Sunday, Feb 24 2008, 4-6PM EST
Community Support Volunteers confirmed:
Darah Tappitake (Massachusetts, our guest speaker from OLPC) John Webster (Arizona) FFM (Virginia) SJ Klein (1CC, Massachusetts) Henry Hardy (1CC, Massachusetts) Caryl Bigenho (Southern California) Kim Quirk (Massachusetts) ixo (Washington State) Mel Chua (New York, later, on irc) Rafael Enrique Ortiz Guerrero (Colombia, South America, dirakx) Adam Holt (Massachusetts) PLEASE ADD YOUR NAME IF YOU ALSO ATTENDED!
Note: Some private/personal details have been removed from this transcript.
SJ - introductions! Present : (attendance list above)
Darah Tappitake (tappy take!) new to the olpc staff, started about 3 weeks ago; dealing with country comm and programming process, with many of the olpc groups. position somewhat flexible, including managing learning workshops that take place in cambridge once a month w/ different representatives from respective countries, cities, states.
Holt - with a crappy phone - kick me off if I [start making noise]
Holt - the people who start setting up repair centers are so into meeting our overseas goals, and are willing to cut g1g1 off at the knees, not that we would, but they are so passionate... anything you could share with us - you have many years of experience with this.
DT - any program dealing with individual volunteers offers them an opportunity to show their strengths and reward them for their strengths via contributing for stuff. It's also important to help volunteers have an idea whether or not involvement is something they would like to do for the long term. volunteering as a concept is a great opportunity for people to show a lot of their strengths, and to make sure you're working with a dedicated group of people. What are some of the opportunities that are available to volunteers at olpc?
sj - the easiest things for people to do now are to be writers, and translators, and testers -- things people can do within minutes of getting involved [and tech supporters, and developers with a bit more introduction to our process]
dt - there are possible opportunities overseas for people who might want to get involved on the ground and then there are possible long term commitments. it's harder to gauge a volunteer's commitment for the long term - hard to feel secure in at the time . olpc will have different sorts of opportunities to use volunteers for different time frames. the overseas component will certainly come into play at some point, once olpc has a better idea of how they'd like to move forward with that.
< discussion of Holt's adventures in Chicago ensues >
holt : <local college> is going to prototype a repair center; very enthusiastic, so we gave them 12 machines to see what they could do. they promised to talk about what business/volunteer plan might make sense. a <high school> chapter was another highlight of this kumbayah-this-can-be-real kind of moment. to see all of these people throwing themselves into this project is always of astonishing. connected with others all around, eg. milwaukee etc.
even brightstar's managers' generosity, once we brought volunteers into the company -- the employees set aside more time than they should have to respond to all the questions we see all the time. a dozen employees within brightstar very into the project. there can be real overlap b/t volunteerism and pocketing a paycheck.
dt - in my own experience, being a volunteer for both short and long term, and managing volunteers for same - one of the constant threads in setting a program, is having roles that volunteers can fill ... I do think there are a lot of realistic components of being a volunteer and managing one; and sometimes especially with an org's like olpc that has a great vision, it will take some time to fine-tune that sort of process.
holt - interesting that in chicago there are a lot of existing communities that are making this happen. they're not using the word constructionist education, but I was reading <mission statements for local schools> - inquiry-based learning; community building; maybe this has been done in some sense. and a huge coincidence in chicago that our main US/Canada distribution point happens to be... one of our strongest communities worldwide.
dt - this builds on something we have talked about recently - that volunteering opportunites are what people make of them. much like any other opportunity. it's important to understand that volunteers who are in that large age range aren't coming from the same background. you're not expecting the same thing from all of your volunteers.
sj - actually, we have volunteers from across the spectrum of ages... < holt shares an anecdote about cross-generational volunteers>
dt - that's great... I just feel as if volunteers are all very individual in their needs and what their responsibilities can be. so treating them as such is important to programs, &c .
sj - maybe you could tell us a bit more about your background working with other groups?
dt - most recently working in children's health and educational programming in uganda; curriculum development there. previously in central Uganda, in a youth and children's HIV education and awareness program. then I've worked in actually in Massachusetts, review services as well. and also at universities, in academic advising and counseling. so... somehow I always managed to find a job in a field where volunteers are certainly an important component in the human resources and skillset that any organization uses.
so my experiences have been in program mangaement and program development : the olpc experience has been an educational one for myself. olpc goes into other areas than just program mgmt and development. my experience has been primarily with children's services, health and education. this is my first time being part of an org with a strong tech component.
