D I G I TA L B R I D G E F O U N D AT I O N A p a r t o f Anil Dirubhai Ambani Group
INTERACTION DESIGN FOR OLPC INDIA PORTAL
THIRD SEMESTER PROJECT Shuchita Baranwal, Software & User Interface Design National Institute of Design
Shuchita Baranwal • telephone: 09974095963 • National institute of Design • firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract This project started as exploring the possibilities of involvement with The One laptop per child mission in India and find the immediate need of developing an application which would help facilitate the progress of the project in India or the progress of the kids using the laptop in education. The former need to help facilitate the progress of the progress Of the OLPC mission in India was identified with the immediate need of a ubiquitous information system in The form of a portal for building awareness, educating and building partnerships within the Indian community for those who are involved or wish to be involved with the OLPC mission in India. Hence, the system seeks to provide a tailored view of the institutional processes and services of Digital Bridge Foundation, concerning the OLPC mission in India. Therefore, instead of spending time searching from place to place on the web, the user would find all the information, resources, networking space and other resources on one window. It would form an exhibit space to exchange experience with other OLPC country organizations, educate the general public about the project via presentations, videos etc. and setup and support of OLPC initiatives in India. It would facilitate a networking space for the player involved with the OLPC mission, with the ones who seek an opportunity to get involved. So, the space would help to identify organizations/ key players for support. The ongoing strategies, plans, level of endowment, OLPCâ€™s developer program, education resources for teachers as well a students etc such information would be imparted through this space with the help of various interface elements designed. Hence, also on a different layer a workspace would also be present, where all the Ongoing discussions, and the progress of different tasks and projects would be understood and added by the users.
This project identifies the channels with the greatest potential for benefit either to the widest selection of users, or to key strategic users.
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OLPC has created the XO laptop to be very low cost, robust and powerful, beautiful and friendly. It has been designed explicitly for children of the elementary classes, the first one of its kind. A laptop can be transformed into a mobile school: a portable learning and teaching environment. A connected laptop is more than a tool. It is a new human environment of a digital kind. The XO is designed for the use of children of ages 6 to 12—covering the years of the elementary school—but nothing precludes its use earlier or later in life. Children don’t need to write or read in order to play with the XO and we know that playing is the basis of human learning. Moreover those digital activities will help the acquisition of the writing and reading skills. The XO has been designed to provide the most engaging wireless network available. The laptops are connected to each other, even when they are off. If one laptop is connected to the Internet, the others will follow to the web. This project would provide a space where anything and everything about OLPC endeavors and other information and resources required by different key players of the project could be accessed.
The primary target audiences of this project are the key players from our society who are willing to be or are a part of this educational project. However, it is meant for educating and builds awareness about the OLPC project amongst the society, and share experience about the project. The target audience includes kids and teachers involved using Xo laptops.
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Aims and Objectives
The focus of the project is to enable single window access to information, resources, news etc concerned with the OLPC India Mission, with The Digital Bridge Foundation, part of ADAG, to educate, network and engage key players from our society to participate in the education project that OLPC is and accelerate their involvement in a sustainable manner.
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1) Research and Analysis Phase: The aim of this phase is to provide a foundation for the design and development of the prototype. This includes:
a) Gathering data on relevant past / present experiments and implementations and
critically analyzing the same.
b) Studying the current state of art in this field in terms of technology, existing applications,
trends and direction of the future research.
The findings here will help in providing a perspective on the feasibility of the concept and will also help solidify the scope and shape of the proposed prototype in terms of features, target age group etc.
2) Iterative Design and Development, incorporating User / Stakeholder Feedback The plan is to adopt a 'User Centric' process for design and development of the prototype. By nature, such a process hinges on multiple iterations of the 'Design-Develop-Evaluate' loop with the Evaluate->Design back link being provided by user feedback. It would follow different stages beginning with the analysis of existing data and information and, finding out the challenges and constraints.
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Understanding the mission
ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD MISSION The One Laptop Per Child Association, Inc. (OLPC) is a non‐profit organization based at the Media Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Boston, USA. OLPC was set up to oversee the creation of a cheap, affordable educational device for use in the third world. Its current focus is on the development, construction and deployment of the XO‐1 laptop to promote children's education in developing nations.
The mission Statement of OLPC is: “To create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low‐cost, low‐power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self‐empowered learning”.
OLPC claim that their laptop, named the "XO", is "a potent learning tool created expressly for children in developing countries, living in some of the most remote environments. The laptop was designed collaboratively by experts from both academia and industry, bringing to bear both extraordinary talent and many decades of collective field experience for every aspect of this non‐profit humanitarian project. The result is a unique harmony of form and function; a flexible, ultra‐low‐cost, power‐efficient, responsive, and durable machine with which nations of the emerging world can leapfrog decades of development—immediately transforming the content and quality of their children's learning". Most observers would no disagree that: “OLPC has created the XO laptop to be very low cost, robust and powerful, beautiful and friendly. It has been designed explicitly for children of the elementary classes, the first one of its kind”. One of the distinctive features is that the laptops automatically connect to each other, allowing the children to collaborate in all the activities that they find on the laptop.
