Archive page for team meeting agendas and minutes
 Team meeting, 24 July 2008
Invitees: Alyson, Anne, Andy (did not make call), James, Laura, Lynda, Michael P, Michael B, SJ (did not make call), Salim (did not make call), Scott
- Discussion: Michael's 7/24 email
- Extreme Blue project update
- Status update: target users (teachers)
- Work session to draft assumptions
- MP discussed background of his message, which was a solution coming from concerns about multiple platforms, among other things. By using web application to edit in a tree view, teacher could prune and reorganize to make a custom curriculum, possibly then saving somewhere like Curriki. Could be built to include other potential sources beyond wikipedia. Avoiding the issue of editing actual topics removes the editor software question from the workflow for the first phase. There was general agreement that this is a good idea, providing a good user experience especially if it is available within a browser. We would need web-based tools that allow drag and drop, delete, etc., which are not currently within public domain, but MP could inquire further. Offline editing would be possible, but repackaging would have to wait for reconnection. This workflow would not be the ultimate solution, but could serve to get to first prototype. Possibility of annotation function was discussed, as an additional topic type, keyed to topic headings. This function is desirable according to teachers. Further inquiry to teachers should be done to find out if they would use this for single lesson, collection of lessons, or whole curriculum plan. This approach does not allow editing at sentence level. Andy and Laura described that this is being worked on in the Extreme Blue project. Discussion followed to clarify use of DITA map term for structure being used by Extreme Blue editor function. There, the teacher is able to view and edit several editable topics (sections) within editor application, then reparse to make processable using the Toolkit, or other suitable output format. MP, Andy and Laura will meet next week to discuss further.
- All were reminded of the need to write down project assumptions as we go along.
- Discussion of MP's workflow and Extreme Blue work will continue at next meeting.
- Alyson will set up an interim meeting also to discuss teacher contacts.
 Team meeting, 10 July 2008
Note: Today's meeting is cancelled due to a conflict with the IBM members of the team. We'll resume our regular meetings on July 24th. That gives us lots of extra time to complete our homework -- nudge, nudge. ;-)
 Team meeting, 26 June 2008
Invitees: Alyson, Anne, Andy (did not make call), James, Laura, Lynda, Michael P, Michael B, Salim (did not make call), Scott (did not make call)
- Announcing new team members! Welcome, Lynda, and welcome, Scott!
- Review of to-dos from previous meeting
- Planning target user participation
- Toward a project plan...
- Team members, including new members Lynda and James, introduced themselves. Alyson recommended that team members post profile pages.
- MichaelP looked into possible Linux editor options, reported that a good range of options exist. DITA Storm, an editor from Inmedius is the lightest weight; the company is fairly friendly to non-profits, even though commercial. It should give us the demo capability we are looking for and has a wysiwyg view (like HTML) as well as a tags-on view.
- MichaelB summarized his understanding of the editor discussion: we want to enable content development on XO, maybe in Windows, but that's not the primary objective. Editing activity could be browser or Sugar based. MichaelB offered help with UI design, to offer a very natural experience, especially targeted to be like other experiences on the XO. MichaelP agreed editing on XO is only one scenario, but we should keep the broader picture in mind.
- Alyson reported discussion with Laura on efforts to find teachers. Laura said one teacher may come to visit The EB students, but is also willing to answer questions in writing. It was agreed that a standard email message and set of questions would be useful. Anne reported a contact in Austin who works with Uruguay people, (maybe not teachers, could be admins) to whom she can send emails. She got a response from someone in Bolivia, but could not tell what his role is. Anne also said someone in Bolivia has use cases for material used in schools, very dated (1964). It was agreed to post information such as Anne's findings at the bottom of the team page, then later consider structuring it as needed. Laura has emailed people contacted through her blog. Two are willing to help by email. Alyson knows someone working in Uganda. Lynda has a contact in Namibia. MichaelB asked about Jamaica not being on the target list. His wife has been a teacher with sister schools there. It was agreed he will go ahead to pursue possible contacts.
