OLPCorps Africa/meetings/March 8, 2009

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[ 1. OPEN QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL ]

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<CanoeBerry> Welcome to the OLPCorps Africa call.
<CanoeBerry> Plz call +1 866 213-2185 Access Code [ASK OLPCorps@laptop.org FOR CODE, THANKS!]
<CanoeBerry> Intl folks can use +1 609 454-9914 instead, w/ same access code.
<CanoeBerry> Colin's back.
<CanoeBerry> PCommons [Paul Commons, organizer]: platform to review proposals will be done thru OLPC wiki
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: we'll be providing some detail about this today.
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: for now, on http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPCorps_Africa
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: uploading more detail also possible
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: EG. Indiana Univ just posted a fuller proposal here, beyond the 750 words: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPCorps_IU_South_Africa
<CanoeBerry> BStuart [Bryan Stuart, organizer]: this might help you add multimedia to the 750 words, etc
<CanoeBerry> (woman asks): can we link from our 750 word proposal?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: yes
<Sam_JamiiOLPC> that was me asking about hyperlinking to the wiki :)
<CanoeBerry> 750 words should be sufficient.
<CanoeBerry> but add flickr, youtube links etc if you want
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<CanoeBerry> (woman interested in being mentor): waas peace corps in tanzania, now a math teacher, might she help?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: definitely
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<CanoeBerry> PCommons: yes! volunteer support, working together, will make this succeed
<CanoeBerry> Jamii OLPC did the same, emulating http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPCorps_IU_South_Africa
<CanoeBerry> Providing further detail about their team/proposal here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPCorps_Jamii_OLPC_Tanzania
<CanoeBerry> Jamii OLPC is writing proposal with (school teams?) in Africa, details emerging.
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: great, post to Wiki.
<Sam_JamiiOLPC> that's another team, not Jamii OLPC
<CanoeBerry> Oops.
<Sam_JamiiOLPC> no worries, it's hard to tell people apart over the conference call!
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: great way to start, similar to his own XO Camp between 2 sessions he coordinated in South Africa
<Sam_JamiiOLPC> however, Jamii will be conducting a similar process, pending confirmation of a school partner
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: questions re project proposals?
<CanoeBerry> BStuart [Bryan]: we really, really want community to help getting involved developing/enhancing proposals: Constructive Criticism will help these proposals be as great as they can be!
<CanoeBerry> Culseg: can others join the 6 ppl here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPCorps_IU_South_Africa#Members ?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: He personally has separated himself from this project
<CanoeBerry> Culseg: is meeting inviting others to join? make that clear!
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<CanoeBerry> Eli Luxenberg: contact info missing from some project proposals
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<CanoeBerry> PCommons: we encourage contact info!
<CanoeBerry> Culseg: suggest ppl write in how big their a team they intend
<CanoeBerry> Sam_JamiiOLPC: on her proposal they posted positions they're recruiting for
<CanoeBerry> Sam_JamiiOLPC: clarifying how large a team, yep :)
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: more comments, suggestions, critiques of project proposals?
<CanoeBerry> DBennett: govt involvement? (noisy phone call) DBennett hasn't seen.
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: we'll approach case-by-case basis... eg. letter of support from NGO or local ministry or governmental education group.
<Bryan> Is it possible to save these notes after the call?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: needing to link groups later.
<CanoeBerry> Bryan: yes.
<yamaplos> CanoeBerry: you can now send noobs directly to the 'meetings' olpc wiki page, google olpc meetings
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: question about format of submissions, do we have to be a university?
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<CanoeBerry> Answer: 2 univ students required.
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: it will be co-written
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: that's the idea of the wiki -- collaboration
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: Kenya, Uganda, Ghana involved.
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: and you are mentoring?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: what's your name again?
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: [FULL NAME]
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: we'll touch on mentoring in the next part of the phone conf.
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: concern re education value of projects, but we can follow thru wiki later
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: next section this may fit in -- providing feedback to proposals
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: will to help here
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: biggest problem sustainability -- difficult for students to remain -- NGO's or folks on ground are the best hope here.
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: wholeheartedly agree
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: early feedback critical here
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: wonderful kickstarting if it's embedded into community correctly
<CanoeBerry> BStuart: both before application accepted (Apr 10) and afterwards when all start deploying in June
<CanoeBerry> BStuart: OLPC Community can be a *huge* help here
<CanoeBerry> BStuart: what tends to work, what tends not to
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: mentions [Uruguay] guy who can be a resource here
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: would like to talk to her offline about this
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: final questions re project proposals?
...
<CanoeBerry> (Coran? sp?): asks about structure of proposals.
<CanoeBerry> (Coran? gentleman): are you looking at us directing proposal towards educators/developers? where do i go?
<CanoeBerry> BStuart: if you have specific questions about how to set up proposal, perhaps email us directly, on individual basis
...
<CanoeBerry> (2009 dates clarified...)
<CanoeBerry> Dates should be here: http://laptop.org/en/participate/get-involved/OLPCorps.shtml


