Start a regional group


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The viewpoints expressed hereunder do not necessarily reflect the opinion of OLPC.
This page was created by a member of the free volunteer community supporting OLPC.

Welcome to my "start a regional group" page. Probably one of the better ways to get to an OLPC roll-out, is to bring some people together so you don't have to work alone all the time. Of course, everybody wants to get to that stage where you have all the kids waving their XO above their heads, but you don't get there just like that. It's not just a matter of ordering some containers with XO laptops, you hopping into a truck-hooking up these containers and dropping of some boxes at every school. I mean, the XO's can hold about 1.000 ebooks. Don't you want to find out what books kids actually use at the first grade, second grade etc? Don't you want to put them on the XO's? If you think about it for 2 minutes, you can think of a list of things to check and figure out.

So probably the a good way to start is to set-up a regional group.

Set-up a regional group that is going to just TALK regularly about

  1. the OLPC initiative,
  2. the Millennium Development Goals,
  3. What every government should ask itself when considering an ebook deployment,
  4. acquire and show some OLPC XO-laptops,
  5. offer the educational landscape in your region AT LEAST a starting place where they can connect/surf to so they can link up with the OLPC Initiative.

The OLPC Initiative being far more than just the laptop, but a multi-disciplinary "innovative" approach to education. I've put "innovative" between quotation marks, as all these insights are actually decades old and common knowledge in the circles that deal with education professionally. These insights are if not common, more and more applied/incorporated into modern / normal quality education. But indeed in certain regions in the world, poor/corrupt - normal education appears to be still very innovative. We are talking about wikipedia, collaboration, collaboration over the internet, open-source and open-hardware, teachers collaboratively writing the best book for their discipline not just alone somewhere in their own little corners, no collaboratively via wikibooks, concerting, discussing over Virtual Offices, etc. That is what the OLPC educational initiative invites teachers to link up with. The open source and open hardware XO-laptop and XS-server is just another result of it. That is what we have to talk about, especially into the groups where students in ICT team-up, ICT teachers, the educational sector, the minister of education, TV/Media, ...

Indeed, this is how it all starts: start talking about it and do yourself a favor - set-up a little group of like minded so you don't have to do everything yourself. Keeping focus and motivation is so much easier in a group and it's just more fun.

File:Phase 1 in 5 highlighted Commercial Phase in the 5 Phases in an OLPC Educational Project Implementation.png

Of course everybody wants to get to the "Deployment phase" where we have hundreds, thousands of kids waving with their laptops over their heads, a national (OLPC) TV Channel - example TV Plan Ceibal - the Peru name for the OLPC XO-XS deployment, ecstatic teachers, pictures of happy parents being taught by their kids how a laptop works, telemedicine, working over the internet via Virtual Offices, etc. you name it.

But probably you do understand we can't - we can but we don't - just hop into the Minister of Education's office - not necessary to bother the Minister - just go straight to the person managing the ministries bookkeeping/treasury, get that blank check, surf to the wikipedia, estimate how many kids there must be between the ages of 5 to 15, place the order of some millions of laptops, fill out the blanc check and send it over to OLPC headquarters.

Cf. the picture with the 5 phases, that would be the "Deployment Phase". But before to get there, we probably need to obtain a budget for a "Pre-Deployment Planning Phase" as probably you want to have those number of kids aged 5 to 15 confirmed, idem the number of teachers, schools, average kids/class, is there electricity or not, maybe set-up an OLPC XO-XS laboratory with some XO-XServers and 3 qualified people where teachers can come and have a feel of what these XO-XS and OLPC wikipedia-wikibooks etc are really like, what region to start, a communication strategy or you might be accused of corruption: "Why did they start in that region and not in my region, etc,", probably a delegation of the minister of education will want to come over to Peru/Uruguay/Australia where ALL the kids have an XO - and this not just yesterday but since 2010, etc. etc. etc.

Pablo Mandeville: "The idea from now on is to promote public‐private partnerships, including NGOs, as the best practice for success. Few governments alone can do it. Private sector entities alone cannot either. The triangle of development is the combination of the three sectors: private, public, NGOs. This is the way we are pushing and in which we are thriving. By being a non‐profit we have a power of convocation and a capacity to call things by their name that no commercial company has. Our constituencies are the children of the world, not any shareholders looking for dividends as is the case otherwise."

And how long should this Pre-Deployment Planning Phase take? How many meetings? Who organizes the trips to Peru/Uruguay/Australia/MIT? So we need a budget to get that straight, right? That's what we do in the "Announcement, intro and Data Retrieval Phase".

And now we're getting to our "Start a regional group". Because before that "Announcement, intro and Data Retrieval Phase", we need to get our hands upon a budget that allows us to "Inform and sensibilize" our regional / national (educational) landscape about OLPC, open hard and open software, wikipedia, wikibooks, etc.. Probably a good idea for the Minister of Education would be to free a budget to allow your team to set-up an OLPC Lab with some 10 XO laptops and 2 XServers, some qualified ICT people, etc. to allow all - but especially the educational landscape - to come and have a feel of what these XO-XServers feel like etc., make a decent welcome page for your country/region here on this You can find such a budget that we've used in Belgium, Guinea, RDC, Cambodia, Colombia, and many more here: Draft Budget for an OLPC Lab/Test phase/Hub.

I'm not so in favor of working too long for free. The OLPC and all it links up with, even generating CO2e certificates is simply too important for any Ministry of Education, to excellent an opportunity for a Corporate Social Responsibility department of a large group. Wouldn't it make more sense to prepare a nice document, add the above Draft Budget for an OLPC Lab/Test phase/Hub spreadsheet and go discuss a budget with them? Or if you are from a corrupt country: are there no rich people that want to sponsor? They have kids too, right? If you want to team-up on all this, contact me: --SvenAERTS 09:08, 22 May 2013 (UTC).

  1. What every government should ask itself when considering an ebook deployment
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