OLPC Community Summit/2011

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Friday Transcript

Morning:  two students talknig about their project [where they had summer school visits as well?]

'Ways to be successful'


[phlp.] have parents engaged in te initial discussions.  then yhour ally have a community of teachig working together.  so then whnet here are updaets or new tasks needed or problems everone solves them together.  

we had a prelaunch celebration for education - a raeson to sceelbrate tech in schools as a reason for kids to be there.  something like a 'major donor dinner' since the parents are often the prssure not to go to school sicn havving kdis out of the schools is hard on their bottom line.

was askedby local team to have a letter from canada s kids were going into their exams.  the canadians didn't want to do that at first - they though they were outsiders of a sort but it was erquested y the teachers!  and it made them feel really like techers in the community... and was appreciaetd by the students.

Leila from San Jose - cofouned a charity focusing on education.  to remote places aruond the world.  
A component of this obv neds to be access via a lptop or table. 
currently in Indonesia and Mongolia.  starting with orphanages, not schools. 

Ind - only went b/c of a US patner running the orgphanages there.  lerady has trust in the cmomunity there, so felt comfortable establishing the relationship.  [3 weeks]

Mong - it was bc they had 500 XOs in a community center/orphanage tha weren't really sued.  we erached out to them to find out --- they didn't have someone to support them!   [2-3 months]

Working with NGOs:  We raeched out to a thousand NGOs and onlyn eeded 1-2 to respond.  

Working with volunteers; you'll find a few key vols who really want to led.  let them, encourage them.  one we turned into a paid ongoing worker (not much - not a full salary, but enough to hep them, given that they walso want to do the work )

We found ot the peace corps in MN is working wit OLPC.  wonce we showed people at the Corp after we left tahtthe school now used them (after not knowing how), it was an easy sell to have them provide ongoing support.


Bernadette.  a nurse from the Phiil, working on a medical msision,.

kts not really rthat hard - takl about yoru proejcts and the mayoer or governor will communicate with you.  by doing this, getting local gov supportw as eyasy. x

if you are working with those groups or ngos or congressmen, they always ask you if you're alrady working with anyone there.  it makes a big difference.  


Nancie Severs (regional coordinator for SE Asia)

Volunteers tire.  in that culture it isnt comon, everything his heirarchical.  People who work long on something need to gain recognition.  benefits to community on an individual level includes recognizing leaders.  

find ways to incentivize volunteers.   sharing certificates and acknowledgement and titles is one way.  a bit of money can help in others.  but in some cmomunities it is coutnerproductive.

second point.  here is a woman suporting a sanctuary off of a facebook community.  2 years she has done this - she has many followers... and has an english foundation, the americans dont get tax deductions.  


A school wanted to get nivolved but didn't have the money. Nancie forwarded them to us.  it is a good sell to describe a site-specific thing that you feel connected to.  

We were able to tap into familites giving a fair amount - then to big charities - now to us to support schools such as this one.  

corporations, including legal depts within them, are good for active outreach.  they are some with bus in both canada and kenya, and like the diea of selling this on both sides.  

If you're offered 10K say "listen, give us 7, but give it for 3 yrs, or 5 for 5 yrs.  that's a disadvantage to you in thes hort run, but I would rather take 10K in 2K increments.  that limits your growth to something you can sustani. you don't want to do a lot of thingsthat have to be sustained each year.


I hear a lt of best practices andhappy vignettes and stories.
I'm trying to reconcile this (you headr the presentation about, I was a professor there) with our decision to aprtner with the MiniEd.  One of OLPC's ideas is country sturation.

If MOE does not want NGO aprtnerships - and they ahve a strict partnership policy - it maeks it hard to make inroads into the community.  

We aren't there for teacher training or implementationfor the most part, just for powering.  they missed that huge element...

Carol - that is classic Afghanistan.  The MOE grabbed the laptops and opportunity to get USAID money, and tried to become the sole source of OLPC stuff.  That has stopped the expansion of community efforts/expansions in schools.  

They got the first 5K laptops, 4K deployed.  And they aren't trying to do anything more.  The conversations in the meantime are still with the MOE>  you can't ignore them but you keep talking to them.  those of us interested in OLPC and such things aret rying to do small dployments aelsewhere.  
we're "talking up there" and "doing down here".

CD - Nepal comes to mind.  A great NGO doing work on the content side and ifnrastructure side.  There the gov/MOE says "ok, this is not going to happen".  

we've talked about relationship beuilding in community, but yo need to do the same thing with the government.

they'e been sitting with people in the buruacuracy, itting in sessions, discussiong ICT and policy.    it is a long term discussion.  It's the same thing everyewhere.  we have a tiny pilot in Austria into its 4th year.  and in early may we started discussing their contract for the next year... that takes over 6 months.

