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Use cases and comments below.


Extended use cases

Extended use case #1

A teacher proposes a collaborative writing project for her class, and later tries to integrate the students' work with Wikipedia. Note the general issues of merging collaborations, and of integration of revision histories from the repository with outside repositories.

  • Alia writes a document about daisies -- about how she thinks they are pretty and she likes picking them for her mother. She shares this on the school repository. It has no general interest.
  • Bea (Alia's friend) gets the document and adds to it a picture she draws of a daisy. She shares it with her school, but not overwriting Alia's.
  • Alia corrects her spelling and uploads a new version of her document, overwriting the old one.
  • The teacher asks each student to write a report on a plant. Carlos chooses Daisies, and starts with Bea's document. He ends up deleting all the text but keeping the picture. Carlos is shy and doesn't share is report generally, he gives it directly to the teacher.
  • The teacher likes Carlos's report and publishes it to the school.
  • Later, the teacher notices that the localized wiki/wikipedia (Portuguese, say) doesn't have a page on daisies. She decides on a class project to start with Carlos's report to make a page.
  • She sets up a project space for children to contribute content. She wants everyone to put all their ideas and comments together.
  • Some students take pictures of daisies.
  • Delores writes an article on making a daisychain garland.
  • Estacio writes about where daisies grow in Brazil.
  • Fidelio translates some of the Spanish wikipedia page on daisies.
  • Gia finds some pictures of daisies online. Some are CC licensed, some aren't licensed at all, some are non-free stock photography images. She copies them all into the project space.
  • In class they try to bring everyone's material together for a single article.
  • The teacher doesn't worry about licensing and some non-free images go into the main document.
  • The teacher likes Delores' article on daisychains, but it isn't really about daisies. She doesn't want it forgotten, but doesn't include it. She moves it out of the project and makes a link from the main article. The link points to the school space.
  • She includes Estacio's and Fidelio's work as separate sections in the main document.
  • The teacher doesn't actually "do" all of these things, but directs the students to do them together. Communication takes place (via voice) in the classroom, but the content production on the laptops. They are all directly and well connected to the school server during this process.
  • After class the teacher gets the document into the right place on the Portuguese Wikipedia. She shares the link with all the students. She is proud that they put this together and would like to make sure all the parents see it... (how can she remind children to tell their parents?)


  1. Many parents don't know what Wikipedia is. The teacher would like to explain a little about it for the parents. She'd like to leave parent-directed comments [on the Wikipedia page?]. They aren't relevant to a larger audience... she wants to make sure parents know that it's something she wrote for them to read (as opposed to all the general stuff on Wikipedia).
  2. What happened to the daisychain article? (The teacher may have forgotten about it by now. Is it on the school repository? What happened to the link in the article?)
  3. A Wikipedia member (not a child, not using the laptop) removes all the unlicensed or non-free images in the article. That person would like to explain the reason to the contributor (who is attributed in the history tracked by the content repository, but not on Wikipedia, and has no WP page).

Read-only Use Case

  • Curriculum is developed. The curriculum consists of a set of documents, with outlines, goals, etc. There is no interactive component to the curriculum (as far as the laptop is concerned -- the curriculum may include exercises, etc., but this is not guided programmatically in any way.
  • Curriculum consists of a series of documents, including documents that may be "asides", that is they don't fit into any linearization of the curriculum.
  • Curriculum links to an indefinite number of non-core items. Some of these might be highly interlinked and large sets of data. E.g., bibliographic links, links to Wikipedia, links to library category listings. These sets of data are from a practical sense infinite -- there is no way to enumerate or fetch the full set of documents, and no clear boundaries that would define a cohesive or consistent set of documents.
  • Curriculum is viewable in the browser. Non-HTML and non-Image content is typically either viewed through plugins or as linked documents that are launched in some non-browser viewer.
  • The teacher or school identifies the curriculum and schedules it for use in the classroom.
  • The teacher indicates this in some way to the school server and/or individual laptops (perhaps by instructing students to follow some set of procedures). If the school server goes offline the core content for the curriculum should be available so classes can continue as scheduled. If laptops are not able to connect to the school server intermittently (e.g., when students are at home) the laptop should have the content or a strategy for getting the content.
  • The teacher has additional content not intended for the students (e.g., further background material).
  • Some strategy should be available to browse the non-core content that is not pre-fetched. If a student is interested in this content while they are not connected, there should be some way that they can revisit the content later when it is available.

Pre-fetching and Search Use Case

  • A student (or class or teacher) is interested in some particular topic. For instance, content related to meerkats.
  • An online search form provides a way to find existing content around that topic. For instance, meerkat images on Google.
  • The student is also interested in content yet to be created about the topic. They would like to find out about new search results.
  • The student has poor internet connectivity. It is intermittent and also fairly slow.
  • Issue: how can they move forward on their interest while they are not connected? Can they formulate and save that search in some way?
  • Issue: connectivity may occur when the student is not attending to this interest, for instance while in school studying math. We want to use this potential connectivity without requiring any attention from the student.
  • Issue: some content may be very large, like a movie about meerkats. The student may not be connected to the internet long enough at any time to fetch the movie (especially if the internet connection is slow). The school server may be connected long enough, and the student may be connected long enough to the school server to get the content.
  • Issue: contention for space and bandwidth. Is the student's interest a priority? How can the student manage their limited laptop space? Some content may be too large to ever host in its entirety on the laptop. How can the school server fulfill its potential as an intermediary, both when dealing with widely popular content (e.g., something used specifically for classroom group activities) and for specialized content (one child with a specialized interest).

Comments on "Extended use case #1"

Besides wondering where you get all those names from... I have the following issues:

  • I doubt that (elementary and middle) school children have the linguistic and analytical abilities needed to develop an article worthy of any '(serious) knowledge base'—no offense meant; as 'cute' and important a 3rd grader's attempt at writing can be, it will never fit into a formal knowledge body.
  • Even if some kids are capable of producing 'serious' content I would suspect that there's a limited amount of themes or subject areas that can be developed within the curricula (we must remember that there'll be millions of kids per country and not all teachers will be 'smart' enough to generate such a vast amount of 'new' ideas)
  • Each year, kids will be writing over-and-over again about their national holidays, local heroes, and subjects...

Possible ways to overcome the repetitive nature of education (or its inspiration) are to have:

  • A local mesh of wiki sites that gets overwritten each year (school, district, province, country) per grade possibly with some sort of overseeing body that cherry-picks from one level to the next (ie: school to district, and another board from district to province). Possibly with some formal competition and prizes?
  • Every year, intermediate wikis get wiped out leaving the 'national' wiki as a reference for next year, and will be merged with whatever gets picked the current year (downside is that there's probably a practical limit to how 'perfect' and 'complete' an article about the local iconic animal -ie: the cow, lion, etc.- can be after a given number of such iterations)

Another (positive) outcome of these sub-wikis is the capability of keeping "your year's enciclopedia", just like in some places you get your yearbook... not only your schools, but also all the way upto the national enciclopedia of that year. It could also be used as a proxy to measure the evolution and technical ability of your country's education system.--Xavi 00:29, 23 December 2006 (EST)

Timelines for content releases

Bimonthly releases: timelines for completeness, regular running of statistics.

 Late June/July: review of collections, coordinators, communities
 Aug: release of titles/links, communities of producers, ratings (& rating groups)

Timelines for various collections

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