Small Projects in Remote Places - Selected challenges

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Session Description

  1. Stakeholders all have different roles and responsibilities and this influences their attitude and the ways in which they are able to contribute to the programme. Its important to understand the needs and influences of all the stakeholders and get their buy in by communicating with them in their language and in terms of the problems they have to solve
    1. Class teacher
      1. There is a tension between enabling the natural learning of the child fuelled by curiosity and ensuring they are adequately educated in the curriculum and able to achieve the grades
      2. For example, in San Francisco The curriculum can be extremely rigid, with every minute in class being measures against how it contributes to test scores
      3. Make use of “adjunct curriculum”; the room the teachers are given to do what they like outside of the standard curriculum
    2. Students
      1. Often very keen to experiment, potentially taking them further outside the curriculum or to places on the internet their parents would not approve of
    3. School Admin
    4. Education office
    5. Parents/PTA, Alumni, Non-school adults
  2. Challenges
    1. Sustaining the deployment
      1. Part of the money raised for computers at one school was used to pay for the education of one of the volunteers in agreement that he would stay at the school supporting the deployment for four years
      2. Involve people in designing the programme to create a sense of ownership
    2. Creativity and understanding versus learning the curriculum
    3. It’s easy to account for the money spent on laptops – you can see the laptops; support of the community in terms of teacher training and content development is also essential to the success of the project, although this is difficult to account for – because it is difficult to see; it is therefore difficult to get funding at the right level for this kind of community support. Providing tools for creating transparency in this area will help with obtaining the right level of investment and also in reducing the risk of corruption.
  3. Stories
    1. Nepal developed their own sugar activities aligned to the curriculum
    2. In Kenya a rural school has become known as the place that will become their community college or university. More wealthy people from the mountains have sold their homes and moved down to nearer the school, where there are water shortages, so their kids can have a better education.
    3. In India they overcame challenges with meeting the basic needs of volunteers in terms of travel, accommodation and food costs by engaging with local private businesses and asking them to contribute as part of their CSR programme
    4. Paraguay have only 3hours 40 minutes of school a day, so they have created lots of after school activities for the kids to spend more time learning in their own way with the XOs
    5. There have been examples where the people doing the deployment come from another country and are around 15 years old... a difficult circumstance for the local teachers to have trust and confidence. In one example, in some spare time between training sessions, one of the teachers asked one of the boys about ‘this email thing’ they had heard of. Once the boys gave all the teachers email and facebook accounts and they had their full support.
  4. Lessons
    1. Start with relationship building rather than visiting with laptops in hand
  5. Concerns
    1. Raising money for laptops may reduce money available for other initiatives
    2. Perceived conflict with the capital fund raising campaign
    3. An OLPC deployment is big and important but it also must have its place within the broader context of other initiatives; there is a risk that OLPC deployments can become all consuming for those involved to the detriment of other worthwhile activities
      1. Ensuring there is buy-in at the highest level is a way to ensure support for the scaling of the deployment is maintained without damaging other initiatives; through actively managing the tension and recognising that these initiatives all need to work together and therefore must be sponsored at the samelevel
  6. Opportunities
    1. There are institutions in Jamaica interested in supporting technology projects
  7. Cultural differences
    1. Madagascar teachers thought the children were making fun of the project rather than having fun whilst learning
    2. Some cultures are based more on sharing rather than ownership, so the idea that kids must own the XO is alien to their culture; more naturally, there would be a number of XOs, perhaps as many as kids, which would be shared between them and their families
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*** Topic set by lfaraone [Thu Apr 22 22:27:22 2010]
*** Channel created on Tue Dec 11 07:43:24 2007
<olpcbot> Welcome nstawski!
<olpcbot> Welcome all to OLPC San Francisco's 2010 Community Summit, Oct 22-24!
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<olpcbot> Welcome all to OLPC San Francisco's 2010 Community Summit, Oct 22-24!
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<nstawski> Hi, I will be taking notes in room 553 now!  English is not my native language, so if somebody could back me up that would be appreciated 
<nstawski> Nadine from Jamaica started speaking
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<olpcbot> Welcome Webchat user Violet-Sienna-38!
<olpcbot> Welcome all to OLPC San Francisco's 2010 Community Summit, Oct 22-24!
<olpcbot> Remote volunteer participants are strongly encouraged -- please join here:
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<CanoeBerry> Hi!