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"The laptop has a user interface that graphically embraces the spirit of the network. It is all about community & collaboration -working and playing together to learn, create and communicate. This is a very distinctive machine; rugged, durable, and child‐friendly, inside and out". OLPC was founded by Nicholas Negroponte with a core of Media Lab veterans, but quickly expanded to include a wide range of exceptionally talented and dedicated people from academia, industry, the arts, business, and the open‐source community. The project's origins go back more than four decades to the early days of computing, when most machines were still the size of small dinosaurs, and almost no one dreamed they would ever be suitable for children. But pioneering thinkers like Seymour Papert disagreed sharply, and over time led the long march from radical theory to reality proving the immense power of the personal computer as a learning tool for children.
The 5 core pr inciples of OLPC 1. Child ownership. The laptops are intended to be given to each child, to use in school and at home. The impacts on the child’s learning will be so much greater if they are always immersed in the experience and always have access to a laptop. Also, compared to a traditional school computer lab, the laptop stays with the child and all their family will bene?it and be better able to participate in the information society. This also strengthens the position of the school within the community. 2. Low ages. Both hardware and software are designed for elementary school children ages’ 6‐12. Children do not need to read or write to use them, in fact the laptops help them to read and write. In the Solomons and PNG, 5‐7 year olds are using them and have acquired very good skills in just a few weeks. The software particularly helps children in learn‐ ing literacy, numeracy and in acquiring life‐long learning skills such as collaborating with others, learning‐by‐doing, and in feeling that they are included and important (self esteem). These impacts will be greatest at an early age. The target ages corre‐ spond therefore with elementary and primary schools.
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3. Saturation. For a truly inclusive learning environment to be established in a school classroom, every child and the teacher must have a laptop. If we only have some with laptops, it creates a divide and some are excluded. 4. Connection. The laptops connect with each other wirelessly, and all the activities on them are en‐ abled for “sharing” – or collaboration. Anything the child does on them can be done together with others, as a learning experience. The laptops can also access the global Internet, if available, and a special School Server has been created where we can store masses of locally created and relevant educational resources, including electronic cur‐ riculum materials. 5. Free and open source. The laptops have been developed in a truly open and collaborative environment based on the Open Source movement. It is therefore the case that children are able to go deeper into the laptops as they learn, and even change and improve the activities. There is a massive global (and regional) community that is working together to de‐ velop the laptops and support local languages, local content development and in other areas. The teachers, educationalists, people producing learning materials, and impor‐ tantly the children themselves, are empowered to join in these communities and par‐ ticipate in these developments.
THE XO LAPTOP
The XO is a potent learning tool created expressly for children in developing countries, living in some of the most remote environments. The laptop was designed collaboratively by experts from both academia and industry, bringing to bear both extraordinary talent and many decades of collective field experience for every aspect of this nonprofit humanitarian project. The result is a unique harmony of form and function; with which nations of the emerging world can leapfrog decades of development—immediately transforming the content and quality of their children's learning.
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XO is built from free and open-source software. The children—and their teachers—will have the freedom to reshape, reinvent, and reapply their software, hardware, and content. XO has a user-interface tailored to children’s specific type of knowledge work: learning. So, working together with teams from Pentagram and Red Hat, OLPC has created SUGAR, a “zoom” interface that graphically captures their world of fellow learners and teachers as collaborators, emphasizing the connections within the community, among people, and their activities. It features a 7.5 inch, 1200°—900 pixel, TFT screen and self-refreshing display with higher resolution (200 DPI) than 95 percent of the laptops on the market today. Two display modes are available: a transmissive, full-color mode, and a reflective, high-resolution black and white mode that is sunlight readable. Both consume very little power: the transmissive mode consumes one watt—about one seventh of the average LCD power consumption in a laptop; the reflective mode consumes a miserly 0.2 watts. The laptop selectively suspends operation of its CPU, which makes possible even more remarkable power savings. The laptop nominally consumes less than two watts—less than one tenth of what a standard laptop consumes—so little that XO can be recharged by human power. This is a critical advance for the half-billion children who have no access to electricity.
XO is about the size of a textbook and lighter than a lunchbox. Because of it’s flexible design and “transformer” hinge, the laptop easily assumes any of several configurations: standard laptop use, e-book reading, and gaming. The laptop has rounded edges. The integrated handle is kid-sized, as is the sealed, rubber keyboard. The novel, dual-mode, extra-wide touchpad supports pointing, as well as drawing and writing. The laptop’s visual distinction is to strongly appeal to XO's intended users; but the machine's distinctive appearance is also meant to discourage gray-market traffic. There is no mistaking what it is and for whom it is intended.
