? Should we
              perhaps try to include a group of things into the teacher
              training? Should we engage local high schools to help with
              support? How do we get the teachers engaged, and could we perhaps
              say to the schools that they have to delegate at least one
              teacher to be engaged in the community to ensure they get the
              benefits of the programme as part of the deal?

     icarito> hpachas-EP: I still believe that the idea of distributing a
              summary of OLPC-South is good, yamaplos, suggesting (perhaps you
              should be on # olpc-es to read what he writes hernan)

  hpachas-PE> Fear of technology is like my fear of visturi:-D
    yamaplos> vistury= surgeon's knife

          aa> hpachas-PE, Caryl: nothing restricts deployments from installing
              such service in the school servers

    yamaplos> 8.000 blogs?  me seems maybe 30?
         fcr> yamaplos: there are hundred
    yamaplos> as we used to say in the playground, fcr, "show me!"
          aa> yamaplos:
         fcr> yamaplos:
          aa> yamaplos: these are some examples in ceibal's blogging system :)
    yamaplos> fcr, when google tells you it has 20.400 hits, that does not mean
              there are 20.400 blogs... :-)
      greebs> yamaplos, we are having success with blogs in the classroom,
              where they are a part of the normal workflow. Eg - the edublogs
         fcr> yamaplos: I know, but beleive me, there are a lot of blogs
    yamaplos> aa, fcr: I don't want to deny there is *some* work done, and it's
              GREAT!  But AFAIK about 0.7% of teachers are doing it, VERY far
              from calling that a success.  Now. I don't want to say that in
              itself is bad, but please, don't call it  a mission accomplished
              when there's 99.3% to go...
          aa> yamaplos: I think the proportion is a bit larger
    yamaplos> OK, aa, 0.9%.  Happy now?  I will be happy to stand corrected and
              do the "sorry dance and song" if you can prove it
     m_stone> aa: and so begins your quest...
    yamaplos> on youtube
          aa> yamaplos: if you can help me find the total number of elementary
              teachers in uruguay I'm pretty confident I can contest it :)
    yamaplos> 200.000 kids.  say 1 teacher per 25 kids. 8.000 teachers. Add
              special ed, principals, music, extra teachers, let's round about
              10.000.  Get us 91 blogs, you'll be famous as the guy who made
              yamaplos do the sorry dance

      greebs> hpachas-PE, if you believe distributing anything will help your
              teachers, then you should do it :) Getting someone in each school
              to read and transmit that information to the rest of the school
              is the challenge
  hpachas-PE> greebs distributing what?

      greebs> hpachas-PE, you are talking about a digest for teachers, and were
              asking whether it was a good idea. I'm suggesting it could be
              good but we need to be sure as part of each deployment that
              someone in each school is responsibile for keeping up to date and
              informing the school. It is unrealistic to expect teachers to
              join such a list in the majority of cases, so we should build it
              into the process and responsibilities of a deployment
  hpachas-PE> must have multiple sources of information, one of them is the
              blog, but I also think there are other forms q

      greebs> walterbender, what sort of engagement do you think would most
              help teachers in the field? the digest you were mentioning?
walterbender> greebs: I think that we need to show the teachers that their
              voice is valued.
walterbender> I think the Sur list is a good example of that
walterbender> and it is in Spanish and from the region.
      greebs> walterbender, so you see the digest as being what the teachers
              themselves are sharing?
walterbender> greebs: an example of teachers speaking up and developers
walterbender> and sharing od ideas and criticism
walterbender> ie. learning
      greebs> walterbender, I think this form of communication is very
              important, but I'm not sure we'll get most teachers (and
              particularly those most in need of the information) to
              participate. It is great it is working on the SUR list, but I
              don't see most of the teachers in Oceania wanting to do this,
              although I'm sure a few would be open to receiving a newsletter
              with information
walterbender> greebs: just one arrow in our quiver...

      greebs> I think we'll be lucky to engage >5% of teachers in most
              countries, it doesn't matter what the technology. The trick as I
              see it is to make the deployment process such that even the most
              tech-terrified teachers feel comfortable to integrate the
              XO/Sugar into the classroom. So documenting learning activities
              (, providing local
              volunteer peer support groups, and trying to link at least one
              person per dep


      greebs> this has been a great discussion (albeit without any real agenda
              :), and we should try to keep to the one hour mark. Could
              everyone please add any notes to the minutes when they come out
              in the coming days, and could you all please ensure you add stuff
              to the agenda, and we'll try to stick to an agenda next meeting
              so we can get through more :)
     m_stone> hpachas-PE: muchisimas gracias por estos pensamientos.

     m_stone> bye everyone, and thanks for joining!
          aa> bye, and thank you!

      greebs> back to the broader support community to hopefully keep momentum,
              enthusiasm and new ideas flowing
      greebs> ok, I've got to fly, sorry for being late everyone. See you next
    yamaplos> thank you all, this was great!
         cjb> bye!
walterbender> ciao
     icarito> chao!
walterbender> dance, Yama, dance!!