- Laura and James gave an update on the EB project: Students arrived this week, are setting up flickr and delicious accounts, did an exercise on printouts of wikipedia pages to get a feel of what would need to be done to edit for suitability for 6-11 year olds. One student's mother is a primary school teacher. He will ask her how she would approach it. Students will blog about progress. MichaelP will talk with them about DITA next week and help with DTD specialization for them to start using.
- Alyson discussed need for timelines and goals, not formally articulated although evident in some material on page. Discussion folllowed of change in hardware and software recently that may suggest change of need to focus efforts. Agreed that upfront steps need to be the same, regardless of delivery platform.
- Alyson and Laura to develop and refine standard message and survey questions for educators.
- Alyson to post draft assumptions and objectives for project plan on team page.
- All team members to work on assumptions and objectives for discussion at next meeting, adding to Alyson's post on page.
 Team meeting, 12 June 2008
Invitees: Alyson, Anne (did not make call), Andy, Laura, Michael P, Michael B (did not make call), Salim (did not make call), Scott Abel (regrets -- at conference)
- Announcing new team member: Scott Abel
- Review of to-dos from previous meeting
- Extreme Blue project update
- What next? Toward a project plan...
- Wikibrowse -- development partnership? Working on an offline browser for wiki content. Can we arrive at a common space? How could we work together? Can they provide a browser than can handle DITA content directly or HTML from which we can generate DITA? Net may be that we end up with an effective browser that can work on DITA content in OLPC either directly or indirectly.
- Andy talked to Walter Bender (Sugar Labs) -- assumptions about teachers' machines. Teacher would typically have access to the same laptop as the children. Would be a school server that would provide additional processing capability and storage. Staging post for forwarding content to pupils. Need to align ourselves with Sugar environment rather than OLPC/XO side of things because whatever happens with the OLPC project, the mission of Sugar Labs is to get the Sugar environment with educational software running everywhere. Gives us a broader fan base than merely running on the XO. Bad news is that if we want to concentrate on the end-to-end non-Windows scenario, then that leaves us without a real editor story (InVision issue). Green thread -- not an ideal path, but a path that you know works. The green thread here might involve a hop over to Windows where we know that an editor is available. The Sugar development environment is a desktop runtime that supports applications (C++, C, Python) and provides a windowing environment that runs on Xwindows (UNIX), MS Windows. Just the top layer, a graphical interface -- can run anything on it that accesses the OS. When running on an XO laptop, the underlying environment is currently Fedora Linux. Anything that runs on Fedora would run. Maybe we should see if someone from one of the Fedora-friendly editors would want to get involved here?
- Possible Linux editors -- Oxygen (not sure how heavy duty this is -- recently came out with full featured DITA support release), XML spy.
- Do we support multiple paths? We don't have a native Sugar editor. Sugar may run on Linux (option A, working for the laptop) and Windows (InVision editor).
- MichaelB has lots of UI design experience. If we create a new editor for Sugar, he'll be an expert.
- Laura has sent out 3 emails to possible teachers who might want to get involved. One excellent local UK option will assist us. EB Business Mentor has experience working with education technology in Uganda.
- MichaelP to follow up with Lotus Mashup team
- MichaelP to research possible Linux editor options
- Alyson to connect with MichaelB re: editor discussion
- Alyson to follow up with wikibrowse team
- Laura -- any luck on finding teachers?
- Alyson to catch up with Anne
- Alyson to follow up with SJ regarding teacher leads, involvement from wikipedia
- Alyson and Laura to brainstorm on use case validation with her local UK teacher option
- Laura to work with the EB to have them get a wiki set up for their project
 Team meeting, 29 May 2008
Invitees: Alyson, Anne, Andy, Laura, Michael P, Michael B, Salim,
- Review of team to-dos from the previous meeting (everyone)
- Excellent news (Laura)
- Efforts to add additional team members (Michael)
- Work time: continue to flesh out use cases (everyone)
- Additional team members. MichaelP has sent notes -- (1) Travis from wikiHow (original connection to OLPC and Wikipedia, might like to get back involved now that we're closer to having something real); (2) Scott Abel from Content Wrangler -- has been pushing Web 2.0, content management, and DITA to his audience and is interested in connections in this space; and (3) SJ, trying to get us access to our target users, teachers with whom we can validate use cases. Andy -- what about Sugar Labs (we can focus on educational software on the Sugar platform, independent of the hardware it runs on)? Development using Sugar-based platform for low-end development for educational purposes. Michael -- need to be able to operate with other kinds of software as well.
