THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS
This is a guide to the implementation of the initial 8-country trials. The various strategies described here will be padded out as we gain experience.
Draft principles for the deploying the XO laptop in communities
• The XO Laptop should be deployed through a process of community consultation; should only proceed with assent of the entire community, taking account of their needs and concerns; and should be fully integrated into existing systems and tools
• Without compromising child ownership or education, access to the XO Laptop should be available not just for the child, but the family and the community
• Communities should develop their own principles and guidance for coordinating communal use of the XO Laptop
• Where appropriate, children should be included and encouraged to actively participate in using the technology for whole-of-community actions and projects
• The technology should be available to contribute to community efforts and solve community problems and not be leveraged for private personal profit or commercial gain
• Knowledge and data generated with the laptop is in the public domain, and needs to be freely available and shared
• Without discouraging community-level market activity which support sustainability – such as microfinance, technical services, spare parts repairs and maintenance – communities should put in place disincentives to the emergence of a secondary commercial market for the XO.
• Communities should share local knowledge, best practices and lessons learned with like communities and within their sub-regional, national and regional contexts.
• Deployment should, wherever possible, proceed in alignment and harmony with existing regional and national efforts on education for sustainable development, and should be designed to strengthen and enhance those efforts.
- Developed for further discussion at OLPC Asia Learning Workshop, Bangkok, August 2008
Starting up a new OLPC trial school project
Profiling the site
Prepare a short profile of the school:
- location, photos, map
- classes / streams / grades
- teachers and names, and email addresses where available, ICT experience and any particular ones who might be good technically
- power availability including timings of generators used
- solar insolation – how much sun does the school get?
- transport options to the site, costs and timings
Profile of education system
If starting a trials site in a new country, assemble a brief outline of the school system. Is there an education action plan? How might OLPC fit into the existing education reform, and teacher training system in particular.
- Develop a clear framework for the trails project (refer to example from Solomon Islands). This tends to give focus and clear terms of reference / roles for everyone.
- Develop a TOR for a project officer at the site. He/she should work alongside any appointed volunteers and district education officers. He/she would report ack to project management and/or the Ministry / Department of Education.
- Consider how curriculum content can be made available for the school server. This might involve working with the official curriculum development division. SPC will give technical advice on formatting etc. By all means identify non-formal or TVET materials and other sectors with educational materials that might be ported to the school servers.
- The Ministry / Department should identify a technical person whom can be trained in setting up school servers, content issues, power issues, etc.
- The Ministry/Department can consider setting up a OLPC steering group or national association, to coordinate with NGOs, educational institutions, external agencies including SPC and OLPC and other partners.
The deployment program involves:
- briefings, planning and awareness for government / committee
- briefings and awareness for the school and education officers
- training for teachers (3 days / afternoons)
- training for students (2 days / afternoons) with all teachers participating
- community consultations
- parents briefings
- official handover to students, ceremony and launching
- technical training for key persons
- infrastructure installations (server, power, connectivity)
- These OLPC Oceania wiki pages has details of developing strategies on content, evaluation, teacher training, etc.
- There are guidance materials including “lesson plans” and feedback on ideas for teacher training under development at http://wikieducator.org/OLPC_Oceania
- Please see the Youtube video of Batuna, (Solomon Islands page), for visualisation of a trial deployment a rural school
Other important videos:
- OLPC Peru
- Dreikikir, Batuna and others from the OLPC Oceania trials (contact David Leeming and Ian Thomson)
- OLPC Model in Nepal http://www.olenepal.org/images/olpc-model-in-nepal.pdf
Here is a list of success factors from our experience
- Low ages. It is quite clear that if we want to seed and then entrench the idea of the XO as a learning tool, we need to start trials with the lowest ages. The grade 1 students are learning as soon as the see and touch the XO, whereas unguided much older students gravitate to the more trivial side. That’s not to say the older ones can’t use it as a learning tool but it’s the initial impression that’s all so important. The learning application is so much more obvious with 6 year olds.
- Mix of ages in training creates good dynamics. In the video and photos from Solomon Islands you see a small girl who is showing other children how to draw her name in colours using Paint activity. She is at prep school, not even grade 1. She is the daughter of a teacher who had one of the laptops, and in 2 days had learned some skills and she came into the training and started teaching the other kids without being prompted. It’s also obvious that you get great dynamics between older students who are involved informally in the training of the grade 1s.
