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We’ve just decided to move forward with Ubuntu Linux as Tunapanda’s primary operating system, since it’s open source, can be run on mobile phones, and skills learned using it seem transferable to Africa’s more common pirated-Windows instances. We’ll continue to provide open source software tools for Windows, of course. [Full disclosure: Jay used Linux a fair bit as a freshman studying the basics of engineering and programming... but that was a decade ago. We are clueless, your assistance is most welcome.]
This is where people with any experience teaching or learning (hint: everyone) can meet to brainstorm and structure units and courses. Try to include free videos (like TED talks), articles from places like Wikipedia and HowStuffWorks, activities, etc. EdX just released a cool open-source tool for making courses – we haven’t had a chance to ceck it out, but that or LAMS might be good options.
The sister forum to Curriculum, this is where people can recommend free and open source software or stuff like 3D printers for us to put in people’s hands, along with tutorials and suggested projects. You can also suggest new software to build, and send it over to Software Development. To get an idea of what we already have, check out The Hard Drive.
This is where programmers and designers can meet to build software that we’ll put on the hard drives for use offline. We’ll let you know what problems we encounter, and you can suggest solutions we haven’t thought of.
This is where people with experience in computers, LANs, system design, solar energy, cameras, and other hardware can meet up to suggest the cheapest, most replicable systems and create tutorials for hardware installation and network setup. We’ll also put up specific projects so you can help schools and learning centers save time and make the best decisions. There will be a variety of constraints to consider, including cost, lack of electricity or grid irregularity, etc.
Regular schools use things called “grades” to motivate students. With the massive amount of research into incentive structures and gamification, I think we can come up with better ways to guide people to their goals and motivate effort and the spreading of knowledge, perhaps tying in with Mozilla Open Badges or something. Check out Dan Ariely’s course on Behavioral Economics that starts on the 25th of March, or Kevin Werbach’s Gamification course which starts up again on April 1st for inspiration.
Want to start something like this in your community? Find other people who want to as well. We’ll have simple instructions for downloading everything we use, or we’ll send you a pre-loaded hard drive.
Ahmed Kigen Nzibo
If you have equipment you’re not using, let us know. We know people coming from all over all the time, and have some safari companies on the lookout for people flying in who’d be willing to bring a laptop or something. We’re working on making this tax-deductible. If someone’s feeling ambitious and wants to get a mapping app up for this we’ll send you all sorts of good karma.
Science Fiction enthusiasts should have a good time here. This is for all your education-related “what if we…” ideas that will probably never happen, but might. For example, “What if we took an old military drone, removed the weapons, added TVs and speakers, and created a flying Khan Academy?”