<nstawski> there is a map of Jamaica and Nadine asked a few people to find a small place called Moneague at the map
<nstawski> They categorized the issues they face in 5 parts
<nstawski> 1. Class teacher champion
<nstawski> 2. Students
<nstawski> 3. School Admin
<nstawski> 4. Education Office
<nstawski> 5. Parents/PTA; Alumni, non-school Adults
<nstawski> people are writing a few words for each category describing the problems and situations they have connected to these
<nstawski> from their own experience
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<olpcbot> Hello SG member yama`! (use 'info index' for current info pages)
<nstawski> I think some suggestions and accociations from people at this chat would be also great to have
<nstawski> I can see well the 4. category now
<nstawski> the associations are:
<nstawski> Controlling, excluded, curious, saving face is important, empowering, disconnected
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<nstawski> bureaucratic, out of touch, one size fits all, cught in reform cycle, anxious
<nstawski> category 1. :
<nstawski> mostly a tireless worker, essential, overworked
<CanoeBerry> (Photos of all 5 spontaneous paper posters will follow!)
<MikeDawson> category 4 - Different language / totally different mindset between those and potential implementors / champions
<nstawski> curriculum goals, egocentric, fear, tired, confused, coach
<MikeDawson> 2 - students - curiosity / electricity
<MikeDawson> and hammers
<nstawski> how do we show a champion or a class teacher that OLPC project is connected to their curriculum goals?
<MikeDawson> nstawski: by showing them what things the technology can do to help them accomplish their goals
<CanoeBerry> Jennifer Martino comments: not sure we can promise higher grades / standardized test results _while_ more creative, project-integrated learning
<MikeDawson> in Afghanistan: Interactive curriculum content can double - triple time on task and provide missing feedback teachers don't have time and are too overloaded to provide
<MikeDawson> We can achieve higher grades and better more creative learning and must in order to justify the cost
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<olpcbot> G'day SG member tabs! (of the welly testers) (use 'info index' for current info pages)
<nstawski> the word 'soloist' - in Afganistan when we were training teachers there were a few people, who became experts, a tech support for others
<nstawski> and they were the individuals who stood up
<nstawski> to help others
<nstawski> 2. Students:
<MikeDawson> nstawski - you were in Afghanistan?
<nstawski> restriction: sometimes students do stupid things, or something thats inappropriate - so we need some restrictions
<nstawski> now, I am writing down everything that is said here
<CanoeBerry> Dimash: inappropriate content happens!
<nstawski> at the first meeting
<CanoeBerry> dsd question: small project in overseas deployments, what happens when *Volunteers Leave* ?
<CanoeBerry> (sustainability..)
<nstawski> Daniel: can remote team continue the work on their own?
<MikeDawson> dsd answer: it normally dies
<tabs> can someone make sure this channel is recorded this weekend?
<CanoeBerry> Christine Murakami discusses her own experience leading US high school girls to Virgin Islands deployment..
<nstawski> I will save the logs anyway
<nstawski> even if it's not recorded
<CanoeBerry> kevix: can you help with tabs' request above, for this wkd only?
<nstawski> sustainability
<CanoeBerry> Nadine Muschette is doing a *GREAT* job facilitating this session!
<CanoeBerry> Her 2 partners Carol Ruth Silver and Christine Murakami too!
<CanoeBerry> (Aside: Bill Stelzer is videotaping this Rm 553 "Small Projects in Remote Places" session!)
<CanoeBerry> Mark Battley speaking on the Kenya deployment he's coordinated.
<nstawski> the question that is discussed is whether we bring people from other countries to get educated in US along with teaching them at their places
<tabs> currently we discussing taking people from deployments out to see the rest of the world and the hazards - seems better to send people to deployment
<tabs> nstawski: snap
<MikeDawson> agreed +1 - assuming that people actually go back to where the deployment is needed - turnover is a problem
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<olpcbot> Welcome all to OLPC San Francisco's 2010 Community Summit, Oct 22-24!
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<CanoeBerry> Locals in Kenya more supportive of project than some in US/Canada/Europe.  Keeping continuity going tough, but powerful champion on ground found! (Godfrey, teachers' certificate part of the deal -- deal is he works for 4 yrs to run deployment)
<nstawski> Scrool admin:
<nstawski> India project experience:
<CanoeBerry> Direct-head on corruption vs. softer corruption issues.
<tabs> anyone know where deployment near chennai is?
<CanoeBerry> Map here:
<tabs> Tom Parker from olpc NZ volunteers is there now and wants to know if he can help and meet local  olpc pep
<nstawski> destroing creativity: school admin: over time children are loosing creativity because of the standartized testing etc, they are kept in a box
<MikeDawson> help and meet local olpc pep where?
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<olpcbot> Welcome morganya!
<olpcbot> Welcome all to OLPC San Francisco's 2010 Community Summit, Oct 22-24!
<olpcbot> Remote volunteer participants are strongly encouraged -- please join here:
<olpcbot> is the expected channel if streaming is setup
<CanoeBerry> Nina Stawski in the front row here with me (in purple shirt!) is doing an amazing job notetaking, thanks!!
<nstawski> рщц сщгдв нщг сщттусе еуфсрштп ещ еру сгккшсгдгь ьщку уааусешмудн?
