EKindling/Projects/Kindling Discovery Pilot2009
Welcome to ekindling (Education Kindling) Discovery Pilot. eKindling.org is an organization formed within the OLPC-Ph grassroots community.
Name of Project: OLPC Philippines: Kindling Discoveries Pilot Program
Shipping Address: 45A Laguna Tower, The Residences at Greenbelt, Makati City, 1226
Loan Length: February 2010-March 2011
Laptops requested: 48
Pilot School: University of the Philippines Integrated Public School
Overview and Significance
Education is crucial to eradicating the gross poverty and inequality that plagues a major sector of the Philippines. Unfortunately, the incredibly high dropout rates and number of out-of- school youths indicate that quality education is not reaching many across the Philippines.This OLPC driven pilot program is about unlocking the innate talents of children from depressed, marginalized and poor communities so that they may better their lives and their communities. Ultimately, this research-based pilot will serve as the foundation and beginning for all other OLPC deployments across the Philippines.
Furthermore, this pilot program will allow us to leverage the large community of developers in the Philippines. Through this program, we can encourage inactive developers/supporters and create content that can be shared amongst the greater OLPC community.
- Successfully design and deploy a scalable and sustainable, research-based pilot program in an elementary public school with an inaugural class of 35 students.
- Use good and best practices from initial pilot program to support XO deployment programs throughout the Philippines.
- Facilitate development of Philippine-centric content for XO laptops with partner academic institutions and volunteer developers.
- Grow community of different stakeholders/supporters ranging from educators, academic institutions, developers, business leaders, philanthropist, etc. that can support future deployment and content development.
- Share best deployment practices and valuable content for the benefit of the global OLPC community.
- Contribute interactive ebooks and games made by children for children, using Sugar and Etoys applications, to the OLPC community.
- Sandeep Chandiramani: eKindling Organizational Lead (Philippines)
- Ryan Letada: eKindling Community Director and Liaison/Pilot Project Manager (Philippines)
- Jerome Gotangco: eKindling Technical Lead (Philippines)
- Prof. Rommel Feria: University of the Philippines Computer Science Professor/Volunteer Advisor (Philippines)
- Cherry Nuque Withers: eKindling Content Development Team Member, Squeakland Education Team Member (US)
- Marife Mago: eKindling Content Development Team Member and OLPC mentor (US)
- Noel Gratus P. Feria (Graduate Student in Education Technology) (Philippines)
Student Volunteers will be determined by Prof. Rommel Feria.
Pilot School Coordinators:
- Dr. Aurora C. Zuñiga (Principal): University of the Philippines Integrated School Principal (Philippines)
- Ms. Sabrina Par (Educator): University of the Philippines Integrated School Educator/ Pilot Activities Advisor (Philippines)
Contributions to the Sugar Community
- Floss Manual on using Sugar and Etoys in 4th grade.
- Interactive E-books developed by 4th grade students on the subjects: Science and Language Arts. The e-books will utilize resources licensed under the Creative Commons, Browse activity, and Etoys to create books that may also include built in games. The target of these books will be younger kids in grade levels Kindergarten to 2nd grade.
- Games (standalone) developed by 4th graders to teach kindergartners basic Reading and Math using Etoys.
Contributions to OLPC community:
- Evaluation report on the Pilot and the lessons learned to apply towards future deployments. *This research-based pilot program is designed to learn best practices of deployment.
As a community-driven organization, one of our primary thrust is to grow our community and its capacity to support content development and pilot deployment. Philippines already has a fertile ecosystem of advocates ranging from business leaders, developers, academic institutions, parents, non-profit organization that support eKindling and OLPC’s vision. We will use various communication and social media tools to provide updates on new developments, engage active supporters, and garner more support locally and globally. In turn, we also hope to share our learning and best practices with the greater OLPC community. OLPC is a global educational initiative – and we are very much a part of it!
- Wiki: Progress/evaluations reports will be posted here.
- IRC Channel: #ekindling at irc.freenode.net : This will serve as a weekly meeting spot for volunteers and participants in the pilot. The schedule for this weekly meeting is to be determined.
- Twitter: Follow us on twitter to learn about new developments, innovations in IT in education, and any other relevant news pertaining to OLPC/Sugar
- Facebook: OLPC Philippines Group: Engage 238 members from differing professional backgrounds.
- Kindling Discovery Series: These are a series of Open Talks with experts from the global OLPC community. This forum will be used to facilitate discussions pertaining to content development and deployments. Bryan Berry of OLE Nepal was our first speaker. We will also use this forum to share any developments in the Philippines.
Plan of Action
- First phase: Discovery session.
- Learn the school/class structure, technology available, acquire copies of their curiculum, and address concerns by the principal (1st Phase Completed).
- Second phase: Teacher evaluation.
- Interview the different teachers for 4th grade. We want to assess the level of comfort of the educators to new technologies and who would be more inclined to use the XOs and applications in their teaching.
(Note: We have chosen the teacher who will be the main activities advisor for the pilot and the point person in the school. She will use the activities provided by the 4th graders in her class. However, teachers within the higher grades will still need to go through evaluation and training).
- Third phase: Continuous Consultation.
- With the help of our volunteer graduate students, eKindling will continuously monitor and evaluate the progress of the educators and students. Their input and impact will be integral in improving teaching practices, addressing educator needs, and understanding the applicability of applications/activities in their lesson plans.
Content Planning/Development (In progress):
- Acquisition of Curriculum by the Content Development Team:
- We have the kindergarten curriculum, where we will base some of the games that the 4th graders will be working on.
