Stages and Budget

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Phase 1 in 5 highlighted Commercial Phase in the 5 Phases in an OLPC Educational Project Implementation.png

Welcome to this page on Stages and Budget to get to a full OLPC Deployment.

Intro - Deployment Phase - Post Deployment phase

Of course everybody wants to get to that stage where you have all the kids waving their XO laptops above their heads, all smiling, teachers happy, parents happy and of course a broad smiling Minister of Education, etc. But of course we need a certain budget to realize that "Deployment Phase". And we have spreadsheets to help you (we actually expect a team) with that. The budget for that is for personnel and trucks coming to the harbor to receive the arriving OLPC XO-XS laptops, their portable photovoltaic panels, drive them to the national distribution points where they are further dispatched per school, the teachers know what to do, the parents and local and national press have been informed, the mayor might want to come have a word, etc. etc. Some of the XO's will show malfunctions, but you've anticipated that and the XO-repair team kicks into action, etc. etc. At the national TV, a TV channel has been reserved or via youtube to accompany the national deployment and feedback society on the deployment, what's been going on that day in the OLPC field, the kids showing what they have been doing, maybe even a special session for the parents, etc. etc. The Post Deployment phase automatically kicks in with a never ending series of "Intro and Master Classes on OLPC stuff" and of course there's a budget for that, that's been calculated. And all is well.

But how to get there?

Well, as the picture shows, maybe there are 3 phases preceding that "Deployment Phase". Let's start with the 3'rd one: the "Pre-Deployment / Planning Phase".

Pre-Deployment / Planning Phase

To get to the Deployment Phase, don't we have to know how many kids aged 5 to 15 there are, exactly? How many schools there are, exactly? And how many school there should actually be-maybe some more have to be built? And how many teachers there are per school? And what is the class size? And if there is electricity in the school or not? Are there electricity plugs in the class room? If yes, where are they - I mean how to get all these XO laptops plugged in during class? Or what is the strategy? And how about the electricity bill? Or is there some strategy for that? And where does the first container with XO's have to go to? How many XO's are there in a container actually? What's the size and weight of a container? Aren't there different types and sizes of containers? So we bring the first container to what school or first to a dispatching place or we drive with the truck from one school to the next until the container is empty? And then the teachers, they know what to do with them, how they work? What they're supposed to do with them during their class? Does every teacher of every discipline use them? Who took care of the ebooks ? Every laptop can hold about 1.000 ebooks? Didn't we have to make up a list of books we want on them? I guess we need a list of books for the first grade, the second grade, the third grade, etc ? Who knows what books they need? Are they available in electronic format? Are we just going to put them on in the form of a scanned pdf or do we have immediately the .txt .doc format or whatever? Or are we going to turn them immediately into something more of an interactive book immediately? I think if we leave your for another 10 minutes to think about this with some people from the "educational landscape", you'll be able to come up with some other of these questions and considerations. There is indeed more to it that just to drive by the school, throw in some thousands of laptops and drive off into the sunset, all satisfied with the good deed you just did. Did you know the XO-laptop actually works in tandem with the XServer?

The XServer has a fast processor where all the data-crunching is done and it is that XServer that hands out easily=fast digestible packages to the XO-laptops, that way HUGELY improvind the "user experience"". By the way a strategic way to attribute money-resources to the places where they have most value: fast=expensive processor in the XServer, normal=cheaper processor in the XO-laptops. BIG=expensive Hard-disk in the XServer, no more need for such big expensive HD's in the XO's. In fact, there is no spinning hard disc into the XO-laptop, it's just a small - but so much faster - flash card. But I assume you're aware of all this and a lot more. Just check the Hardware pages to increase your knowledge.

Of course, as many countries and regions have made it to a full deployment, at OLPC, we have a list of questions, you - OLPC - the representatives of the educational landscape in the country have to go through. And of course that's not something one does in 1 day, nor in 1 session. It takes some going hence and forth to find the answers. There might even be some country-specific questions the group might come up with, that also need answers.

And, wouldn't it be a good idea to have the epresentatives of the educational landscape in the country visit e.g. Peru, Uruguay, Australia, OLPC MIT, ... where there is a full deployment and this since 2010? So the minister of education can talk to the minister of education from Peru/Uruguay, Australia - from peer to peer? And some people from his cabinet get a chance to talk to their peers in Peru etc. because they are going to be the ones who will have to do it and deal with all the stuff that's not foreseen, questions/critics from the press - from the opposition, etc. :)

Maybe you also want to foresee a budget to invite these specialists from Peru, Uruguay, Australia, OLPC MIT, over to your country?