To reach saturation you do have to deal with those bureaucracies and buildthose relatinoships, incl. bottom up inthe ministries iteself.  
I quit a job I was at, and they went through 5 administration changes.. they were giong to do it, then not, then 

In kenya the MPP showed up one day.  he wanted to show up and go on a tour.  but he was from a dfierent district than that of our school.  that became a huge problem. 
the cto changed in the ngo on the ground. h e didn't see what this school wrk had to do with their core mandate. luckily, after he saw what is going on he sees how this is a pipeline for kdis to udnerstand wildlife conservation. 

[again; individualized community benefit!]

one early breakthrough - I was too busy when i was there only in the ergion for a fortnight. the second time, I was jsut sitting around and havin beers with people, and was aembarrassed by it... but it turned out that was the big breakthrough.  so that when people were having teacher training you areh aving tea with principlas... you're not hcharging things at night, but having beersa t night.  

it migt sound like a waste of time but its not at all. 
so you might want someone on yorut em that's not just about setting up solar power but sitting around. 

?? = that relationship building and finding out waht is in i fore ach person and group is critical.  fid out waht is in it fore ach eprson in the ministry.  then find out thep eopel who benefit most directly.  parents, teachers, children, police -- we operate in a depressed ghetto.  if people decide to take them, nothign anyone can do.  

we havent lost a single xo (though there were 50 gun violence deaths in that period) -- we had everyone come for the distribution party.  the poliec, the mps, the families, everyone.

k; we had trouble with people being independent initiators on our team.

so every day we had people write down what the benefit was to each of us and the peopel we were meeting withe very day. articulating and asking them -- what do you want for yourself, and saying what we wanted.  writingi t down and lokoing at it everyday made a big diff. 

in one case, someone signed a 4y contract.  he loves doing this, and ocne the certgification is done he will have lfie job security.  which made thigs realy woth it for them.  

its good to udnerstand the role of lcolgove nit hes projetcst. in some cases it is better to be under the radar.  if the lcoal gov is efective, work with them. 

nancie - so, back tothe speakers; your proejctw asa bout the powern eed for the community... also for vietnam: both teachers/adults and teachers needed computers, of course.  you have to find the pull.  
[ex today: education game on conservation for an ngo, a new app for a gov group...]  


things to think with!  
carol:  starting with Scratch
then tam tam

shameless plug #1: note that tehre is ots more room for keys on the bottom row!  so:
• send smiple childrn's songs from around the world for the new FLOSS manual!  
• include english translation of the words, where the snog is from, and a story/background.

shameless plug #2  
• we need a design for am usic keyboard overlay.  something easy to make loclly, durable, easy to keep clean...
• an image you can download and print out, to stick on the keyboard...
• Note: the precise keyboard designs are needd for ths work (cf walter's work)

TODO:  Add Zdenka's book's keyboard layout (showing the map fr keys to notes) to TamTam.

TODO: make sure Carol has the kayboard designs she needs, for both 1.0 and 1.5 keyboards.

shameless plug #3 (see slide)
• come to SCALE 10!  in LA jan 20-22.  Hilton LAX. 
• presentations aer still being accepted... 

David K and LEGO!!  
• needs some time to set up and volunteers.  
• (get notes from someone there)

Friday post lunch

Integrating olpc/sugar into the curriculum.  project-based learning.

Using Etoys!  
---> building a virus game.  building snother science game.

Q: how long did it take to build these games?

Q: how did you choose people to work on the proejct?

bsed on interest and enthusiasm, not technicl skill.  also based on the (ideas they had about what they might do?)

Q: how do you get people to keep asking good questions, not just copying what they find online?

I hopet that sara armstrong will help us with that :)


tristan de frondeville.  pblassociates.com
 ---> working wit edutopia (for those who know it)
(also: on the olpcsocial mailing list)

are there people in the room who work withstudents?  who work with teachers?  with teachers who work with teachers?  (mix of all)

Q: what makse a good project?  for working wtih teachers?
• a good rubric.  for how to measure success, acts as a guide
• a good demonstration of something, real problem with utility of the resulting work, idealyl soething local
• freedom of choice, to let students express their creativity.
• collaboration, likethses pictures of kids  collaborating around their laptops.  

Project-based learning vs 'doing projects'/activities

pbl is inquiry-based, student driven, *is* the curriculum, open ended, ongonig asessment with driving objects or questions 
engaging and enduring, contextualized in the outside world.

fearlessness, fraterinty, forgiveness..

bloom's taxonomy (update)
evaluation -> creating
synthesis -> evaluating
analysis -> analyzing
application -> applying
comprehension -> understanding
knowledge -> remembering

google-proof questions....

knowing is not as important as using.  

Driving Questions!    
Purpose for students: guides project work, creates challenge, reminds why it's apropos, aids discussion.
Purpose for teachers: initiates discussion..

Overall questions:  Why, How, What if?

