[Sugar-devel] NPR story on OLPC in Peru

Christoph Derndorfer christoph.derndorfer at gmail.com
Sun Oct 14 11:07:19 EDT 2012

On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 2:42 PM, Dr. Gerald Ardito
<gerald.ardito at gmail.com>wrote:

> I wanted to share that we have faced the same criticisms in our school
> regarding the XOs. For the last four years, the teachers and students have
> complained that the devices do not connect well or reliably to our wireless
> network.
> Obviously, in our case, we have a wireless network and essentially
> continuous access to the internet. But, what I have had to fight against is
> that this is the most basic use of any computing device.
> The only way I have been able to stem this tide is to come up with
> projects and programs that made use of the XOs as standalone or mesh
> networked devices. For example, we have done a lot with Memorize and Etoys
> and Scratch (and beginning to work with TurtleBlocks). I have found that
> once the students and teachers are involved with these activities, the
> internet stuff goes away.
> But the bigger point that is missed in the story, and the broader
> conversation, is that the XOs and Sugar tap into non-traditional methods of
> teaching and learning. When this invisible line is crossed, real magic
> happens. It is the conversations which illuminate this invisible line that
> is tough.


please don't forget that very few of the teachers in Peru have the
affordances available to you when you worked against that tide and helped
your pupils reach that invisible line. You have received countless years of
professional training, have ready access to the world's and the community's
accumulated knowledge about using XOs and Sugar (thanks to the Internet),
deal with student bodies who generally don't go hungry, have a pyhsic and
social infrastructure that's available at very few Peruvian schools, etc.

In short, I believe in the importance of crossing that invisible line and I
have been lucky enough to see some glimpses of that happening in the past
few years. However a significant number of pupils and teachers in Peru are
miles and miles away from that line and will need other ways of support to
even get them close to it.

I also think it's odd to see how the role of the Internet and the
connectivity it enables between people is apparently deemphasized in this
conversation. I remember a time where Connectivity was one of the 5
principles of OLPC, and for good reasons I dare say. Due to the limitations
of the Mesh network (and similarly so the newer ad-hoc networking options)
and the lack of infrastructure components such as access points most pupils
and teachers in Peru barely have access to local connectivity and all the
affordances (incl. Sugar's collaboration features) and value it provides.

Also I believe that people here will simply have to get used to bad news
(whether fully justified or not) coming out of Peru. The project there
still has potential but unless a lot of additional resources and brain
power are invested into its overall value proposition and usefulness will
always remain questionable at best.


> Just my two cents.
> Gerald
> On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 8:29 AM, Christoph Derndorfer <
> christoph.derndorfer at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 2:21 AM, Sameer Verma <sverma at sfsu.edu> wrote:
>>> On Sat, Oct 13, 2012 at 3:48 PM, Alexandro Colorado <jza at oooes.org>
>>> wrote:
>>> > On 10/13/12, Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> >> Alexandro,
>>> >>
>>> >> I think you are grossly underestimating the connectivity problem in
>>> Peru.
>>> >
>>> > Yes maybe, but I understand most educational systems dont have enough
>>> > budget to acquire connectivity so getting connectivity from other
>>> > sources like public buildings, libraries, will allow other resource to
>>> > come through without needing to be funded by the educational budget.
>>> >
>>> > Now if we are talking about, the whole town not having ways on
>>> > connecting, then the next option would be looking for alternative
>>> > sources, in Mexico they used Satelite modems.
>>> >
>>> http://www.scribd.com/doc/10324524/Capacitacion-Para-Maestros-Uso-Del-Aula-Enciclomedia#page=15
>>> >
>>> > But other mediums like DSL modems attached to a wifi router will be
>>> > able to get some basic Internet for HTML/images, IRC, etc. The big
>>> > question is about the level of connectivity for copper phone lines.
>>> >
>>> It seems that a fair number of offline requirements will be served by
>>> the XS school server, but I don't see that show up in any of the
>>> conversations. Does any location in Peru use any version of the XS?
>>> (http://wiki.laptop.org/go/School_server)
>> I'm not aware of any schools having school servers, at least they didn't
>> have them when I was there in 2010. The next best thing were USB drives
>> with some collections of offline materials compiled by DIGETE but as far as
>> I can tell only a certain percentage of teachers ever received theirs.
>> Cheers,
>> Christoph
>>> cheers,
>>> Sameer
>>> >
>>> >>
>>> >> regards.
>>> >>
>>> >> -walter
>>> >>
>>> >> --
>>> >> Walter Bender
>>> >> Sugar Labs
>>> >> http://www.sugarlabs.org
>>> >> _______________________________________________
>>> >> Devel mailing list
>>> >> Devel at lists.laptop.org
>>> >> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/devel
>>> >>
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > --
>>> > Alexandro Colorado
>>> > PPMC Apache OpenOffice
>>> > http://es.openoffice.org
>>> > _______________________________________________
>>> > Devel mailing list
>>> > Devel at lists.laptop.org
>>> > http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/devel
>>> >
>>> >
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Sugar-devel mailing list
>>> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
>>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
>> --
>> Christoph Derndorfer
>> volunteer, OLPC (Austria) [www.olpc.at]
>> editor, OLPC News [www.olpcnews.com]
>> contributor, TechnikBasteln [www.technikbasteln.net]
>> e-mail: christoph at derndorfer.eu
>> _______________________________________________
>> Sugar-devel mailing list
>> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel

Christoph Derndorfer

volunteer, OLPC (Austria) [www.olpc.at]
editor, OLPC News [www.olpcnews.com]
contributor, TechnikBasteln [www.technikbasteln.net]

e-mail: christoph at derndorfer.eu
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