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XO is fully compliant with the European Union's RoHS Directive. It contains no hazardous materials. Its LiFePO4 or NiMH batteries contain no toxic heavy metals, plus it features enhanced battery management for an extended recharge-cycle lifetime. It will also tolerate alternate power-charging sources, such as car batteries. In addition, —for use at home and where power is not available—the XO can be solar or foot powered. It will come with at least two of three options: a crank, a pedal, or a pull-cord. It is also pos-
sible that children could have a second battery for group charging at school while they are using their laptop in class. Experience shows that laptop components most likely to fail are the hard drive and internal connectors. Therefore, XO has no hard drive to crash and only two internal cables. For added robustness, the machine's plastic walls are 2mm thick, as opposed to the standard 1.3mm. Its mesh network antennas, which far outperform the typical laptop, double as external covers for the USB ports, which are protected internally as well. The display is also cushioned by internal “bumpers.” The estimated product lifetime is at least five years. To help ensure such durability, the machines are being subjected to factory testing to destruction, as well as in situ field testing by children.
S ome other characteristics of the lapt o p a re : • Very low cost. This is dropping below USD $150 and may even drop to USD 50; comparable or cheaper than many school textbooks, but capable of holding hundred and displaying unlimited information. • Very low power. With traditional IT, the cost of power solutions is often more than the computers. The XO draws only 5W and its battery, recharged in 1.5 hours, lasts 5 hours or even longer if the screen backlight is turned off – when the laptop reveals another “first”: the screen is sunlight readable. OLPC are making available a solar power solution based on flexible, light‐weight thin‐ film panels clipped onto a tarpaulin (called a “solar blanket”) at a cost of only USD $3 per watt (less than 25% of the cost of standard solar panels at current Solomons prices). • Very rugged. They have no moving parts, are resistant to water and shock. The screens are based on a new technology that are low cost and yet surprisingly strong and bright.
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• As the children can take the laptops home, and the laptops connect with each other and the Internet, if available, the benefits will go beyond school‐based learning. The laptops actually form a wide area wireless network, allowing modern Internet‐based information and communications tools to be used. Again, compared to a traditional public access centre, the laptops bring the power of ICT and the evolving “Information Society” right into village homes, providing improved access to services and opportunities to participate in the affairs and development of the society and country. The OLPC can therefore also be seen as an important component of an integrated ICT strategy for rural development. It is not an office productivity tool! It is designed as a learning tool for young children OLPC around the world and the region.
DIGITAL BRIDGE FOUNDATION Digital Bridge Foundation is a corporate social unit of Reliance Anil Dhirubahi Ambani Group. It is a non-profit organization bridging the educational gaps that exist in society and improve the lives of millions of people in the developing world who do not enjoy the same opportunities as those in rich, developed countries. A model for implementing OLPC in rural areas is presented by Digital Bridge Foundation. This model includes four key components– pedagogy, technology, applications, and benchmarking/continuous monitoring. As a result of the research presented in this document, it is recommended that teachers ‘drive’ the implementation of OLPC, supported by technical specialists to enhance the learning process within the context of the syllabus.
It is also essential that local people be empowered to lead in this process so that ownership is inculcated within the community, ultimately improving the educational outcomes for students. “Reliance Communications’ endeavors to provide robust and reliable telecommunications and information services across the country including remotest locations yet uncovered by any other telecom network. Our Data Network would enable information access to countless schools and children across the 25,000 towns and 6, 00,000 villages, said Sumit Chowdhury, CIO, RCOM.
