Projects/Fargo to Sudan

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Contents

1. Project Title & Shipment Detail

Name of Project: XOs from Fargo to South Sudan: after school to building a school. Shipping Address You've Verified:

Kevin Brooks Department Chair Department of English 219A Morill Hall North Dakota State University Fargo ND 58108 701-231-7147

Number of Laptops (or other hardware) You Request to Borrow: 15 Loan Length—How Many Months: 9 months in Fargo, as long as they will last in Yambio, South Sudan.


2. Team Participants

Name(s) & Contact Info: (include all email addresses & phone numbers)

Dr. Kevin Brooks, Chair, Department of English, North Dakota State University, Fargo ND 58103. Kevin.Brooks@ndsu.edu. 701.231-7147. Chris Triggs, Principal, Madison Elementary School, Fargo ND. triggch@fargo.k12.nd.us Rev. Edward Gadi, Tu'Deako Group School. Dr. Brian Slator, Chair, Department of Computer Science, NDSU. Brian.Slator@ndsu.edu. Dr. William (Bill) Martin, Head, School of Education, NDSU. William.Martin@ndsu.edu. Dr. Donald Schwert, Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for Math and Science Education, NDSU. Donald.Schwert@ndsu.edu

Employer and/or School: All members employed by North Dakota State University or Madison Elementary School with the exception of Rev Gadi who is employed at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Moorhead, MN.

Past Experience/Qualifications: Dr. Brooks is an expert in technology integration into the English and language arts curriculum, having published research on classroom applications of hypertext, laptops, weblogs, powerpoint music videos, as well as conceptual research on digital communication curriculums.

Principal Triggs has shaped Madison Elementary School in to a model school for the region and nation. Working 80% of the students on free or reduced food programs, 30% English Language Learners, the school has made Annual Yearly Progress 9 of the last 10 years.

Rev. Edward Gadi is a community leader among the southern Sudanese resettled in Fargo, but he maintains strong ties to his home village in southern Sudan where he is supporting a primary school.

Dr. Brian M. Slator is a Professor of Computer Science with research interests in Artificial Intelligence, Educational Media, and Intelligent Agents. He has published dozens of technical articles and his recent book, "Electric Worlds", concerns the use of immersive virtual environments for education.

Donald Schwert is Professor of Geology and Director of the Center for Science & Mathematics Education. The Center serves as a focal point for development and administrative support of collaborative efforts for STEM education research and outreach, including the proposed PRISM project. Schwert’s own research centers on ecosystem changes over time, plus the development and assessment of new methodologies to teach geology undergraduates. Schwert is also serves as Program Coordinator of the NIH-funded North Dakota IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE).

Bill Martin, professor of mathematics education and head of the NDSU School of Education, is presently conducting funded work to improve the pre service preparation of school teachers. His research has included the use of graphing technologies in mathematics education and assessment of the lasting impact of mathematics education for college students from a wide variety of majors.



3. Objectives

Project Objectives: (WEB-PUBLISHED) The primary objective of this proposal is to transform the Madison Elementary after school program, as well as support Rev Gadi's after school program, also housed at Madison Elementary. The Madison program typically enrolls 40-50 students, many reluctant, many English Language Learners. The mere presence of 12 XOs will create interest among the students--the medium is the message--but we will also work with this unique population to try and develop English language learning e-books and activities unique to Sugar that will then be available and useful to XO deployments in southern Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, and other countries, from which the refugee students and families now living in Fargo originate. We will work with Rev. Gadi's students to prepare the laptops for deployment in southern Sudan, loading them with projects developed in Fargo, loading them with books so that the dream of a library built by 15 laptops becomes feasible.

The secondary objective is to train a team from within this group to deliver these 15 laptops to the school in southern Sudan. Team members who do not go on this trip with Rev. Gadi may have a chance to go later as Kevin Brooks is President of a non-profit called "African Soul, American Heart" and he too is looking to learn the ins and outs of the XO and Sugar so that he will be able to support a deployment to Duk Payuel, southern Sudan, in the next 3-5 years.

4. Plan of Action

Plan and Procedure for Achieving the Stated Objectives: Fall 2010 Prior to laptop arrival: familiarize team with Sugar; identify how Sugar and its activities can support existing learning goals. Familiarize team with XOs when laptops arrive. Integrate laptops into existing after school program. Use laptops to not only achieve goals of curriculum, but engage students in learning. Identify students who are willing and interested in working with the team on e-book and activity developments. Begin development of these e-books / activities in fall.

Spring 2011 Continue to expand connections between Sugar and existing school curriculum. Continue to work on e-book and activity development in Sugar. Identify a small sub-group from the team who would be willing and able to take the laptops to Sudan, Summer 2011. Strengthen that team's expertise with XO and Sugar. Precise date of travel to Sudan not known yet.


