jujubes
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:17 am

Setting up classroom in rural community in Guatemala

Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:23 am

Can anyone give us advice on what hardware and software to use? It's our first time doing this.

Also, does anyone have examples of similar projects that have already been set up in developing countries and could connect us with their organizers?

Much appreciated.

Thank you!

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drewibbo
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:54 am
Location: Worthing, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Setting up classroom in rural community in Guatemala

Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:01 am

Hi,

Congratulations on the purchase of your Pi. I suggest that you click on the link below for information on getting started:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... =26&t=4751

Good luck :D
Pi Pi Pi...

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morphy_richards
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Location: Epping Forest
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Re: Setting up classroom in rural community in Guatemala

Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:17 am

Hi,
You have asked a very open question so I will ask you a few to try to narrow things down.

How many students will be together in a class?
What is your / your staff's own level? (Are you comfortable using Linux or command lines, have you got programming knowledge etc?)
What sort of things do you want your students to learn?

jujubes
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:17 am

Re: Setting up classroom in rural community in Guatemala

Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:10 pm

Hi morphy_richards,
Thanks for your reply.
We're bringing 15 computers with us so will have a classroom of about 12. I will be training the kids, but don't know any programming language. One of our teammates does. He'll be setting up all the computers for us.

Aside from basic computer literacy skills, we'd also like to teach the kids numeracy, literacy and English. The community is Spanish-speaking.

Please let me know if you have any advice for us or if you have any further questions.
Thank you for your time,
Julie.

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morphy_richards
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Location: Epping Forest
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Re: Setting up classroom in rural community in Guatemala

Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:20 pm

You said 15 computers. Are you using Raspberry Pi computers, PC's or something else?

If you are using PC's I would recommend installing Edubuntu. This is partly because you can circumvent expensive licensing costs that come with Microsoft products this way but also because it's a very good quality system. I'm sure it has a Spanish language pack. You can use an App store like "software centre" to install educational applications that will cover all the areas you mentioned.

If you are using Raspberry Pi computers then follow the setup guides in the wiki and then use the apt-get package manager to install extra software. Also, try reading the MagPi for some good teaching project ideas.

jujubes
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:17 am

Re: Setting up classroom in rural community in Guatemala

Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:27 pm

Hi, we're leaning towards a Pi solution but are not sure of execution yet. Something that we're trying to find now are low-cost monitors that will work with the Pis. Also, how available are Pi's in Canada and will we have enough time to gather everything we need by the end of the month or within the first week of May, at the latest?

bengizmo
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:04 am

Re: Setting up classroom in rural community in Guatemala

Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:01 pm

Hi all, I'm the one attempting to help Jujubes with the deployment. My background is telecommunications engineering and I'm currently working with raspberry pis for a few different personal & work related projects.

We've looked at a few different configurations. All of which would require donated/inexpensive keyboards, mice, monitors & a local server that's been preloaded with Khan Academy (and other resources). I think I have enough hardware for the network (switches, router, CAT5) but may just utilize 802.11b/g to cut down on the cost & amount of equipment we need to bring down there.

Here's the list of potential deployment scenarios we've come up with:

- Bring donated/inexpensive laptops running Edubuntu. These won't need screens, monitors or mice
- Bring donated/inexpensive SFF desktops running Edubuntu
- Bring donated/inexpensive Thin Clients, pair with Userful server
- Order Chinese Android Mini-PCs
- Order Raspberry Pis, load with customized Wheezy images for educational purposes
- Order Raspberry Pis, load with Berry Terminal, pair with a Edubuntu Server as the LTSP
- Order OLPCs, deploy according to their documentation

Out of all of the options, the Raspberry Pi solutions are preferable because the hardware is cheap, robust, capable & well supported by the community. The other options would involve heavier equipment that may be 5+ years old, so there'd be a chance of them failing. Once we have the Pis, we have the option of doing either a standalone or LTSP deployment, though I'm leaning toward standalone (standard Wheezy) as Berry Terminal is still in beta. And we have no idea what sort of quality control is used in Android Mini-PCs production facilities, and the user community is not as evolved as with the Pis, Finally, the OPLC project is great, but the laptops themselves are still costly if we compare it to donated (free) keyboards, screens & mice.

This project kinda fell into our laps and we're running with it, but realistically we're quite unprepared. For initiatives like this to work, copious amounts of pre-planning is needed to make sure that it's sustainable and that the local populous can utilize, maintain and repair the equipment, otherwise there's a high likelihood for frustration and abandonment.

We've been reaching out to a few other groups that have done similar deployments but they are all slow to respond. If anyone has any suggestions for groups that we can get in contact with, please let us know as we would love to talk with them :)

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