- Have clear measurable objectives and work plan, and evaluation framework. This makes things so much more focused for the facilitators, giving teachers and community some framework to work within, rather than being left to depend on their own initiative. Everyone has a TOR to refer to.
- Example from Solomons: []
- I think it was also significant in the Solomons that we had a very obvious linkage to the education programme and policy. Bernard was able to point out linkages to the teachers and the school board, showing how the XO fitted into the current programme. That gave the project extra gravitas from their perspective.
- Local project officer on the ground to support and lead teachers and collect evaluation info. Someone in the village, holding weekly meetings with teachers to discuss progress and help them share teaching ideas. Also to follow up with training as required.
- Focus on classroom integration throughout teacher training. Ask them about how they could use the laptops in the classroom right from the start, and return to it at every opportunity. This really helps them to that “eureka” feeling as they put two and two together when they get to knwo the laptops. Interrupt the training with short group discussions with feedbacks. The Provincial education officers - inspectors and advisors - seem to be very helpful in these sessions.
- Have the mantra – this is a learning project not a laptop project – loudly proclaimed throughout, write it on the board! Write the principles on the board!
- Tips for training: See OLPC Teacher Training lesson plans and notes on the Wikieducator
- Coordination between Province and Ministry. It is so essential the trials do not exist in a vacuum.
- Good briefing of parents and community. Bring them on side, explain how it helps them to engage more in the child's learning and how they can participate in the project through school meetings and feedbacks.
- School server with relevant content (at least for demo purposes)and a program established to provide content. Involve the curriculum centre as well as NGO content providers.
- Power and Internet solutions funded and quickly put in place. Get a good system going viz charging laptops.
- Good media management. Have release prepared. Have video clips prepared. Don’t let them focus on arbitrary issues.
In these initial trials we are
- SPC gets initial approval
- Brief Ministry and Minister on arrival, involve key divisions, get their support
- Brief provincial/district education departments and get participation
- Brief Ministry of Information/Communications and telecoms authorities
- National steering group or task force with subcommittees (TOR)
- local project officers, Policy Dept, Curriculum, Teacher Training, School Inspectors, provincial and district education officers
- local NGOs, academic institutions, champions
- logistical support ensured. Find out what resources the Ministry has available – I.e. Can they provide domestic transport and miscellaneous costs (this should be encouraged).
- Help Ministry officials to plan for official hand-over at school, with media etc.
- Entering names and colours
- Pin type and alignment
- Village power availability
- Plan for charging capability
- School server
- Introduction to OLPC (4-page handout for teachers and others) Have one for each teacher plus 10 extra copies.
- Other useful information: The OLPC Nepal report is useful to add weight to the promises of educational impacts made for the laptops. Bnd a few “presentation packs” with the basic information and a copy of this and an other useful reference papers.
- Training pack
- Parents agreement (one copy per child)
- Students record (one per child)
- Teachers Training Certificate (one per teacher)
Plan how to get copies of the last three on site, once they are signed (bring a scanner to site).
- Contact with school. Warn them well in advance.
- Consider dates, and the school's likely commitments (exams, holidays, etc)
- Get names and numbers. This is often inaccurate.
- Arrange deployment logistics with local officers.
- Plan for minimum 5 days on site
- Video an digital cameras
- Power/charging solution (I.e. Powerboards, adapters, extension cables)
- Inverter with 12V car power plug (to charge up facilitator's laptops etc)
- Scanner and printer (with software installed on facilitator's laptops etc)
- Multimedia projector is useful – good for community awareness
- Mobile phone SIM card that works in local networks, if coverage available
- Personal items (you might need to bring food, mosquito net, food and basics in some locations)
Schedule at School
- Welcome, introductions
- Initial meeting with school teachers, principal and school board.
- This meeting can be split into a short introductory meeting and later more detailed session.
- Introduce the project, using the “presentation” agenda and include showing of short videos
- Discuss schedule and find out what timetable and commitment the school has to keep to. Agree the training schedule timetable for the rest of the week.
- Teacher training
- Session 1 – Basics
- Session 2 – Activities and sharing
- Session 3 – Discussion/workshop: Principles, Classroom usage and Evaluation
- Student training
- Activities and sharing
- Community Awareness
- Parents meeting
- Hand over
- Suggested deployment timetable / schedule