- Laura's big news. One of the projects on IBM's Extreme Blue student summer programme in the UK this year is Educational Mashups for One Laptop Per Child - means we'll have 4 students to work with us on development for this project, starting June 23rd. Woo hoo! Lots of discussion on this topic.... Where to focus these students? Bottleneck is getting the content out of wikipedia, into the standalone consumable form (the DITA map and topics). If we can focus there, that's an intermediate function that we can show off and then use for additional work -- subscription model, feedback, coordinate with Sugar Labs to broaden scenarios. First job should be getting a local copy of the DITA content extracted. If we can have Windows running on a laptop, then that means we can use the InVision Word-based DITA editor to work with the DITA content locally with the DITA Open Toolkit as the publishing engine. This could work in, say, US schools but there needs to be a lightweight editor -- shouldn't assume that Windows is present. Key challenge: can't assume that the teachers will have good laptops or Windows. Need to focus on open source -- Sugar is an open platform - currently runs on various Linux distributions. At the very least, we'll have the teacher consumption scenario (they have a PC running Windows) -- in that context, there is room for the InVision editor. First, get the content out of wikipedia -- then diverge along either a Windows or a Sugar path. InVision will contribute the DITA editor but understands there is a Sugar path too. Need to define a workflow based on types of inputs and types of outputs. DITA Open Toolkit runs on any platform. The DITA editor is our sticking point. Not sure how far we can slim down the DITA OT tool stack. If this part of the workflow is on the teacher machine, we can get it working for scenarios where they have a more powerful machine, then focus on getting the processing requirements down over time. A preferable approach, though would be to start with a low-end entry point (e.g. the OLPC XO). Start first with cross-platform. DITA OT works on Linux and Windows. For EB project, one area of great interest is the connection between the local copy and the copy online. MichaelP: get the local copy, design work around what the DITA markup will look like and where we want to store time stamp (when extracted, last changed server, last changed locally), tool that runs on demand when there's a net connection that goes to wiki and gives a list of changed and new topics in the map selected that I have a local copy of. Standard diff between local and server copies, let people decide how to resolve. None of this involves the editor yet. Can use the InVision editor or a free Linux editor (though there are usability issues with the Linux editor). For the EB project, need to demonstrate this working with a swappable editor -- the editor component is left to the community to develop and the audience to choose. Our focus: get DITA content out of wikipedia, reconcile changes, and push select feedback back to the wiki).
- We need XO teachers! Need to focus on this for next meeting. Hoping that Michael's note to SJ will generate some progress. Worst case scenario: use any teacher. What kind of teacher? Long-term: non-US, non-native speaker of English, experience preparing lesson material for 8-year-olds, environment characterized by extreme lack of resources. What does it mean for a teacher to take content from wikipedia and make it useful? Laura might have a contact with a couple who have this experience in Africa. Agreement that language issues are a future thought. Need to find someone from key target countries (needs to speak English for us for now). Differences in the way people teach in different countries. If we only got teachers from England and Canada and the way they teach is radically different from how the user teachers work, then we'll mis-gear the solution. Need to get real data on job role, job skills, actual work method. First let's find someone who's taught 8 year olds, then try to find a representative user who can address the cultural and environmental issues.
- Comment: start with someone fluent in English to help revise what to ask for. We could then find a teacher in Brazil / Peru / Haiti... It might be useful to work through this for an English-language teacher in the US as well as long as that doesn't throw off longer term sol'ns.
- Use cases. Will do further drill-down with students so they can participate and help drive the learning and design process.
- Andy to contact Sugar Labs to explore their involvement.
- Laura, Andy, Michael, and Alyson to meet next week to nail down details for the Extreme Blue student project -- will bring details back to this group.
- Laura to contact SJ about a development contact for the EB students (and copy Alyson).
- Laura to contact her XO/Africa couple about possible involvement. And blog, too!