[ 2. CAN YOU HELP MENTOR TEAMS? ]

<CanoeBerry> PCommons: Next we'll move on to introducing the Support Committee
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: Seeing who can help here, since volunteers will be necessary.
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: 2 aspects -- ongoing side, and project-based
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: finding mentors...
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: idea is to match experienced folk to provide guidance and avoid pitfalls
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: and connect teams wi/ various resources known to exist
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: will be collecting interest to match skills/regions
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: already working w/ 2 teams in Morocco & Ethiopia; still polishing their proposals before submitting
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: can you post a quick sentence on the wiki page so folks know about you? if other connections might make sense?
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: yes, very good point
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: post early & often works; Yama will help do this
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: will be very busy until end of March, but will try
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: ongoing support for in-country work also nec
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: need to avoid bottleneck where everyone contacts a central chokepoint
...
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: final questions on mentorship?
<CanoeBerry> (woman asks...): so we should just post our contact info onto http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPCorps_Africa and wait for online seminar announcements?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: yes!


[ 3. ONLINE SEMINARS: TO BEGIN BY LATE MARCH? ]

<CanoeBerry> PCommons: will start online seminars at end of March; eg. tech, learning, deployment
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: i.e. more of a formal angle on mentoring, if you might help here, if you've had past experience abroad perhaps?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: use OLPCorps@laptop.org if so
<CanoeBerry> BStuart: these pedag logistics will be more precise later, once we know geography of which countries & cultural/social aspects
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: post as much as you can off of http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPCorps_Africa
<CanoeBerry> Sam_JamiiOLPC: great idea; currently in contact w/ (DSD?) in Paraguay possibly joining as technical lead; can mentoring still work around this?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: yes
...
<CanoeBerry> DBennett: when will (seminars?) begin happening?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: by end of March we should have them going.


[ 4. HOW TO FIND GREAT COLLABORATORS FOR YOUR TEAM ]

<CanoeBerry> Sam_JamiiOLPC: cultural exchange/dialogue will be valuable indeed; let's get this going
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Talk:OLPCorps_Africa
<CanoeBerry> Talk page above helps you exchange background (more informal) notes if you're not quite ready to post to the Wiki
<CanoeBerry> Culseg: how do other Indiana/nearby groups get in touch with you?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: Michigan State getting in touch; several Harvard groups getting in touch with each other already; we're working on it!


[ 5. CAN WE MEASURE LEARNING? OR AT LEAST AGREE ON APPROACHES? ]