5. Needs

Why is this project needed? Sugar needs more educators--this potentially transformative software is misunderstood and under-used. Locally? The after school program would benefit from a significant make-over, both academically and in terms of its image; the presence of the XO would create interest and energy. In the greater OLPC/Sugar community? We are confident that with this talented team assembled, we will be able to produce new or improve existing Sugar activities. Dr. Slator and his department are interested in writing programs for XO and Sugar: they have already proposed an agriculture simulation game, although that proposal was not funded. Outside the community? This team consists of experienced academic researchers and an energetic public school principal. We will be conducting research on both this local deployment and the Sudan deployment; we see the need to be able to talk to educators more clearly and with concrete examples of what Sugar can support. Why can't this project be done in emulation using non-XO machines? Much of it could be, except the piece that would familiarize the team with XOs for deployment in Sudan. We also think that we can provide some significant evidence that the medium is the message, that the presence of the XO will send a message that the after school program is important, is interesting, that it can do more than offer basic remedial instruction. Why are you requesting the number of machines you are asking for? 12 for Madison Elementary which would be about a 1:4 ratio--workable, if not ideal; one for the Computer Science Department to work with (trouble shoot, write programs), one for School of Education (familiarize volunteer students before going to location), one for the English department (familiarize volunteers, develop writing activities). Will you consider (1) salvaged/rebuilt or (2) damaged XO Laptops? Yes. There might even be some advantages to having a few damaged ones--learn more about the care and maintenance of the computers.


6. Sharing Deliverables

Project URL—where you'll Blog specific ongoing progress: http://fargoxo.wordpress.com/

How will you convey tentative ideas & results back to the OLPC/Sugar community, prior to completion? We will take advantage of the OLPC communication channels: mailing list, IRC chat, and discussion boards.

How will the final fruits of your labor be distributed to children or community members worldwide? The students in our projects will create e-books and perhaps co-create activities that will both stay in the school, which is looking to adopt Sugar for new and existing laptops. The work will also be directly delivered to students in Sudan through either our pass-along plan for the XOs, or through team capacity building that will allow members of our group to support a deployment in southern Sudan some time in the near future.

Will your work have any possible application or use outside our community? If yes, how will these people be reached? The academics involved will present findings of our study. We hope to engage the education community in a more robust discussion of Sugar.

Have you investigated working with nearby XO Lending Libraries or Project Groups? To the best of our knowledge, there are no nearby libraries or project groups.


7. Quality/Mentoring

Would your Project benefit from Support, Documentation and/or Testing people? Yes. We would like to bring Dr. Gerald Ardito, who facilitated a deployment for 5th graders in upstate New York, to Fargo; he has been a consultant on this project already. We would also like to bring John Tierney from Sugar Labs to Fargo; he too has been a consultant and catalyst on this project. Teachers' input into Usability? Dr. Ardito could probably fill this role. How will you promote your work? We are looking into adding someone from the Business School or a Public Relations expert to our team. Can we help you with an experienced mentor from the OLPC/Sugar community? (WEB-PUBLISHED) Perhaps Gerald Ardito and John Tierney will be able to tap into their network if we need additional support.


8. Timeline (Start to Finish)

Please include a Proposed timeline for your Project life-cycle: (this can be in the form of Month 1, Month 2, etc rather than specific dates) Fall 2010

Prior to laptop arrival: familiarize team with Sugar; identify how Sugar and its activities can support existing learning goals.

Familiarize team with XOs when laptops arrive.

Milestone 1:

Integrate laptops into existing after school program. Use laptops to not only achieve goals of curriculum, but engage students in learning. Identify students who are willing and interested in working with the team on e-book and activity developments. Begin development of these e-books / activities in fall.


Spring 2011

Continue to expand connections between Sugar and existing school curriculum.

Continue to work on e-book and activity development in Sugar.

Identify a small sub-group from the team who would be willing and able to take the laptops to Sudan, Summer 2011. Strengthen that team's expertise with XO and Sugar.

Milestone 2: Deliver XOs to X school in southern Sudan with customized English-language learning e-books already installed.


We also hope that this project cycle will continue for 2-4 years if we can deliver good results the first year. Rev. Gadi's school has 40-60 children enrolled, so if the laptops prove viable there, we will want to expand those numbers. Duk Payuel is a larger village with about 120 students in elementary schools--his foundation would like to be able to deliver laptops in 3-5 years, with a well-developed group of experts able to support it. Madison Elementary would continue to develop expertise in Sugar and the XO, and the school, because of its unique demographics, will be an ideal test site for Sugar in America.


Specify how you prefer to communicate your ongoing progress and obstacles! Progress updates on our blog http://fargoxo.wordpress.com/ Share progress and obstacles on XO communication channels.

[ X] I agree to pass on the laptop(s) to a local OLPC group or other interested contributors in case I do not have need for the laptop(s) anymore or in case my project progress stalls.

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