- Anne, Alyson, Michael to increase focus on getting teacher involvement.
- Alyson to touch base with Salim on his involvement.
 Team meeting, 22 May 2008
Invitees: Alyson, Anne, Andy, Laura, Michael P, Michael B, Salim,
- Need a note-taker this meeting(Alyson has to leave early).
- Review to-dos from last meeting.
- Drill down on use cases.
- Anne hadn't filled in the tools needed or identified the gaps in the end-to-end use case yet, so we discussed where those can be filled in. Also, Anne will add the main success scenarios and identify actors for the use cases she added in the previous weeks. The tools identified so far are: DITA export from Wikipedia (MediaWiki engine), DITA content editor on the XO laptop, and a DITA map editor on the XO laptop.
- Related to tools, there are some relevant announcements from OLPC for our project. One is - the XO laptop will run WinXP and contain Microsoft Office by the end of the year, likely in the September 2008 time frame. I've been reading as much of the news as I can about the Windows on the XO computer, and I have to say the best essay for helping me understand the background is [Ivan Krstic's blog entry]. Also informative is the [New York Times article]. And I also found the [Microsoft Unlimited Potential blog entry rather informative].
- Related to educators, Anne and Alyson emailed folks from the Dallas-Fort Worth deployment of XOs as well as the Birmingham, Alabama deployment, asking for teacher participants in the project. We'll let the team know who is interested, and the request seemed well-received. Once we have tasks for teachers, we can touch base with them again.
 Team meeting, 1 May 2008
Invitees: Alyson, Anne, Andy, Laura, Michael P, Michael B,
Salim (regrets), Tom (regrets)
- Administrivia: (a) we've got a meeting time!; (b) user profiles/pages; (c) rotating minute-taking.
- Review SJ's email response to 16 April team meeting.
- Review homework from last team meeting -- begin work on use cases.
- Benefits of DITA: (1) consumable resources, (2) preserve template outside of wiki environment
- Assume we have DITA specializations for wikipedia article types (historical person, animal, country)
- We don't reorganize wiki pages, we reorganize the map -- wikislices then point to whole articles and sections (teachers can edit the map to point to what they want)
- Pages have anchor tags/sections
- Not a wikislice because we're authoring on the local machine, it's a DITA slice -- you create a new parent node in the map with a short description or a new topic on the local system -- "glue content," create new topics -- scenario use case is "creating new content" for teacher use case (not just reordering and edit) -- this is a local operation
- Editing in Word not possible because Word doesn't run on the laptop. We will need a local DITA editor on the laptop (tool requirement!)
- Tools involved: editor, generation step from wikipedia
- Student team might be available in IBM Hursley to help us build this tool if we have requirements specifically defined. Should know within a month whether it's available.
- Our team goal: get to very specific use cases
- For the future: teacher might be using their own laptop or PC -- with PCs in the US scenario, high chances that they'd have Word and therefore Word docs that they might want to add to the wikislice. Need to address international scenario.
- Would In.Vision play in this scenario? Would need low-cost version, lots of people using it! MichaelB absolutely sees this. Some good profile-raising opportunities.
- Editing environments: on the wiki, on the XO laptop, on a non-OLPC PC
- Need to work with Salim -- he has connections to companies developing OLPC tools -- is there a connection there for the editor?
- Usability is a huge issue -- Michael's company has a lot of expertise on usability in the DITA editing world for the student project -- which bit is most appropriate for the student development?
- Need to define the requirements/purpose so we can shop around for development resource
- Need more external awareness -- needs to be a development community around OLPC and wikipedia -- SJ is our contact to both
- We need to figure out our requirements, value-add, etc. to generate that interest from the OLPC development community
- Need to drill down into scenarios with specific tasks - what, why, how
- First pass at a basic comprehensive use case from Michael below
- Define details and specifics underneath Michael's simple use case below -- Anne to take first pass
- Michael to create blog entry to try to generate interest
- Anne to talk to local teachers to see if there's interest in helping us
- Alyson to try again to connect with SJ on meeting times and finding teachers to help us with participatory design/usability validation
- Alyson to connect with Salim -- get him up to speed, issue on connections to other companies (specifically: he mentioned that he knew some folks in startups that were focusing on tools for the OLPC)
 Team meeting, 16 April 2008
Attendees: Anne, Andy, Michael P, Michael B, Alyson
Minutes: (post-meeting comments from SJ Klein added -- look for **SJ)
- Draft audience descriptions for DITA/OLPC project: We're looking forward to having the information below confirmed and enhanced with input from SJ and this group -- this will be the bulk of today's discussion. As you can see, there are some questions (and I'm sure you have some, too!) that need answering.
