[kde-edu]: plasma edu

Nuno Pinheiro nuno at oxygen-icons.org
Fri Jul 16 11:22:06 CEST 2010

A Quinta, 15 de Julho de 2010 21:18:13 Thomas Thym você escreveu:
> Hi,
> I am pleased to see the activity in KDE EDU. It seems that there were a
> couple of discussions and BoFs during Akademy but I am not sure if the
> KDE-EDU people were enough involved. (Just my impression after some
> discussions with KDE-EDU people.)
> Still motivated from Akademy I interviewed my sister (a teacher for 1st
> till 4th grade in Germany) about the use of computers in their classes. A
> short summary:
> 1. IT-environment.
> They need a cheep, easy to deploy and maintain IT-infrastructure as a basic
> environment for their 1-5 computers in the classrooms to offer their
> students access to the Internet and computers.

Here in Portugal its 1 laptop per kid. and a slightly biguer laptop aka not a 
netbook  for the teacher

> 2. A platform to collaborate.
> (I don't like the idea, but at the moment) They use IT to control the
> students. There are some (commercial, closed sourced) webbased services
> that offer some tasks for the students and the teachers get informed about
> the activity of their class. Some services include the option to compete
> against others (in your class). The possibility of real collaboration
> (beyond classroom boundaries or creating something or learning together)
> is not practiced at her school.

Control is by far the best thing we can give the teachers in order for this to 
work, Right now the computers are not used at all in the classrooms because of 
that, as soon as kids turn on the computers they go straight in to games, or 
the web in order to find flash games. So the teacher no longuer as any control 
over the class and in no time he will tell the students to close the laptops.
The only way it as been used so far is to do litle works, search the web at 
the request of the teacher etc, and as a reward system "if all of you behave 
nicely today tomorrow you can bring the "maganhães" tomorrow.

> 3. Training software.
> They use some individual training software (like math- and vocabulary
> trainer) to offer the possibility to practice alone. To have those
> applications on mobil phones would be nice, esp. when they have gaming
> elements. At the moment they only use (buy) software that is approved by
> the education department and delivers exactly the content that is defined
> by the education department.

In the specific software I have some ideas that can really really  help the 
class, but depends a bit on the hardware, (i see a trend in this market for 
tablets in the near future), Me will need to talk again to the manufacture of 
this devices here...(maybe i can get us a few devices with a specific set up, 
including touch screen or the digital paper)
> 4. Non-IT rulez
> IT is only a small element in education. The main part is done "offline".
> (5. They don't care about the OS as long as it's Windows. Yes, there are
> still many prejudices  and MS is visiting the teachers regularly with
> special offers of Windows and Office (less than 50 EUR) for them.)

Yes this is the main problem , note the students but the teachers, kids learn 
anything extremely fast, but teachers think they don't and frankly they don't 
care specially wen it was imposed on them as political marketing, that forced 
them to take classes.They also prefer windows as its what they know (pretty 
badly). And the main problem is, its just extra work on what is a very tiering 
job and they don't like changing the way they have allays done it.

Now the fact is that windows sucks just as bad as we do in helping the 
teacher, and this creates a once in a life time opportunity for us.
I think that if we create a work flow that matches the traditional class and 
the way a teacher prepares a class right now we would be lowering the teachers 
barriers alot.

> I planned to do some interviews here in Switzerland, too, if you think this
> information helps us further.

yeah ask them about the control part, tell them "what if you could see what 
the kids were doing in a given shared application and could help the finish 
exercises?", ask them, "What if you could prepare a class with the available 
applications for that class and once the students would log in they would have 
a set up controlled by you?"  

From my experience this is what they really want and once i tell them i get 
really positive vibes, as it fits the way they work now plus it gives them 
extra control over the class. 

> Cheers,
> Thomas
> On Wednesday 14 July 2010 21:52:07 wrote Aaron J. Seigo:
> > hi everyone :)
> > 
> > at Akademy we had a very good meeting of people involved with various
> > school deployments of the KDE Desktop v3 and/or KDE Plasma Desktop. we
> > decided to try and do two things:
> > 
> > a) bring some of the unique efforts that are currently going on
> > downstream in these projects upstream, allowing them to use the KDE
> > community's resources as a point of collaboration for them. this will
> > hopefully allow our large (and small!) edu deployments to share their
> > efforts as well as get their work into more downstream-agnostic forms
> > (allowing them to more easily shift OS if needed)
> > 
> > b) provide a unique Plasma Workspace offering that educational
> > deployments may choose to take advantage of. this means upstream work on
> > the Plasma Desktop that has a specific aim for the educational desktop
> > needs, bringing us closer to our downstreams and giving our downstreams
> > new tools they can't get elsewhere.
> > 
> > at the meeting we decided on a few things:
> > 
> > * the best place to run this project is from the KDE Edu community.
> > 
> > this is why i am sending this email to kde-edu@ and not plasma-devel at .
> > it's more relevant for educational deployments (plasma-devel is fairly
> > high traffic, techical and not overly useful for edu focused work :),
> > and hopefully will bring all of our edu resources closer together. we
> > hope that by providing a good edu experience on top of Plasma Desktop
> > and Plasma Netbook, we can also find new opportunities for KDE Edu
> > software (and vice versa)
> > 
> > 
> > * we need to write documentation of what we want to achieve and where we
> > are
> > 
> > right now, this will go here for now:
> > 	 http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/Plasma/Classroom
> > 
> > we did this with netbook (http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/Plasma/Plasma-
> > Netbook) and it was a very successful approach, even as our initial
> > design evolved over time.
> > 
> > 
> > * we want to keep our sources together, but not bound to the KDE SC
> > release cycle for now. therefore, we are proposing to put our code into
> > trunk/extragear/edu/. no such directory currently exists. we will make
> > it.
> > 
> > 
> > * in addition to gather work down for existing edu deployments, we intend
> > to deliver a set of components (plasmoids, containments, javascript
> > layout templates) that will run inside a standard Plasma Desktop shell.
> > we want to have a first release around the same time as SC 4.6. the
> > central idea is to have a set of simplified, lockable panel layouts
> > paired with a desktop widget layout that can be customized by the
> > teacher that leverages the Activities as debuting in Plasma Desktop 4.5.
> > each class session will get an Actvity, which the classroom lead (e.g.
> > teacher) can populate with applications, files, etc. when a student logs
> > in, it will fetch the Activities for the class sessions they are in.
> > 
> > 
> > * we require input from teachers using KDE software to provide feedback
> > and consultation on the above idea and as it progresses as a software
> > product
> > 
> > 
> > current action items:
> > 
> > * get the Plasmoid from the Portugal deployment in svn
> > 
> > * get the javascript layout that mimics the java bar used in Brazil in
> > svn
> > 
> > * flesh out the design document so we can begin getting teacher feedback
> > and start working on it
> > 
> > 
> > ok, that's probably enough for one email. :)
> > 
> > i hope that the KDE Edu team is ok with us joining/invading your space to
> > run this project. your input is not only welcome, it is desired. i'd say
> > it's even critical to this becoming a success. open the floodgates! :)
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