[Olpc-uk] Pilot advice from Bryan Berry

Martin Dengler martin at martindengler.com
Wed May 13 06:18:23 EDT 2009

Hi all,

I recently got some sage advice from Bryan on IRC that he's given
permission to circulate.

=== Pilot Support ===

< mtd> BryanWB: morning.  Your talk about some of the pitfalls of
           deployments got plenty of airtime at the last OLPC UK
           meeting, btw. (in a good way :))
< BryanWB> mtd: tks
< mtd> BryanWB: any pointers to some of the worst stressors / subjects?
< BryanWB> mtd: hopefully u will spare yourselves the heartache and
           broken friendships we had to endure
< BryanWB> mtd: if i were u I would try to team up w/ someone like IBM
           global services
< BryanWB> mtd: volunteers can introduce stuff like OLPC but schools
           always want long-term support
< BryanWB> mtd: and volunteers can't provide that
< BryanWB> mtd: like any other enterprise, they always have new
           requirements and short timeframes
< mtd> BryanWB: yes I think we are still at the stage of "hmm, I guess
           we'll have to find some way of dealing with the support
           issue" stage.  Which is quite early.
< BryanWB> mtd: don't deal w/ it as volunteers
< BryanWB> mtd: have someone in the wings to charge for it
< BryanWB> mtd: the guys from Uruguay feel the same way
< BryanWB> mtd: volunteers should introduce stuff and work w/ new
           ideas, not have to provide support.
< BryanWB> mtd: support is kind of my specialty because I worked at IT
           help desks for 11 years ;)
< mtd> BryanWB: interesting and very good to know.
< BryanWB> mtd: if the schools value the project, they will pay for
< BryanWB> mtd: if they don't value it after introduction, they won't
           pay for support
< mtd> BryanWB: I'd love to know what typically gets included in a
           "support" contract.
< mtd> BryanWB: at the moment everything I can think of being included
           we are planning on doing ourselves, or have no plan for.

=== Pilot Goal Setting ===

< BryanWB> mtd: the key is to find some particular subject or area
           that the local students are failing in, and target Sugar to
< BryanWB> mtd: the argument "it will help kids overrall, help them
           learn learning" will collapse the moment a crisis or other
           problem comes up
< BryanWB> mtd: and your deployment will go into the dustbin of great
< BryanWB> mtd: the key thing is that unless you tie the deployment to
           some critical need, the deployment will end up in "The
           Dustbin of Great Ideas we didn't have time for"
< BryanWB> mtd: we tied our deployment to class 2 students abysmal
           reading and math performance, and is really paying off
< BryanWB> mtd: my pleasure, personally i think the killer app for
           Sugar is a suite of activities like what we have done w/
           E-Paath but in js+html, moodle integration, and some basic

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