<talking about deployment, olpc groups in america> <talking about going through RMAd machines to get a first-pass of what types of failures are occuring>
holt : it was reassuring after 60k have shipped that after 2 months only 142 DOA plus 104 failing/fixable right out of the box (that's 246 laptops with verified problems).
<discussion on repair centers>
kq : one of the things we have to answer about how repair centers work is whether we share these machines for free or at price
ixo : I sent something to holt suggesting helping pay for these machines to get them into a repair shop here.
kq : I think we have to consider both, and understand either unfunded or non funded versions. and understand that reporting or other aspects would be more cricital in one or another.
if you sell parts to a shop, they are much more free to also -- perhaps even encouraged and required -- to sell repairs to people both parts and labor, worry about shipping on their own much more business oriented. if we do this for free, it's for other nonprofits who won't do anything moneylike.
both ideas should be entertained and hashed through.
holt : a quick note. <talks about how some schools in chicago have service learning programs>
they're not into the repair business angle, but into working with their communities. they are hesitant to take in a machine from (pick rich city from around the us) when wealthier customer can just send it to rms logistics to have it repaired. they have huge programs in place today and tons of students who would do this, to have a couple of diff repair center models.
ixo : i'm focused on a community-based repair center, but supporting that by at least getting parts to move this along instead of people saying they have centers but nothing to repair. thx.
ffm : q about how we do repair centers. if there's a nonprofit involved; that doesn't mean they wouldn't/couldn't charge...
kq: right, I didn't mean to imply that; it just might be much easier if no money flows.
[nb : mel and nikki have been working on that too
<talking about what's happening in peru, grassroots efforts by sebastian, Iniciativa FuenteLibre.Org>
holt: before we abandon topic completely, repair centers : I know we want more coherence here if people like ixo can continue to send me ideas, I'd appreciate that that would help me / everyone else straighten those out
sj : can we have propsals on a wiki somewhere?
holt: <working on it>
sj : ixo, if you want to post your ideas somewhere, that would be cool
ixo : there are a bunch of ideas on wiki pages, mostly from mel and her discussions with nikki for the summer I can certainly formalize the drifting thoughts that go through my head...
holt : and you can informalize them with a phone call with me
kq : I agree that the best way to get your thoughts reviewed is through the wiki. informal emails and such -- I hope we can document this stuff, too.
holt : i don't feel that we're exactly there yet...
< discussion on public vs private information >
holt adds a little ad for adric out of atlanta -- improving stats on rt up late nights
hardy notes ffm's request about the update server, and whether its errors are sporadic.
_sj_ notes seth is getting back into the zine on monday; he's taking up the next issue baton...
wrapping up : #9 : what was your toughest challenge this week? what audiences will we be addressing tomorrow?
caryl : addressing a question in spanish... looked on the wiki, but what we have in en is great, and in spanish it's worthless <ixo ( FYI, translate: :) http://translate.google.com/translate_t? )
caryl : are we using those same things for folks in peru? it was a (FAQ) question. 'using a flash drive to save on your XO' the directions in spanish didn't really say how you could do it.
I wrote down setp by step instructions about how to do this and realized the wiki might... but it didn't have anything.
there were other things I clicked on in spanish, and found things that were really pretty sparse.
ixo : is this a sign that translations are not up to date?
<dirakx : yep the translations are not up to date.. sadly.
sj : the group of peruvian volunteers coming on board now are working to do this. they could use some support...
<caryl offers to help them translate / focus on FAQs<
dirakx : can you help caryl coordinate with sebastian and the peruvian group? this is a great way to get them into updating the wiki
<dirakx _sj_: sure.. np.. yep i need help :)
sj : for instance, we should start highlighting the version # of translations some tasks in this area:
* a sitemap to organize the most important topics? (ixo wanted to do this, but it got out of hand) * individual pages per question, for translation
<dirakx also we need update/translate really important pages as how to upgrade the XO, server related pages, general information about the XO..etc
and a regular script that has a list of important pages
which the original language is for that page (most likely to be updated)
<ixo (fyi, carol is coming to talk w/Dirakx on Irc. :)
sj : and whether the revision it is a 'translation of' (in the translation template) has been updated significantly since then we could even make the above work without any "primary language" -- each language-version would be a translation of a named revision of a specific other language...
dirakx: the revision # are quite helpful in seeing the actual state of the translation in relation to the original doc.
<on phone, people are signing off holt, all : Thanks all; good night!