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