    yamaplos> You know, Walter, I'd rather be wrong in this that right.  If I'm
              wrong, it's that things are actually less than really bad.  If
              I'm right, it's the silliest victory possible, for I am proving
              this whole caboodle is in a sorry state.  Just in case I'll get
              the nice shoes out
walterbender> yamaplos: right or wrong, I want to see you dance :)
    yamaplos> we'll do a duet, OK?
walterbender> a deal... but watch out because I have two left feet.
    yamaplos> cool!
    yamaplos> I have an extra tooth
    yamaplos> :-)

      greebs> m_stone, what is the notes backchannel? I'm going to do a blog in
              about an hour or so about this. I think some really interesting
              ideas have come out of the meetings and I promise I'm going to
              start the weekly blog about it today :)
     m_stone> "notes backchannel"?

          aa> an interesting statistic: Ceibal offers discounts on standard
              laptops to high school teachers, most of the models have linux as
              an option. So far 20% of the teachers have chosen linux
         cjb> is linux the same price as windows?
          aa> cjb: linux is somewhat cheaper
kristianpaul> cjb: and is free as in freedom of speech
         cjb> I'm aware of the freeness of linux :)
     bjordan> cjb: you should try it sometime ;)
         cjb> bjordan: nah, I hear it's developed by losers with beards
     m_stone> and I hate freedom, as is well known.

          aa> cjb is completely lost to us now that he has his Windows 7 beta
         cjb> I know it's wrong, but it feels so right

          aa> cjb:
         cjb> aa: cool
         fcr> It's a shame that one of the providers, is giving the linux
              laptops without even X

  hpachas-PE> m_stone,
     m_stone> hpachas-PE: si?
  hpachas-PE> m_stone, esto puede ayudar a las reuniones futuras
     m_stone> gracias. :)
  hpachas-PE> m_stone, :-)

     m_stone> greebo: I'm afraid that I'm not going to be available this
     m_stone> (I didn't get much sleep last night, so I'm going to crash in the


       kevix> anyone around?
       kevix> anyone have to deal with chat cyberbullying?
         cjb> no, but there are ops in #freenode or #freenode-admin or whatever
              it is
      greebo> kevix, yep
       kevix> I am talking about the chat activity
         cjb> oh. in a local school setting?
       kevix> yes
      greebo> kevix, the backing up of the journal is helpful for that
         cjb> I'd deal with it equivalently to physical or cell phone bullying,
              I guess
      greebo> kevix, so, teachers can browse the backed up journals to keep an
              eye out for cyberbullying
       kevix> my amigos are trying to make a script to grep from badwords.txt

         cjb> which deployment are you working with?
       kevix> alabama
      greebo> kevix, and the children are told everything they do is visible to
              the teachers, which also helps with avoiding cyberbullying
       kevix> i mentioned that they can use that as a detterant
         cjb> (note that this is deployment-specific advice, since some
              deployments opt for privacy by default)
       kevix> privacy is what way?
         cjb> that the childrens' files are private from their teachers by
              default, unless they choose to publish them with a system like
              edublog, hand them in as homework, or if there's a reason to
              override the privacy
       kevix> ah.
       kevix> would that mean that the journal backups can not be scanned for
              'bad words' and a generic alert give to the teacher?
         cjb> well, it means this could be done if the deployments wanted to
       kevix> hi anna_bham
         cjb> I'm just letting you know that our large deployments like Uruguay
              and Peru have decided not to do this, policy-wise
       kevix> tell the nice folks what your issue is
   anna_bham> Hi kev
       kevix> this is interesting
         cjb> it's okay, you don't need to explain the reasoning to me
         cjb> I'm sure you can go ahead and do it if you want
         cjb> although I don't think Chat logs are stored in the Journal
         cjb> so that probably wouldn't work
       kevix> I would want that, but not everone thinks the same

   anna_bham> Well, I got a support call today.  The teachers wanted to save
              off a chat with "ugliness."  The victim brought it to the
              attention of the educators.
         cjb> there's a very different attitude towards school responsibility
              outside the US, I suppose
   anna_bham> Yes, chat logs are stored in the journal
         cjb> oh!  cool.  then you're all set.
   anna_bham> So they wanted "evidence" to print out
   anna_bham> Of course, you have to drag and drop to a usb drive and then take
              it to a windows machine
         cjb> sure
   anna_bham> Anyway, one of my friends is modifying her "findinchat" script to
              grep against badwords.txt
         cjb> sure
   anna_bham> Which some of my users are enthusiastically submitting content to
              badwords.txt.  Geez, I had no idea.

         cjb> it seems like you're going to quickly find that the kids all stop
              using chat and move to something on the web :)
       kevix> ah.
       kevix> the adapt like borg
   anna_bham> cjb, Not when they don't have internet access at the school, for
              now anyway
   anna_bham> But that's a whole other issue
         cjb> ah

   anna_bham> y'all might find this interesting, humorous, bothersome, etc.  I
              installed Foxfilter on FF3 on the XOs cause this project is under
              so much media scrutiny here, that's all we need is "Porn on the
              XOs!  Report at 10"
   anna_bham> Anyway, the default keywords include "free adult"
   anna_bham> so, I got a support call yesterday asking why a kid trying to
              look up Booker T. Washington for Black History Month was running
              into Foxfilter.  Um, guess the web designer put the keywords free
              and adult into his title.
         cjb> sigh
   anna_bham> I can't anticipate everything
         cjb> that's okay, it wasn't a personal sigh :)
   anna_bham> after all, Booker T. Washinton was freed when he was a young
   anna_bham> Really, any webmaster worth his salt should refrain from putting
              the word "adult" in the title if the site is innocent
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