<CanoeBerry> [Nina?] from Peace Corps?: question about mentoring -- could you expand on the pedagogical theory we should write into proposals?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: OLPC tends to focus on constructionism away from rote learning; hosting online seminars will help us discuss these issues
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: great, since this differs dramatically from African educatino norms, and most of the rest of the world for that matter.
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: agrees
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: does OLPC Learning Team have involvement with this program?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: yes, OLPC Learning Team is helping organize Kigali 2-week June training
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: how much will Kigali 2-week training define summer's work
<CanoeBerry> PCommons & BStuart: online seminars will help a lot -- learning team's David Cavallo will help here, VP of Learning, will run some of these.
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: can David Cavallo post something on the wiki to show us more how this will work?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: will ask to see if this might be possible
...
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: if you could define what is success?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: your thoughts?
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: positive role in /learning/
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: how do we gauge?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: everyone, input?
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: metrics beforehand best: kids that read, write, count a priori -- then count/tools later
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: every 3 months or so later?
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: try at a very basic level -- metrics a whole field of its own -- 
might want to stick to very basic metrics
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: should we work on this on-wiki -- defining success metrics
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: one of the online seminars might address this
<CanoeBerry> Sam_JamiiOLPC: should we try to use some measurements in common, across teams, to allow comparison?
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: tough, as each project/team might be very different -- but perhaps we can define some adaptable baseline?
<CanoeBerry> Sam_JamiiOLPC: agreed! but if folks can work from a similar standpoint that could be great
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: yes, important if we can document results -- that can help sustainability / funding
<CanoeBerry> DBennett: this will be *very* tough, across countries, which vastly different standards
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: yes :)
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: consistent assessments not realistic.  Exploratory learning here.  Flexible guidelines have hope.
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: if totally disconnected, we're missing the point of this being an educational tool
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: you can measure in more generic ways -- not how many times-tables you learn
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: it might not coincide with Dept of Educ approach, info-regurgitation.
<CanoeBerry> yamaplos: help us find ways
<CanoeBerry> (gentleman? yuan?): web application testing kids abilities?
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: many of these games have built-in results
<CanoeBerry> DBennett: assumes web access; we cannot always assume
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: some of XO/Sugar's Activities might work here
<CanoeBerry> BStuart: in the last few min, we just hit on some of the other things XO's can do for kids -- getting some common ground here?  Since expectations will vary so widely.
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: info already be there in Educ Journals?
<CanoeBerry> Sam_JamiiOLPC: let's have this discussion on the Wiki; read these journals & existing resource; grounding our discussion & share some background knowledge
<CanoeBerry> CanoeBerry: should we look into Caryl's [[Educators]] portal from a year ago, etc?
<CanoeBerry> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Educators


[ 6. HOW TO VOLUNTEER TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN ]

<CanoeBerry> PCommons: now for folks who want to make a more active role, eg....
<CanoeBerry> promotion
<CanoeBerry> translation
<CanoeBerry> grant DB's fundraising?
<CanoeBerry> revising XO deployment guide around this project in particular.
<CanoeBerry> #1 concern: promotion
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: this was started at a late date, just about a month ago.
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: promotion thru business wires have reached Boston Globe & Tehran Times, career centers, facebook, etc
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: unfort the area we're lacking the most is student submission from Africa
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: we want(ed) student submissions 1/3 from Africa, 1/3 from Europe, 1/3 from America(s)
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: send ideas to OLPCorps@laptop.org
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: other area where promotion lacking: Europe
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: need to research NGO's, African-based groups, student orgs within those countries
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: is there anyone who might help?
<CanoeBerry> DBennett: related question -- if I want to push something out to the ppl he works with in Africa, can he get something more official/sophisticated?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: we have the original email & press release, we could add our logo
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: needs to reply to DBennett's email that just arrived this morning; PCommons will do that...
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: most effective is to use your personal networks in these regions -- plz all do this!


[ 7. DEPLOYMENT DOCUMENTS CURRENTLY IN MOTION: CAN YOU HELP? ]