<morganya> in the edu panel. lots of tensions between various players being discussed
<nstawski> еsorry
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<olpcbot> Welcome all to OLPC San Francisco's 2010 Community Summit, Oct 22-24!
<olpcbot> Remote volunteer participants are strongly encouraged -- please join here:
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<nstawski> how you could connect teaching and curriculum?
<silbe> will notes from the other rooms be taken in this channel as well? or are there other channels I should join?
<nstawski> in Nepal, there are a lot of customized projects
<CanoeBerry> each room has its own notetaking regimen
<nstawski> and lessons etc
<CanoeBerry> as chosen by that room's sessions leaders
<MikeDawson> in Afghanistan we have made complete interactive versions of Grade 4-6 Maths, Science and Religious Ed for blended learning
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<CanoeBerry> silbe: Ben Sheldon is policing each room's summary/notetaking -- email if you don't find him live here
<nstawski> the laptops sometimes are being used just as a book, so kids do not have chance to play with it and learn something else
<silbe> CanoeBerry: ok, will try, thx!
<nstawski> it's difficult to find a middleground on that
<MikeDawson> Disagree - there is a huge spectrum from just using it as a book to pure constructivist experience and everything in between
<nstawski> how do you encourage kids to use their creativity on the way home or at home?
<nstawski> another issue: money and bad economy
<morganya> talking about fostering creativity -- it may sound heretical but i think one of the best ways to do so is to shut off the internet.
<nstawski> Christine: I work in a school, I was told I cannod raise money for it
<MikeDawson> challenges / exercises (e.g. guided discovery) with turtle art etc
<tabs> deployments I went to had no internet
<nstawski> how do you deal with money issues?
<CanoeBerry> Fundraising issues off the record now -- video cam turned off on audience request.
<OLPC-Mongolia> money issues - everywhere
<CanoeBerry> Fundraising issues & (perceived) conflict-of-interests being discussed off the record.
<MikeDawson> Money issue - we must run the program in a way that justifies demonstrably the cost
<CanoeBerry> Institutional tensions being discusses off the record.
<CanoeBerry> Video & transcribing will resume shortly.
<pleia2> @teefal is making great tweets for the power session, and a photo from @curiouslee
<CanoeBerry> Very tense small community / fundraising issued being discussed -- good news these can catch fire -- bad news is these can catch fire -- tensions. around who owns fundraising pipelines.
<MikeDawson> tension around money?  gee, who wouldda thought?
<CanoeBerry> Anonymous suggestion from audience: seek clearance at the highest level (where possible) before your fundraising SUCCESS is shot down by those with bigger muscle than you.
<CanoeBerry> Buy-in envy at every level, political / corporate / beyond.
<CanoeBerry> Buy-in is there, money is there.
<morganya> seems like much of these money issues also connect to acountability issues (e.g. the mention of the Xo in Honduras)
<Tan-Red-23> "there are hummers in haiti"
<CanoeBerry> Claim: Corruption can destroy everything, right as pieces come together.
<CanoeBerry> Video & transcribing will resume shortly.
<CanoeBerry> Rm 553 continues off the record until then.
<silbe> pleia2: how can I watch teefals "tweets"?
<MikeDawson> Asset management : expect it to go completely wrong unless you take steps otherwise
<CanoeBerry> silbe:
<silbe> thx!
<CanoeBerry> Bribery / corruption being discussed in Rm 553.
<CanoeBerry> How can we go beyond war stories, broader strokes?
<CanoeBerry> Let's not be naive.
<CanoeBerry> Consequences cannot be foretold.
<morganya> no matter how much you've  *thought*  it through, there's no way you can know what will happen unti you get there.
<MikeDawson> speak and work with those who have been there a while
<nstawski> it's still off the record
<MikeDawson> preferably those who originate from your culture...
<CanoeBerry> Claim: Physical dangers when tiny schools's success arise to threaten turf of largeer institutional forces.
<CanoeBerry> "If it were really easy, some would have done it already."
<morganya> if it were easy, it would already  be done.
<morganya> jinx! 
<CanoeBerry> Legalities hell of fundraising.
<CanoeBerry> NGO on the ground serving legal advice!
<nstawski> back on the record
<CanoeBerry> Video back on now.
<nstawski> India: we have two deployments
<CanoeBerry> India voice #2: Harriet
<CanoeBerry> MikeDawson: no audio feed for now, sorry
<nstawski> you can't do everything without the money
<MikeDawson> video is on?   but not on ustream?
<CanoeBerry> MikeDawson: Not UStream, Bill Stelzer just whipped out his old camcorder.
<CanoeBerry> On a tripod tho!
<MikeDawson> oic
<nstawski> you should plan to be successful, and think of how to spend money on the project if there were more of them
<CanoeBerry> (SJ Klein comment above)
<MikeDawson> You must justify the money!
