edubuntu for day-care centers, philippines

Will van der Leij will at
Fri Aug 18 11:32:39 BST 2006

Hi Maning,
I see Jerome has replied to you pretty comprehensively. 
I'll include some of my thoughts inline below as well.

> 1. Will edubuntu run "comfortably" on a 64-128 ram?  Should I use xfce
> as my desktop environment instead?
Jerome covered this quite well. In my experience, using xfce over gnome on
an "older" machine made a noticeable difference.

> 3. Which programs/applications should I remove to free up space (such
> programs that may not be suitable for day-care envi for instance, or
I guess this really depends on your target audience. 
I can't help thinking though that if you're intending to package a large
volume of offline content, then a central file server of some kind would be
a good idea. For one, 5-10GB could then be more than adequate for a desktop

> 4.  As part of the project I would also like to monitor how the PC are
> being used (both by teachers and students).  One mechanism is to save
> the syslog (possibly on a diskette) and send them to me for analysis.
Monitoring application usage can be a helpful exercise but can also be
misleading. Using programme access logs as such does not really give an
indication of use. Children (and adults too I guess) can have an inquisitive
tendency to open up everything but not necessarily use it.
It can be helpful, though, in looking for anomolies, i.e. 
 - is the workstation in the corner ever following the lesson plans 
   during a lesson period
 - very popular applications will peak out in usage logs
 - and the opposite too

The effectivity of a PC lab is not best measured by accounting for its usage
but rather for looking at its intended impact: 
 - do the learners improve in attitude, confidence, exposure and basic
   knowledge of technology. A simple before & after Likert scale can be
   quite handy here.
 - where do the subjects/learners proceed to from there and are they
   better quipped? Etc.

A much harder assessment to make is whether the technology intervention is
an improvement on or serves to compliment traditional teaching methods.

> Supplemental resource materials:
> We also want to support the teachers in designing and creating lesson
> plans and resource materials that will make full use of the equipment.
There is a lot of work going on world-wide to facilitate content sharing and
collaboration. A friend of mine put it quite nicely: there are "recipes" and
"ingredients" in this arena.
 - the recipes take the form of educational portals (e.g. moodle etc.), 
   forums, LAMS, mailing lists...
 - the ingredients are the contents. Here there are a number of issues 
   around localised and relevant content making it harder to share lesson
   plans across social, economic and language borders.

There are a number of open resources for ICT competency (e.g. OpenICDL) but
fewer relevant resources for local implementation/application of ICT in an
educational context. I guess it depends again on what your intended outcomes

> 2. On what certain subject matter should computer use be appropriate
> for inclusion?
Outcome based education requires good research skill amongst others
(communication, collaboration etc.) A PC as a tool/source for resource is
fantastic, especially if internet connected.
There are certain applications that are quite handy for specific subjects or
learning areas (e.g. maths programmes, typing tutors etc.)

> 3. Any links references on computer use for ages 5-8 years old?
I'll dig around for this. I found that generally simple gaming or gcompris
style activity produces the necessary exposure and basic interactivity
competence needed for young kids to continue learning to learn.

> 4. As this is an offline workstation, we also plan to archive some
> However, most are copyrighted and does
> not allow archiving the whole site offline.  
You'll be surprised at how often the authors will be more than willing to
allow you to obtain their materials freely for a non-profit purpose.

I'll continue to dig around for some resources that might help you.
Best regards,
Will van der Leij

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