[story of hunting toads]

more than the benefits of doing a study or creating understanding is worknig ou (a way to make the group effort work?)

ideas for Big Questions
• what do toads do?  what eats ?  what would happen if mosquitoes had no predators?
• why population is growing?


ex: you read about the web of life.  everone to ask jsut one question about it . dont share it, then say it out loud in a group, go around, discuss the best one, &c.
then refining how to work together on a particular q.

so startnig as young as we can, empower and encourage them to ask and think about big questions.

the big thing in the book: help kids recognize and move from closed to open questions.  sometimes open q's could be closed or v-v.

cnocept to follow: if an assignment make it possible to chaet or plagiarize, change it.   and letpeople use and cite sources.


when kids are allowed to pick the project or topic, say "sunset" then the teaher generates big questions and kdis et to figure out how to answer the questions.

tony - what about having to finish a textbook within a year?
doesnt it take longer to learn that way?  how do you finish in time?

m?  my suggestion is to etll teachers tos tart with the most joyless or unpleasant for the teacher or kdis, pick waht they like least.  and using that as an example.  

(ex from french pronunciation, asterix and obelix, scaning in a page, panning frmo panel to panel (video editing!), leearning voice projection (alexandert ech1),  buildingt heir own projectors?  etc.   the French dept were unhappy to do thsi due to worrying aout taking too much time.  

but the kids pronunciation levels went through the roof; they were learning sound effects, &c.  now every teachers in the fr dept does that unit - very successful in that curric, noone wanted to etach it befoer since the tearhhesr and students got discouraged. 

of course this was shown on our open house day... 
the hwolde dept staretd to feel beterabout itself, they had been udner the gun for being the least tech developed.  

did this take more time?  started out in teh same unit; expandedi it bc it was more successful in the end.  it is doiable in the same frame.  start w the person who is a good early adopter, and start with the unit everyone haets.  then you're giving them an alternative to something they dread.

adminstrative suport is raelly importat.
and if you can find people to work together, super.  cross curric, cross grade if neded.

ex: I had a friend who would hand out standarsd tot he kids voer the couse of the year.  the kdis would say "I dont udnerstand this!"  and so the first thuing they did was to spend a couple days rewritin and understanding it.  they posted the rewritten result on the wall around the calss, and over thec oruse ofthe term they would walk around and see how they learned different parts of the standard.  [and would mark off what tey had done or see what was left]

(Jam) my work before olpc was elaearning. w e depoyed moodle at the same timea s sfsfu.  

the reaction was that it would take moer time, and they were concerned.  we found out that it did take 4 more hours of teacher time for a full semester course.  I think taht using pbl extensively would take moer time - that needs buy in from the top.  

[but is that one time period, or one time per course?  it gets better after the first effort.  kids andt eachersboth udnerstand their roels better.]

example questions!

Was industrialization a problem, promise, or progress?
Why are states represented by stars on the American flag?

Student voice and choice"  how can this come into all of your work, with teachers and kids?
 = at the start; topic, quesion.
 = during the project, research questions, mode of presentatino, assessment rubrics
 = at the end: presentation style
 = afterwards; reflection

ex; studets came up with some good points of assessment/reflection. 
"where did you do your best work?"


my q for a child when giving them an xo was "what would this be good for?"

the child i gave it to sugested it woudl be great to letk ids figure out where they were in the city... / via a stream from a server?

we asked kdis in the city.  what would your application be?  wego 40 of them and a donor.  they said, you should reallyaplpy them in a place that this would be useful: low power, dust, rain. 

so a team of 4 kids who were 15/16 picked kenya.  they did a learning project to take 8 xos and a solar panel ot se if you could use acell phone signal to bring cnonectinoto schools with no power and had never seen a computer.  

when this was done we considered if thisw as a solvable  enginnering cahllene..
so they made a video for the nat'l middle school engineering contest (which wn the contest)

so now that they are graduating the qu was hat would an ngo look like to do this, how would you set one up, what woudl it take to be board members, &c!

but thsi was an active laerning project whcih, with its aprents and communties get out of control.  thsi did take some time, though, not fitting into the curriculum!


adam; there is somenoe I met jst a month ago.  google 'extreme citizen science' -- he is wearving thi aruondopen street map &c, has agrad student team to make project-based learning curriculua..

m?: ever since we had a thig at yr farm, we are working with osm, and will be using it  next time I am in Kenya.

cherry: what I graplpe with is (now that we havelots of dieas for projectsa nad how to work better in theclassroom)... we still work wtih teachrs who have workd routinely direct from textbooks. ho do you transition them?  

a: a facilitator helps.  having someone ake vids of what is going to be involved step by step helps.  somenoe who has done each of the tyeps of thing you realize you might awnt/need helps.  [so: a network of folks who hav done a thousand common things, who you could find/turn to]

a; start with club work or after school work, and move that slowly into the class.  invit eachers to see waht's happeni and let them think on their own of how that would work int heir class.  

Todo Lists

  • Create a site / input interface for Lesson Plans and Curricula. launch globally via OLPC communities. cf. DW's Harvard prof interest.
  • Add Zdenka's book's keyboard layout (showing the map fr keys to notes) to TamTam.
  • make sure Carol has the keyboard designs she needs, for both 1.0 and 1.5 keyboards (for musical overlays)