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NOTE: The contents of this page are not set in stone, and are subject to change!

This page is a draft in active flux ...
Please leave suggestions on the talk page.

This is a strawman proposal in response to a 10/7/08 email from Brian Jordan to the olpc-open mailing list. Please comment, add, edit. Mchua 03:08, 8 October 2008 (UTC)


What's this?

For people who want more structure and guidance in various areas of OLPC work they are trying to learn more about (or even an explicit invitation to ask for tips from someone you know you won't be bothering with your questions). One month (30 days) was chosen as the timescale because it's long enough to get something done but short enough that people can actually commit to it on top of a full schedule.

Do we need this?

"But we do this sort of thing informally anyway," you might say. This is true; teaching and learning happens everywhere in the OLPC community, and it's wonderful. However, there are some people who might, for various reasons, feel shy about jumping into a new community without an explicit invitation to do so. This is meant to be an explicit invitation.


  • Mentorship is done by wiki usernames.
  • The mentorship system is done via the wiki (messages are left by an automated bot which will be created specifically for this program).
  • Each user can mentor two other users at one time, and be mentored by one other user at any given time (i.e. you can't be mentored by 5 people simultaneously).

The process

  1. Mentees can search (somehow) for mentors and request (privately) a mentorship arrangement with them.
  2. If your mentor agrees, both of you will sign up for a month-long mentoring round. This round can begin at any time, but will last for 30 days regardless of the start date. (In practice, sign-up will probably be a certain kind of wiki edit that a bot can watch for).
  3. Mentors and mentees will get (via an automated wiki-bot) an intro message on their user page with suggestions of types of questions to ask and ways you can have various introductory conversations with your mentor, and a reminder message every 5 days after that, until the 30 day period has been reached. It is up to you and your mentor to decide what you will do, but in general, a mentor is expected to encourage and help answer questions from a mentee, and a mentee is expected to ask for help and advice from a mentor.
  4. At the end of the month, the wiki bot will send a message to both of you asking mentors and mentees to give feedback on the mentoring relationship and the work produced, and (if the mentor-menteee pair agrees) the wiki bot will publish a short version of their report (somewhere; on a wiki page, to Planet Laptop, in the Weekly News, in OLPC News... we'll work that part out later.)
  5. The mentor/mentee relationship is now ended, and both parties are free to go off to another match (or renew their old match if they find it mutually beneficial to continue).
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