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A project of this kind will help address critical educational issues faced by schools in such remote and rural places of the country. Digital Bridge and OLPC will be working with Government agencies, NGOs, Content developers, translators, and teaching community and project managers to create successful ecosystems. In 2206, One Laptop Per Child was lambasted by India's Education Secretary Sudeep Banerjee who called Nicholas Negroponte's idea of Constructionist learning through XO laptops "pedagogically suspect." India has been a sore spot for OLPC. As Nicholas Negroponte says: India has more child population than any other country and will benefit greatly from a creative society of them. India needs to take a role of world leadership in the concept of one laptop per child, even if it is ahead of its time and seemingly daunting. And yet it has a massive education problem. A problem that OLPC ,hopes to solve using an alliance with Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG) to provide logistics to the OLPC's India initiative P at h For war d Our outgoing President, Dr. A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM in his Address to the Nation on 24 July 2007 has shared his vision on ‘Distinctive Profile of India 2020’. The relevant extract may be worth sharing in this OLPC mission. To achieve the distinctive profile of India, all of us have before us the mission of transforming India into a developed nation. In order to succeed in our mission, the key five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action are: (1) Agriculture and food processing (2) Education and Healthcare (3) Infrastructure: Reliable and Quality Electric power, Surface transport and Infrastructure for all parts of the country. (4) Information and Communication Technology (5) Self reliance in critical technologies. One of the major missions within these five areas is the development of infrastructure for bringing rural prosperity through Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) by creating three connectivity’s namely physical, electronic, knowledge leading to economic connectivity. While we are happy that our economy is in the ascent phase and our GDP is growing at nearly 9% per annum, it is evident that economic growth is not fully reflected in the quality of life of a large number of people, particularly in rural areas and even in urban areas. Hence, we have evolved what is called a "National Prosperity Index (NPI)"
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This can be achieved through the following action plans â€“ 1. Empower villages, 2. Mobilize rural core competence for competitiveness, 3. Overcome problems through partnership, 4. Connectivity for societal transformation, 5. Seed to Food: Backbone for agricultural growth, 6. Defeat problems and succeed, 7. Accelerate development : Aspiration of the youth, 8. Courage in combating calamities, 9. Defending the nation: Our pride, and 10. Youth movement for Developed India 2020. The OLPC mission would address the first four items above as literacy and education breed innovation and business opportunity, which breed stability and infrastructure. The common misconception is about priorities of the rural community in developing world. But there are lots of kids who have good families, parents who work and care for the kids, and who essentially live a normal life, but go to a limited school with limited resources. These kids have food, they have a home. What they need is information and the tools to improve their life and their community overall. The other debate is, whether computers lead to better learning (or life)? It certainly isn't a foregone conclusion, but potentially they do. It provides access to an increasingly valuable body of information. The compelling value proposition driving the OLPC XO laptops is that at a $100 per unit pricepoint ($175 at present) and a 5-year expected life-span, the laptops themselves cost the same per child as the average costs of textbook replacement over 5 years: about $20/year/child. The idea here is that by teaching from electronic copies of the textbooks instead of print copies, the laptops pay for themselves within the existing budget for government education, while at the same time providing opportunities to expand education to include a much wider array of texts and even new teaching opportunities. One of the most exciting things about the laptop from a technical standpoint is its power consumption. At the same time as it is a durable, mesh-networked device, built cheaply and charged in the field, it also manages to consume much less power than other laptops! Intel has a product competing with this which costs more and consumes about 20 watts of electricity.
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By comparison, the OLPC XO laptop uses only 2 watts of electricity. This is insanely low, actually a bit revolutionary by laptop standards. The display itself has, in addition to its viewable-in-directsunlight characteristics, very low power consumption, and uses a frame buffer built right into the display's timing chip. The wireless networking hardware has some similar enhancements; the effect of both of these features is that the system is actually able to power down the CPU while still keeping the network and the display running and usable for the child. This is a Big Deal, and a place where we might at some point see an idea move from the non-profit/charitable world back into general-purpose technology. And the built-in security system of XO laptop makes black market sales very difficult to pull off (a stolen system is automatically disabled). On the theft side, all XO's are shipped in an inactivated and non-functional state. When they arrive at the school or final destination, a trusted person onsite activates the laptops using a special USB key that they have been sent. If a system is subsequently stolen or lost, it is remotely deactivated and again becomes non-functional. On the more standard side of security, the XO uses a system called Bitfrost that implements many of the best practices of security to limit the access rights of applications, files and users. We need to take it forward in Private Public Partnership (PPP) model where responsibilities of concerned stakeholders are clearly defined. 1. Reliance Communication will extend necessary logistics and connectivity support required for this program, 2. State/Central government will extend necessary budgetary support towards operation, maintenance and successful continuation of the OLPC program. The fund they can divert from the existing scheme of providing free textbooks to the primary education as the teaching is from electronic copies of the textbooks instead of print copies. 3. NGOs with requisite UN/ World Bank funding can be roped in to provide OLPC laptops to the target community. 4. The other stakeholders like Educators at Primary Institutions at villages would ensure that existing school practice is enhanced through electronic access to materials, content, software, expertise, and support. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is now required to be signed between Reliance Communications and interested State/Central Government to reap the real benefits of OLPC program in perfect alignment with the â€˜Vision 2020â€™ of our past President.
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OLPC IN INDIA
India is a very large multicultural country with many interest groups. Participation of OLPC project in India will not only revolutionize the way we teach children, the vision behind this "educational" project, but will also scale up the eco-system of sharing between the diverse set of communities existing in the Indian Subcontinent. Current deployments in India
Khairat school, Khairat-Dhangarwada Village, Maharashtra
OLPC Project has made a start in India with a pilot deployment in a rural village at Khairat near Navi Mumbai where laptops have been deployed and every child carries one laptop home.
After April 2008 ,Khairat deployment experience in terms of learning and working was taken forward to various other parts of the country. In the efforts to do the same DBF intends to start and develop a resource for all their activities revolving around OLPC India. 2.
Parikrma Center for Learning, Bangalore
3. Aradhna Convent School, Bangalore 4. Holy Mother School, Nashik 5. Saint-Anthony School, Dugawar (U.P.)
Also , with the recent development and movement of OLPC in India OLPC has appointed Satish Jha as President and CEO of OLPC India for future larger deployment plans.