<CanoeBerry> PCommons: moving on...
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: OLPC Learning Team just pulled together a Tech Depl Guide
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: we're looking at customizing this now (trimming it down) for OLPC Africa.  Original by Julia Reynolds, Reuben Caron, Bryan Jordan & Mel Chua did the original.
<CanoeBerry> Similar to the year-old http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Deployment_Guide
* yamaplos adds for the record much concern that the Learning Team has tended to like constructionism, which is something very hard to get good results with.  Constructionism lacks connections with what local people want, and this probably reduces the chance to have any OLPC deployment be effective when it comes to learning outcomes.  *Learning can happen* if buy-in happens among parents and teachers, and buy-in happens when the XO i
<CanoeBerry> DBennett: suggests a Deployment Guide posted ASAP, as a road map to help channel quality proposals
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<CanoeBerry> Sam_JamiiOLPC: concurs; would strongly benefit from Deployment Guid(ance) even if document is not finished -- just a draft would be great!
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: if we all put in a bit here, we could get something out in 2-3 days
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<CanoeBerry> PCommons: DBennett & Sam do you want to join Google Docs effort here?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: did you say actual deployment experience was necessary to contribute to guide?
<CanoeBerry> Oops, Sam_JamiiOLPC spoke above questions.
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: contributions welcome
<CanoeBerry> BStuart: we'd love to have you on; anyone who can help make OLPCorps succeed!
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: 15-20 pages so far.
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: perhaps 10p if cut down to normal font
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: will try to contact Julia R for revising doc(s)
...
<CanoeBerry> Sam_JamiiOLPC: how to participate in doc creation?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: will send her email/password/access to Google Doc. (Thought she was talking about Julia R's Tech Guide)
<CanoeBerry> Sam_JamiiOLPC: will start a page [[OLPCorps_Learning]]
<CanoeBerry> Sam_JammiiOLPC: will create page http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPCorps_Learning


[ 8. TRANSLATION VOLUNTEERS NEEDED ]

<CanoeBerry> PCommons: as time presses, let's move on to translation
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: we have English and partial French so far.
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: we'd like OLPCorps in as many languages as possible -- know anyone with a relevant foreign languag?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: do you have experience editing Wiki?
<CanoeBerry> Colin: has friends who may be able to translate -- are you focusing on partic languages? German? what?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: any language. Africa-based languages to start, but any.
<CanoeBerry> Colin being CZwiebel


[ 9. FUNDRAISING FOR LONG-TERM SUPPORT OF YOUR AFRICAN DEPLOYMENT ]

<CanoeBerry> PCommons: fundraising now...sustainability
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: teams are going to need funding long-term
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: we want to help, eliciting univ, grant funding
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: takes time -- those with grant-writing experience etc -- finding out what works & doesn't
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: has done work here; has list of Africa-specific funders "Africa Grantmakers Affinity Group"
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: has done work w/ other groups, can help more here in April
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: sending an email to OLPCorps@laptop.org
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: great; will get back to her by tomorrow sometime
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: more grant info coming soon (from a partic team?) but want to hear other ideas from all teams
<CanoeBerry> Eli Luxenberg from Cornell: we've been focusing on fundraising thru individuals; how specific do you want proposal regarding applying for $10,000 etc?
<CanoeBerry> BStuart: line-item budget would be great, not $5 items, but major expenses itemized, even if must change later -- lay out expectations today, eg. if you will incur more than $10,000 in expenses say so
<CanoeBerry> Eli: would it be excessive if 5 ppl go?
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: every group will be unique
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: budgets will be vastly different as a result, flight costs, phone costs, etc
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: specific how much you need
<CanoeBerry> PCommons: if you are coming from Rwanda, or Kenya, you might not need full $10K
<CanoeBerry> BStuart: works both ways -- team from Rwanda should itemize costs just like a team from London should itemize costs
<CanoeBerry> Sandra: can the $10K cover flights to Kigali June training, flights to deployment, and flights to fall event at OLPC Summit in Oct?
<CanoeBerry> BStuart: Separate the October event, which will be funded separately for 1 member from each team.
<CanoeBerry> BStuart: the up-to-$10K allocated to each team must cover all other travel costs.


[ 10. CONTINUE THIS CONVERSATION ON PUBLIC MAILING LIST GRASSROOTS@LAPTOP.ORG ]

<CanoeBerry> DBennett: can we create a separate mailing list?
<CanoeBerry> Plz all join http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/grassroots
<CanoeBerry> (OLPC Grassroots Mailing List)
<CanoeBerry> [asks if everyone agrees these minutes can be publicly web-published to wiki.laptop.org -- answer is yes -- with privacy amendments made above]
<CanoeBerry> * End Of Call *
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