- our team's goal: bundle wikipedia articles together for children to consume as curriculum (**SJ: "Perfect. Zdenek as you know has been working on generating bundle-sets. There are also a few childrens-encyclopedia projects underway."**)
- actors for a wikislice:
- content consumer.
- kids have to be able to read/interact with the slice, that it makes sense relative to what else they're studying (**SJ: "Interaction is important here. How does annotation reflect/pass up the chain?"**)
- teachers -- teach in the material in the wikislices to the kids on the XO (primary consumers)
- teachers also provide feedback to wikipedia -- requests for slices, requests for enhancements/functionality for slices (**SJ: "Requests are particularly important."**)
- Andy: they go get the slices, press a button, and out comes a bundle
- Michael: pure Wikipedia scenario -- situation where some of the resources they want are in Wikipedia but some are coming from another resource (ideally in DITA, DITA is the common currency), then they might start with a wikislice but will end with something that is a custom thing with pointers to some wikipedia sources but also some from other collections -- the wikislice is just a starting point for a curriculum design exercise.
- Michael/Andy: need to guarantee that wikislices are in synch (that everyone is teaching from the same material). The school would have the main repository with the internet connection, and the kids would connect with each others PCs and the central repository -- update would happen on the central repository and kids would synchronize from that. Potential to be an automatic update. Might want to have an automatic inform ("FYI, there are updates available, come get when ready"), rather than forced. Teachers could preview that update is appropriate.
- Anne: blue and red indicators that show a wikislice article has info about butterflies but article doesn't exist yet (red=not populated, blue as soon as something was there?).
- Michael: may be as simple as in the local DITA copy (of the wikislice or of the individual article resources), make sure we include a time stamp -- then when the kids have an internet connection run through the time stamps and compare to time stamps on remote connections. Need to optimize this. If local resources has been edited since last download, then it kicks off a comparison workflow -- "grab the updated copy but create a new version of the document and enable side-by-side viewing."
- New audience: local curriculum designer/deployer -- makes decision of what wikislice to grab and whether or not to edit it.
- content creator
- person with global view of subject organization who does organizing of the content of the slices
- person with detailed subject matter knowledge creating articles (may not even know their topic is part of a slice)
- question: teachers creating wikislices? teachers collaborating with wikipedia about content of a wikislice?
- question: who makes the indexes (subject index and title index)?
- (**SJ: "Teachers, students, parents, subject experts, enthusiasts, global educators."**)
- content maintainer
- someone (teacher? wikipedia people? system?) ensuring that the content of a wikislice is up-to-date and accurate and appropriate
- (**SJ:"Systemic prsentation of data on last-update, the existence of newer versions, etc."**)
- content packager
- person who decides that the content is ready to be packaged and deployed on the XO laptop
- question: not much interaction between teachers and wikipedia regarding creation of wikislices?
- question: wikipedia folks want primarily people experienced with wikipedia creating wikislices? (**SJ: "But to create a good wikislice, someone needs to be able to contribute in a way that is meaningful to other creators; that sort of specfic experience is a matter of fluency with the available tools."**)
- content consumer.
- Wikislice examples from Anne for your awareness:
- Team agreed to regular meeting time of Thursdays, 10AM Central. Alyson to confirm with those who couldn't make today's call.
- For next time:
- Team: brainstorm individually on use cases based on updated audience descriptions; come to next session prepared to discuss. Store results of individual use case work in wiki.
- Anne: create OLPC wiki space for us to store team documents. (done, you're looking at it now)
- Alyson: send minutes and suggestion for regular meeting time. (done)