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User Research DISCUSSIONS WITH DBF Volunteering to become a part of the community
The initial research about OLPC had started via the internet itself, trying to find information and opportunities to get involved with OLPC community and become a part of this social cause or mission. In the process of which , a number of opportunities came across.But the immediate need of an Information Portal was felt. After, contacting digital bridge foundation and meeting Harriet vidyasagar and Amit gognaa , their requirements and their take on what they think of the proposal was understood. In reconfirmation to this discussions were also held with the Sumit Chowdhury, CIO, RCOM and CEO, digital bridge foundation to identify the need for such a portal to exist. Hence, the project undertaken is Interaction design for Information portal for digital Bridge foundation. However,for the scope of this project the OLPC portal as dbf initiative will be designed.
KHAIRAT SCHOOL First OLPC pilot project, India
OLPC Project has made a start in India with a pilot deployment in a rural village at Khairat near Navi Mumbai where laptops have been deployed and every child carries one laptop home. Hence, the first and foremost thing was to visit the school an see the deployment and olpc mission in India under action. Here, they been used for classroom teaching. I particularly was interested to see the actual comfort level of the kids with the laptop through observation. Since it's in a remote place and one room school , teacher had started taking classes of students from 1st standard to 6th standard in the same room .In total there were bout 28-30 students in the
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school and the teacher was managing the class as a whole. With the help of Xo laptops he was able to give different problems to students of different class. Some of the inferences are mentioned below , which were observed by me • Boys jumped in more aggressively (not afraid of breaking it) while using the laptops. • Some students were ready to follow the teacher’s directions instead of problem solve. • No students got frustrated with the task given by their teacher. They were very motivated to discover. You could “see” their thinking. • Students were not afraid of failure (risk-free environment). • Some students started teaching other students , as they had started to feel confident about their learning and their knowledge. hence,wished to impart the other kids in the class. • Students were asking questions in their head and to their partners, “Is that it?”, “Will that work?”, and “Will this move?” • Students were completely engrossed in their Xo's and were busy exploring , the activities and interface even if they seem to understand what exactly it does. • They wished to explore and figure out what happens when they click on the interface somewhere. • Students felt superior and more confident if they manage to finish a task earlier than the others. • They liked to showoff what they could do with their laptops. • They were banking on visual elements more than text to navigate through the interface. • They felt more enthusiastic about activities which they could do something with as in paint etc, and then look back at them to share with others.
Along, with the students the teacher seemed to be more excited on showing off how he manages the class with laptops and how he's integrating his teachings with activities of the laptops. It's a constant learning process for him as well , along with kids.He feels with the use of laptops his limitations on sharing knowledge of what he knows only or the way he imparts has also changed. The kids get to take the laptops back in their homes, where they have ample time to discover and explore the Xo. however, proper guidance is required many a times from the teacher or parents. Even a simple task is so exciting and revealing about student’s thinking process and problem solving skills.They find their way out , and learn as they explore. However , their memory is based more on graphic elements than text elements Overall, I found that in spite of several problems with connectivity, malfunctioning input devices, and software not designed taking into account young children’s abilities or the need for localization, the laptops so far had a very positive impact.
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Children are motivated to read and write more using the laptops, they are accessing information resources that are far beyond what was previously available to them, they are creating content for the world to see, and collaborating and learning from each other. This last aspect was one of the most pleasantly surprising. A recurring criticism of the use of computers in schools has centered on the idea that computers isolate children, getting in the way of collaboration and communication. My observation of childrenâ€™s use of the XO laptops was exactly the opposite. The laptops encouraged and facilitated social interactions. Their small size, low weight, as well as their wireless and tumble-proof nature enabled children to move around the classroom holding them as if they were notebooks. Children showed each other their creations, information, or games they found. They also were quick to seek help from others. Given these social dynamics, information on how to accomplish something quickly spread throughout the classroom. It has now been a year since the laptops have been deployed here; still interested stakeholders feel little information is available for them to gather any inference or confidence around on the web about the impact or progress of the first pilot in India or even if it is present itâ€™s not present in a unified manner, to help them in decision making.
PREM NAGAR SLUM Potential pilot project Mumbai, INDIA
The kids in a place called Prem Nagar in Worli find themselves in a classroom, which is not very much their regular school. But, this is where they realize their true potential to learn. It has been found that this area has a normal government BMC School attended by most of the kids living in the vicinity. But something is really shocking about the whole situation in the school. Ask a student of 5th grade to spell his/her name and they are as dazed as you would be. The same scenario holds true for most of the kids in 4th,6th 7th grade for most of the subjects specially Maths one of the key subjects for enhancing the reasoning .
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But before it gets too late someone has taken note of this whole bizarre situation and taken the initiative to start what is called as “Dosti Project” by Pradeep sane , an NRI who is now interested in deploying Xo laptops at this location. A set of few dedicated teachers conducts remedial sessions with most of these kids to bring them to the light of real learning. So what makes difference to the whole situation is realization of the fact these kids lack proper learning environment and mentoring and not capability to rise on this ladder of learning. There are 3 locations in the slum where, the classes are taking place currently under the supervision of Kiran patel and other teachers involved.
