On Wed, May 11, 2011 at 23:07,  <jbalc...@laptopstolesotho.org> wrote:
> Edward, Thanks for your input.

A pleasure.

> My replies follow >>
> __________________
> Edward: "I would also suggest that you use the Free Software/Open Source
> approach of publishing all of your materials and letting the community
> work with them, try to improve them, test them, and so on. The new, in
> testing, not quite yet public Replacing Textbooks server at Sugar Labs is
> available for hosting training materials in addition to Free digital
> textbook replacements, or Open Education Resources (OER)."
> Janissa: We plan to make all our materials public.

I wasn't sufficiently explicit. I mean not only public, but under a
Creative Commons or similar license, preferably permitting reuse,
improvement, translation, and republication with credit but without
having to get explicit permission.

> Anything we create
> here in the U.S. for the school will be posted; however, it is very
> difficult for the teachers in Lesotho to post materials they have created
> because there is no affordable internet service available in the area.
> When we visit the school later this year, we will make copies of anything
> they have created and will post it for them.

Sneakernet (originally with floppy disks) is an ancient and venerable
tradition in the computer community.

> Will the OER/free digital texbooks be provided in a format that can be
> downloaded on a flash drive rather than used interactively online?

It is our intention to make materials that can be used on an XO, and
in Sugar on any other platform, and in many cases that means PDFs and
other public document formats  that can be used anywhere on anything.

> __________________
> Edward: "Are you familiar with Sarvodaya in Sri Lanka? Your methods are
> somewhat similar."
> Janissa:  I am not familiar with Sarvodaya, but I will check her/him out.

Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement
> __________________
> Edward: "Did you record any of those meetings? Such recordings would be of
> inestimable value to researchers and to other instructional designers."
> Janissa:  No, we did not record the meetings other than just taking notes.
>  I think having an audio or video recorder present might have inhibited
> the process too much.  It was hard enough as it was to get the teachers to
> talk, express opinions, and make decisions.  There was A LOT of cajoling
> involved.

Understood. Perhaps they will at some point become comfortable with
students recording them using XOs, or they can record each other.
> __________________
> Edward: "Is your solar power system design public?"
> Janissa:  It was designed by the Bethel Community Development and Business
> Center in Lesotho.  I will check with them about making the design public.

Thank you. Illinois Institute of Technology is doing another design
for schools with XOs in Haiti, and there are others. I encourage
organizations doing this to get together and share expertise.
> __________________
> Edward: "I would be very interested to see a comparison of your results
> with a one-to-one deployment. There are many other experiment designs of
> interest."
> Janissa:  We had originally hoped to have a one-to-one ratio, but
> financial constraints prevented that.  We thought we would still work
> toward that goal eventually, but the community has over-ridden us.  They
> would prefer that we expand to other schools rather than try to reach a
> one-to-one ratio at the school we are currently working with.  The
> situation could definitely make for some interesting comparisons, if the
> research is set up properly.

It would require some care to control for a variety of variables. We
can discuss that when we get some experiment designers involved.

> __________________
> Edward: "I don't have the resources of a researcher, and Sugar Labs is not
> a research group. But as a Sugar Labs Project Manager, I would be very
> interested in following your research, and suggesting some research
> directions."
> Janissa:  I would love to get any suggestions you or others have.  I'm
> completely new to this role and am feeling my way as I go, so any help is
> greatly appreciated.

I know some people we should talk to. I'll ask some of them
individually. To begin with, we should talk to the Sugar Labs
It's-An-Education-Project mailing list. I have copied them on this.

Edward Mokurai (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) Cherlin
Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.
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