- We are still waiting on 4th grade curriculum.
Previous lesson plans need to be taken into consideration. In lieu of this, at least a month's worth of lesson plan needs to be developed prior to deployment.
Curriculum Development: XO laptop activities will serve to enhance existing curriculum, not replace it. Curriculum development will commence after the consultation of the chosen public school
Student Volunteer Training:
- Graduate student volunteers will be chosen by Computer Science Instructor Rommel Feria and will be put to task to learn Etoys as part of their senior project thesis.
- Graduate student volunteers will be asked to learn Etoys independently given the resources that they can find on Squeakland.org and with guidance from Squeakland education team member Cherry Withers.
- They will work in the classroom to assist children and teachers on the use of Etoys and Sugar for creating games and e-books in the classroom.
- The e-books and games will be in line with their curriculum. The student volunteers will also assist in creating a report at the end of the year as part of their thesis completion.
- Volunteers will be part of the hardware and sugar training (item 4).
- Volunteers will self-train for Etoys and will be involved in weekly IRC calls to address their concerns and answer their questions.
- Continuous educator support, guidance and training will be provided in regards to hardware and software.
- In-school and off-site training.
- Call support: Educators will be able to contact us if support is needed
- Pilot program design will heavily rely on learning from past deployments (Teaching Matters, OLE Nepal, Waveplace, classActs).
- We will collaborate with our partner school and institution of higher learning to design a deployment.
A pre and post survey of participating educators and students, and control group will be circulated as part of the evaluation/impact assessment. More specifically, basic assessment will focus on usability, utilization, etc. on both hardware and software. We will expound on this as we continue to develop our metrics for measuring impact.
- We need 50 XO laptops. This project cannot be carried out in emulation in non-XO machines since most teachers and student do not own a computer or a laptop. The XO laptop is the main technological vehicle of choice due to its ability to withstand tough environment as well as its mesh networking. We will consider rebuilt laptops.
- 35 laptops for a class of 35
- 6 Spare Laptops in case of damage/can be a G1G1 return
- 4 XO laptops for teachers
- 3 for developers and partner academic institution
- Locally, we hope to leverage and cultivate support from our rich community of developers who have taken a strong interest in the OLPC vision. We look to create partnership with members and institutions of the citizen, public and private sector. Again, this is a community driven organization.
- Globally, we look for guidance from organizations and experts who have already participated in content development and XO deployments. We have already tapped OLE Nepal and Waveplace. We look forward to receiving mentorship and guidance from members of the OLPC/Sugar global community.
Yes, mentorship would be invaluable. We specifically need to coordinate with Sugar developers and organization that are successful in XO deployments. We need experts to be part of our advisory board as well.
Expanded Organization and Participants Profile:
Education Kindling (eKindling): eKindling was born out of the original OLPC-Philippines grassroots movement. Our official mission is to enhance educational opportunities through open source, learning and technological innovations for the empowerment of children in the Philippines. We are committed to bringing OLPC's vision of improving education through the distribution of technology in the classrooms. We are still a volunteer based organization and are in the process of incorporation.
Continuing Organizational Activities Outside of this Pilot:
1. eKindling Incorporation (In progress):
- Core Team and Incorporators (Assembled)
- Awareness Campaign and Community Engagement (In progress)
2. Initial Discovery Session (Ongoing):
- Kindling Discovery Series is ongoing (designed to spread awareness and continue learning). First speaker was Bryan Berry (OLE Nepal). Next is Caroline Meeks from Solution Grove.
- Discovery Session: Inviting all non-profits, educators, developers and other parties that have expressed interest for an informational session.
- Philippines Youth Congress in Information Technology (Y4IT): Confirmed Speaking Engagement: 
- eKindling team
- Prof. Rommel Feria
- Noel Gratus P. FeriaHe is a graduate student of the UP College of Education specializing in Educational Technology. He graduated from the UP School of Library and Information Studies and is currently a lecturer at the same school. He is also a short course lecturer at the UP Information Technology Training Center (UP ITTC), and a courseware administrator of the Java Education & Development Initiative Project (JEDI).
His interests are in the realm of Educational Technology, Java, Open Source, Linux, Apple Mac OS X, Game Development, and Internet & Mobile Technologies. He is a professional member of the Association for Computing Machinery International, a former officer of the ACM UP Student Chapter, a NetBeans Platform Certified Associate, and a member of the Ubuntu Team Philippines.
Pilot School Coordinators:
- Mrs. Aurora C. Zuñiga: Dr. Zuñiga is the current principal of the UP Integrated School. Previously, she was the UPIS' Assistant Principal for Administration. She has served as Head of the UPIS Mathematics Department on several occasions and was a Research Associate for the Office of the Director of Instruction which is under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (UP Diliman). She has also served (and is still serving concurrently) as School Supervisor of the PAUW-UP Child Care Center
- Ms. Sabrina Par (Educator): She is currently a teacher at the UP Integrated School while taking her master’s degree in Elementary Mathematics at the UP College of Education. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education – Teaching in the Early Grades from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2008.
The school functions primarily as the laboratory school of the UP College of Education. It is also the basic education unit of UP Diliman. Other autonomous universities of UP maintain their own basic education units. UP Los Baños has UP Rural High School. UP Visayas has two high schools - one in Cebu and another in Iloilo. Aside from being the oldest of all basic education units in the UP System, UPIS is the only one offering both primary and secondary education.
(Pictures of school damages resulting from recent typhoons)