Via “ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD” initiative taken by Digital Bridge Foundation, it can seek to enhance and help the whole situation in many more places like these to impact the way children learn. It is focused on creating learning environments that fosters learning by allowing children to “think about thinking Thus, Digital Bridge Foundation Portal would act a catalyst to educate people about this initiative. The information portal would act as a means to educate people about the OLPC initiative(and others taken up by DBF), and allow access to necessary information required for various stakeholders to be interested and be able to fund and start such a project at various other places and also tell them how even they can make a difference with such initiatives. Hence, making people aware of how things are happening and how they can also ?it in the system and make a difference in the students(rural children) life is what needs to be shown.
ANALYSIS OF REFERENCES Major part of the user research was the analysis of different blogs,watching videos, olpc mailing list and other information available through the olpc community on the olpc wiki or on other discussion boards which represented thoughts of people who wish to be involved and are involved. D B F - O L P C I N D I A P O R TA L 18
System Thinking System thinking brought a complete and holistic approach to the project by bringing to light a large number of areas to consider,work on review.
All over the world, media coverage of the One Laptop per Child movement has tended to focus far more on the laptop itself and not enough on how it can be used to enhance the quality of education. The laptop, however, is but a tool that is only as useful as the education content it can deliver and the ability of the user to utilize the content. So distribution of this hardware to children will not in itself lead to any revolutionary changes in the teaching-learning process. Major focus areas If we want to make a significant impact on the education sector using the OLPC model, the distribution of laptops to children must be accompanied by careful planning and implementation in four key areas: (i) development of digital educational content, (ii)training of teachers to integrate ICT-based educational materials in the teaching-learning system solution process, (iii)design and installation of supporting network and power infrastructure, and (iv) development of the governmentâ€™s capacity in the above three areas. From a pedagogical perspective, the major strength of the OLPC model is that it allows the teachers to fully integrate ICT(information and communication)-based instruction in the regular classroom process and enables students to continue with their learning outside the classroom as well. Furthermore, by allowing students to take the laptops home with them, this model encourages the participation of all the family members in the teaching learning process.
mis conce pt ions
1.It is simply a laptop distribution program that assumes handing these machines to children will automatically cause a revolutionary change in the education sector. It is an educational project not a laptop project.
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2. Another misconception, at least in some cases, is that the laptops developed by the OLPC organization and the OLPC concept are one and the same. Many people fail to make the distinction between the computer hardware and the OLPC concept which uses the hardware. 3. The third major misconception is that the OLPC model eliminates the role of the teacher and also replaces traditional paper-pencil based learning by computer-based learning.
SYSTEM SOLUTION Upon understanding what the project expected,a framework was developed for providing a solution. The concept was defined as a visualization tool that had to be formulated to integrate the various ideas and innovations. Also, it would facilitate the design strategy for communication for OLPC, INDIA at the Digital Bridge Foundation and become as one of the face for the same . The strategy is being designed on the follow‐ ing stones:
Hence, a information portal for the purpose is to be designed which would form an exhibit space to exchange experience with other OLPC country organizations, educate the general public about the project via presentations, videos etc. and setup and support of OLPC initiatives in India. It would facilitate a networking space for the player involved with the OLPC mission, with the ones who seek an opportunity to get involved. So, the space would help to identify organizations/ key players for support. The ongoing strategies, plans, level of endowment, OLPC’s developer program, education resources for teachers as well a students etc such information would be imparted through this space with the help of various interface elements designed. Hence, also on a different layer a workspace would also be present, where all the Ongoing discussions, and the progress of different tasks and projects would be understood and added by the users.
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Hence , the scope of the project was now defined at various layers as illustrated below and will be designed keeping these layers in mind.
INFORMATION LAYER NETWORKING LAYER WIKI LAYER RESOURCE LAYER
A simple scenario was illustrated to demonstrate a common problem where a NRI ,is interested in deploying XO laptops and is ready to fund or get sponsors for the cause , but is actually unaware of how to go about it and is eager to find out about OLPC it’s mission and it’s strategy in India.
Build Confidence in the Project
Wants to deploy Xo’s at the NGO
Concern about the community improve
For the right people
Know where all its has been employed
Know about who is doing what and how
Know where all its has been employed
Display a Point
Know what happen
Content Activity Educators
Learn About OLPC
Find where they can fit it
Technical aspects (Service/ Repair)
Different Local Communities
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Literature Review CURRENT OLPC INDIA INFORMATION SHARING SPACE OLPC India mailing list Most of the development and discussions of OLPC endeavors are shared here. Also, the key players interested in the project and are active can also be identified here. The problem here is that you only know someone is in the list if they are active participating and mailing in the thread. Most of the time mails are either been ignored or not read by the subscribers as finding no interest in the ongoing discussions. If someone started a discussion of no relevance, the thread is being followed unless anew thread is started. And the manner in which information is received is very confusing. Also, checking back in the archives ,of the discussions held earlier, for someone who has joined late is a tiring task.