So we need to calculate a budget for all that right? Hotels, meals for everybody, per diems, ... We're never going to do this in one go, we have to foresee one week here, then go over to Peru, Uruguay, Australia, OLPC MIT, ... , come back, set these specialists and our specialists together, let them work again for another week, and then another session our specialists alone, etc. etc. This is not some small beginner stuff here. There is no way one person can work out that budget, it needs input from many sides, specialists from the educational landscape.

Someone - you - will have to tell them that. Will have to inform, prepare everybody of the work that is coming to them. And that brings us to a phase that even proceeds the "Pre-Deployment / Planning Phase": "the Announcement, Intro and Data-Retrieval Phase" and another budget that we need to bring together.

Announcement, Intro and Data-Retrieval Phase

Chopping-up the whole process in these respective phases and calculating/bringing together a budget for each and every phase is kind of good. It brings security and containment, planning and order, an overview and a staged proces to get from "A" to "B", from one stage to the next. At least you avoid surprises or underestimating the work ahead. You put a timing on things, because before you know it an election runs straight through your plans and your work could fall into the water. But also people could get discouraged. At least now, you visualise things, there is a timing on things, people feel you are professional, there is an OLPC Community backing you up, you're solid as a rock to build upon, you give confidence. If not, just contact me: --SvenAERTS 16:38, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

So we need a budget to announce there is going to be an OLPC XO-XS deployment, introduce all parties, even the whole country/the parents, the kids, grand parents. The more specialized educational landscape, we have to introduce them to all these phases, introduce/prepare the educational landscape to all the work that's coming, the questionnaire, the data-retrieving. You all need to agree upon a communication and announcement strategy. You can already bring some basic data together that will help you prepare a budget for the Pre-Deployment / Planning Phase: how many time do people want to go visit Peru? Only Peru or also Uruguay and Australia? How many weeks do they think they'll need to answer the whole questionnaire? Probably you'll have to give this intro lecture / workshop a couple of times. Maybe you can bear all the costs for it, all the better. Maybe it's wiser to call the ministry of education or some foundation, or maybe with EU Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid by the European Commission], or their American USAID equivalent, or the Japanese, or Australian, or South Korean, or Canada, or China, ... if they don't have a grant form to sponsor you for this phase? Once you've found the grant form, you can give me a ring, I've got all the texts ready to copy/paste in those forms: --SvenAERTS 16:38, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

I think you'll want to read the "Deployment Guide"! Again, are you going to do that during your free time and cover your costs all by yourself? Your kids are ok with that? They don't need money to eat while you are reading and making phone calls all days/weeks long? And how about all the others in the "Educational landscape", they too will have to go through that Deployment Guide. Not everybody is going to do that on a sunday morning during holidays. So is there a budget for that? Just be prepared and calculate that Announcement, Intro and Data-Retrieval Phase budget. I have a spreadsheet for that, let's make a copy for you: --SvenAERTS 16:38, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Information and Sensibilization Phase

But really, this is how it all starts: you - and I really hope/expect you to gather a team - giving information, sensibilizing, answering and being prepared to answer quite some questions and face criticism - critical questions. There are a lot of questions people can ask, but it's not a infinite list. After a while you'll see types of questions and critical remarks, some fair, some unfair, that come back over and over again. Again, the OLPC community will help you with those. Here's a good starter: What every government should ask itself when considering an ebook deployment.

And again, doesn't it really all start with a little test/laboratory kind of deployment? Mabye some 10 XO's, 2 XServers, a budget to pay 3 ICT persons, a place where people - especially from the educational landscape can come to and see/feel/touch/experiment/experience these XO-XS systems? How much should that cost/we budget for that?  :) Again, we've been and done that. Here's the spreadsheet. Contact me to make a copy for your team, go over and fill it out together. That way things will go a lot quicker: --SvenAERTS 16:38, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

This phase is so crucial. Have you never wondered: with all these local initiatives, 10 - 20 - 40 laptops, maybe a whole school equipped with laptops, why don't these start-up / labo-situations don't spring out into full regional / national deployments? It is not the money: there is money. What is rather lacking is teams that can convince - sell if you want, a nationwide OLPC XO-XS deployment is possible, to obtain a dedicated team in the ministry to go for the project and get to the next stages, . To make a governmental team to focus on the project, to obtain the mandate from a ministry of education to go for the project and bring it to OLPC. You need a very experienced sales person who has experienced with public administration and governments. You have to have a really good teaser and know about transformational management / change management.

Suggested Links

  1. What every government should ask itself when considering an ebook deployment