<CanoeBerry> Barbara Barry speaking now..
<CanoeBerry> Ask for 5 more poster boards..
<CanoeBerry> BEYOND school..
<CanoeBerry> Adjunct curriculum!
<nstawski> discussing an extra-curriculum, where teachers can do what they want - we could use this time
<CanoeBerry> Reminds us OLPC's core mission is to move learning beyond school & classroom into community/family/beyond.
<morganya> (reminds me of google's 20% time)
<CanoeBerry> nstawski: plz email me ( your full contact info if poss!
<nstawski> everybody wants their kids to be eduated - so we can offer help designing the education program, not just giving XO
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<olpcbot> Welcome mavrothal!
<olpcbot> Welcome all to OLPC San Francisco's 2010 Community Summit, Oct 22-24!
<olpcbot> Remote volunteer participants are strongly encouraged -- please join here:
<olpcbot> is the expected channel if streaming is setup
<CanoeBerry> Pablo Flores speaking on $
<CanoeBerry> $ for laptops, $ for all the rest
<nstawski> the second part is much more difficult and more important that getting the laptops there
<MikeDawson> Q: Is there currently published data on the ratio being used / achived in Ceibal now?
<morganya> it's also  a lot more sexy to buy laptpos than intangibles
<morganya> yes - will find links for ceibal ..
<nstawski> the easiest thing that can be done - work with organizations that has shown some transparency, and that want to participate and try to fund them
<morganya> will post later 
<nstawski> we should find tools for transparency - online tools, whatever
<CanoeBerry> Morgan Ames speaking: on tools?
<MikeDawson> morganya: thanks !
<CanoeBerry> Donations for teacher-training not sexy.
<nstawski> issue: people like donating money for laptops, but they are less likely donate for the education of teachers
<MikeDawson> Can I make some comments on $$$ from here?
<CanoeBerry> How to provide face-saving paying for little things, eg. USB stick/beyond?
<CanoeBerry> Yes
<CanoeBerry> Session ends in 10MIN
<MikeDawson> You have to calculate the total cost of ownership here - let's say $400 hypothetically over 4-5 years per child
<nstawski> take XOs to a club, extra-curriculum activity so kigs could spend more time with these
<CanoeBerry> After-school Clubs GREAT! But opt-in only, only devoded core show up.
<MikeDawson> you must then figure out how to do more with that through content, extra-curricular, etc. than could possibly be otherwise achieved
<MikeDawson> achieve better value and prove it
<MikeDawson> then taps open
<MikeDawson> Must achieve value in terms of recognized objectives
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<MikeDawson> Attendence, behaviours that are part of child friendly learning checked through classroom observation, test scores, problem solving ability, stabilization / quelling of insurgencies...
<MikeDawson> [Finished]
<CanoeBerry> MikeDawsom: Let's hold TCO/Finance discussions in a later session, as we're talking tightening teachers/kids communities for now.
<CanoeBerry> MikeDawson: please hold the thought, making sure this full question's asked in a bit / later today.
<CanoeBerry> Mark Battley: email & facebook = permanent buy-in from kids, teachers, teacher-to-teacher professional development -- practical exams as level, science congress / fair?
<CanoeBerry> 1 year of strong dissemination from teacher to student.
<nstawski> teacher training institutions are discussed
<CanoeBerry> "One Laptop per Teacher" in Jamaica!
<nstawski> what about the parents?
<CanoeBerry> One Laptop per Parent?
<MikeDawson> OLPT objectives?
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<nstawski> students and parents are very positive regarding the project
<nstawski> some of school admins and education offices are sometimes negative
<nstawski> and champions need a lot of work
<nstawski> to retain their enthusiasm etc
<Tan-Red-23> "Dont let the bastards bring you down."
<CanoeBerry> Keep yr Eyes on the Prize!
<CanoeBerry> Jennifer Martino: but you can't just leave the parents out of the pic1
<CanoeBerry> Jennifer Martino: but you can't just leave the parents out of the pic!
<nstawski> school board/city council: the prime example of successful creation of schools based on the the parents' enthusiasm
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<nstawski> the successful models is to go without the laptops or anything, and involve parents. when you have got the parents to say we want these laptops etc - we will overcome all other problems
<nstawski> what have you learned from this session?
<nstawski> aim higher
<nstawski> time matters
<nstawski> just shorts ideas aboutthe session
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<nstawski> the session has ended
<nstawski> leaving a lot of things to discuss further
<nstawski> but everybody seems to be quite enthusiastic
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<MikeDawson> thanks to the transcribers!
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<CanoeBerry> Mark Battley is now photographing the 5 spontaneous poster boards.
<CanoeBerry> He will post them to Flickr and here:
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<CanoeBerry> THANKS NINA!
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(thx Nina!)