OLPC India wiki space
The purpose of this wiki is to both share information about the project and to solicit ideas and feedback. The articles and discussion vary from technical to epistemological. Each community can make its own space and share and edit information with everyone. But a lot of development as not been shared over the wiki. Also, specially dbf involvement , and now OLPC Indiaâ€™s new appointment as a CEO Satish Jhaâ€™s involvement etc. is not clear. Also, the wiki does not attract user to seek information as a website would achieve. Hence,even the main website www.laptop.org provides basic information on the website and links other information to the wiki.
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OLPC IN OTHER COUNTRIES
OLPC AUSTRIA maintains a website of it’s own with it’s own logo but most of it’s content is linked with the wiki with OLPC wiki space only.
OLPC AUSTRIA is also maintaining it’s separate wiki space( not at wiki.laptop.org), developed by them whose link is on their main website and are pretty active with it,The look and feel of this wiki is more welcoming and appealing for the user to seek information and participate
OLPC Oceania is maintaining a wiki on wiki educator. This is a lesson plan for facilitators of trials and roll-outs in the Pacific Islands region, associated with OLPC Australia and OLPC New Zealand. However, information on OLPC Oceania is available on wiki space at OLPC wiki only.
OLPC New York is maintaining a blog and constantly updating information there. There are links to the main wiki space of OLPC. However,much of the information is shared here.
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Design requirement gathering After understanding of the system at this stage the needs, expectation and desires of 3 main collaborators- End Customers (The Users), Domain Experts( Web development team) and Business Stakeholders(Digital Bridge Foundation), were understood to know what is important. Here, various data gathering techniques like Informal conversation ,research and observations were done to understand the need and use of the website.
Gathered data is minutely analyzed and converted into requirements. Essentially ,
There appear to be several different entities, clarification on how they are involved( Satish Jha, President OLPC India, Reliance's Khairat pilot, Digital Bridge Foundation, olpc.co.in,the large list of volunteers on olpc mailing list).
OLPC should have a clear (and transparent) policy to develop in backward areas which needs to be shown through this space.
A way to track the progress of the projects and see the impact it’s making.
Make visible how it is effecting the children and impacting their learning graph.
A way for the players involved in funding and sponsoring to track their money , how it is being used and where.
People wishing to volunteer to be the part of the community , can know where they fit in and how they can help
Facilitate a way to be able to connect people for support and help when needed.
Provide a networking space for people to share ideas and discuss the developments ,also bringing transparency about the progress.
Allow people to directly , fund for a pilot project in the website.
Also , allow volunteers to donate or sponsor laptops for kids.
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USER NEEDS Brainstorming was done to gather the needs of the user and after aggregation the following spaces were identified , where the interaction of this information will be defined.
INFORMATION PORTAL PEOPLE
SPACE RESOURCE SPACE
However, resource space will be out of scope of this project.
Brainstorming was done to identify various players who would be involved or are involved with the OLPC community and were classified and aggregated into groups.These categories will essentially form the user segments of this website.
PROFESSION INTER NATIONAL SUPPORT
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WEB STANDARDS These were some of the conclusions that I came up with after analyzing different web specifications online which should be followed, to design a website. Along with the one’ mentioned below jacob Nelson's Ten Heuristic principles were also followed. •
Information should be categorized logically
Information should be placed logically
All pages should contain navigation to enable the user to get back to the starting point
Clear demarcations should be done, using colors or other design elements to clearly present different Sections of information on the web page.
Graphics should add value to the web page and to be present as decorations or clutter.
Package surprises in the web page, everyone loves surprises and also it adds interest to the website
Focus should be on the message to be communicated on the web page , avoiding unnecessary information.
Use of fewer columns is good. Less is more. Fewer columns feel simpler, bolder, and more honest and help in communicating less information more clearly.
The main branding and navigation area should be made distinct from the rest i.e. the main content on the web page.
On the web page navigation should be clearly distinguishable from non-navigation.
Icons should be used in an efficient manner. Use fewer, better icons that carry more meaning. In some cases a simple word is more effective.
While designing the web pages one should be sensitive to the Visual Quality. Users are noticing and expect good quality and relevant visual content
Color is a great medium for communicating brand values.
Strategic planning for scalability, interactivity, updating of white papers, newsletters, contacts etc. are all required even after the site has been designed and uploaded
Users need to be able to identify navigation, which tells them various, Important information like Where they are (in the scheme of thing) Where else they can go from here And what options they have for doing stuff
The websites should follow simplicity. That's not to say that all web sites should be minimal, but that one should use as few features as are necessary to achieve what you need to achieve. The user should be able to notice what the site wants them to notice.
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Strategic Design After gathering the design requirements, an array of problems and opportunities were discovered. Then after, deep understanding of needs of Users, Business Stakeholders and Domain Experts was done with user research which leading to interesting discoveries. Hence, an optimal strategy was created to respond to these.
S t r at e gy plane The strategy of this information portal would be “ to facilitate the OLPC mission in INDIA”
SITE OBJECTIVES In order to solve and make this site efficient, there were two main questions to be answered. 1. What do we get out of this site? 2. What do our users want to get out this site? This diagram explains what do we get out this site/information portal ? Hence, this portal will try and cater to the de‐ sign strategy for communication for OLPC, IN‐ DIA at the Digital Bridge Foundation and be‐ come as one of the face for the same .
Now to answer to the second question, what do users get out this site? After a lot brainstorming, contextual inquiry and online search. Sets of question were concluded, in order of which the user would seek to learn and gain information. What is OLPC? What is DBF? What are we doing together?
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What do we plan to achieve? What do we get out of it? Why laptop? Why education? Why India? What does the laptop do? What is the context? Where does it ?it in the system? How can you contribute? What are the opportunities you see? How can you join them in their efforts? What will you get out of it? What is the larger goal? What has been happening? How can you measure performance and track progress? How can you track your time resources, money/efforts?
The site seeks to provide information to the user, catering to the answers to the above question. The figure below shows the structuring of the questions in a sequence and defining what they answer or would aim to answer for the user and in what context
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Structural Design A Design Strategy sets overall goals, directives, expectations and approach for design. Structural Design converts this strategy into a conceptual blue print of the design.
Brainstorming and categorization was done to form a structure for the website. Simple affinities were defined , and main categories were formed.
The information architecture is shown below
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Skeletal Design At this stage a Skeletal Design is created i.e. literally creating a 'bones and stick-figure prototype' based on the Structural Design. This phase is a rapid prototyping phase. A lot of ideas are created, discussed, iterated, accepted or rejected. The basic wi-frames of the main page and the inside pages are shown below.
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Design Implementation Keeping the heuristic principles in mind and web standards the visual design was done for the website.Also, color scheme chosen is according to the OLPC colors , giving the look and feel of an International movement through the website. The website was designed keeping in mind the remote places and computers , this might be accessed. Hence, basic html coding would be done.
The home screen page, allows to navigate in two ways first through the set of questions present on the left hand side, clicking which also highlights the relevant pictures along with the change of set of questions on the right hand side. The bottom part of the page has the global navigation, to move around in the site. NOTE: the lower most available links are still under consideration
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These two pages contain information about the OLPC mission and DBFâ€™s involvement with the mission in India . The white box spaces would contain different videos, audio and presentations explaining the same.When clicked , itâ€™ll open in new window.
The News page links to the wiki space where the news has been constantly updated by, OLPC organization. The OLPC events page would list down all the events happening , date wise along with a descrip tion of it . also , a user can also report an event happening around the OLPC community. The page for the same is shown
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This is the laptop link’s landing page This page will showcase the impact the xo’s making in the children’s life by showcasing what the children have to speak about their laptops in form of videos, audio’s or text messages.
These pages showcase the explore and activities page of the laptop .The individual pics will act as link telling the various features of the laptop. Also, a link to other activities is provide which would contain a list activities developed and re under development or are proposed to be developed.
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The participate page talks about how an individual can find his/her space in the system with the help of a tool kit , which is currently under development.Also this space allows you to search and know where or how can you volunteer and fit in the system.
These pages are the part of the project space , which lists down all the pilot projects deployed in India currently along wit a map showing the location of the deployment.This map can be zoomed to view on a bigger scale. The other page is deployment guide to allow anyone interested in deploying the xoâ€™s at a place what are the steps and other information he needs to know before that. At this stage , these are the pages that have been designed to conclusion. Also, the other pages are under development and a more engaging space is proposed for them. Proposition Community news : this would essentially be a wiki space so that all the news of the community happenings can be collaboratively added and shared.
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People involved : this space would be a networking space, letting one know who all are involved, find people of your interest and by location and hold conversations with them. The profile of each user would talk about how the user is involved with olpcs and what all he has been doing and how. Propose : this space would be an Idea space where projects ill be proposed and people will comment on it. Download: this space allows to download presentations,flyers posters ,videos,audioâ€™s etc all Olpc related material.This space would even allow a user to upload material. Local community: this space would allow to see different communities working in different categories and will be linked to the people involved pages. also, the space would exhibit a open space of answering and submitting questions.hnece, the community itself will question and answer each other. Progress: this space would allow to track the progress of different pilot projects , and know how things are pacing , when and how. Fund a project : this space allows to make visible partial funded and the pilot projects which require funding and for what and provide a gateway to fund the project for interested stakeholders. Donate or sponsor : this space allows interested people to participate in the mission and donate laptops to the kids.
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